But in addition to that, Sinema also gets the single thing that most gives her life: attention. Fresh off huddling with Republicans on the Senate floor in blue sequins during the vote to codify marriage equality, Sinema is the top political news of the day. She gets the long op-ed in her state’s major newspaper in which she lays out all the noble, relatable reasons she’s supposedly making this move. She gets a 45-minute interview with Politico and resulting headline. She will doubtless have her choice of the Sunday talk shows.
And every time there’s a big vote in the Senate, she will have a constant, built-in reminder that getting her vote requires special treatment.
That’s not what she’s saying, of course. She’s saying that this is a brave rejection of partisanship. True independence, yada yada. Also, it goes without saying, both parties are Just Too Extreme (sad emoji) for Kyrsten the Independent.
“In catering to the fringes, neither party has demonstrated much tolerance for diversity of thought,” she writes, as if the party that barely has room for people who accept that Donald Trump lost in 2020 and the party that has room for both Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin are equivalent here. “Bipartisan compromise is seen as a rarely acceptable last resort, rather than the best way to achieve lasting progress. Payback against the opposition party has replaced thoughtful legislating.”
Republicans held up legislation helping veterans exposed to toxic burn pits as payback for Democrats reaching a deal with Manchin on the Inflation Reduction Act, but do go on about how payback having replaced thoughtful legislating is a reason to leave the Democratic Party.
”Like a lot of Arizonans, I have never fit perfectly in either national party,” Sinema writes, 18 years after she left the Green Party for the Democratic Party. She became a Democrat after she lost a couple races as a Green, she rode her Democratic affiliation to the Senate, and now that it endangers her in her next election, she’s moving on to be an independent. She was a “Prada socialist” who rejected campaign fundraising … before going on to become one of the Senate’s top recipients of contributions from the pharmaceutical and financial services industries.
And she’s now promising to be all things to all people. If you’re looking for a tool of corporate interests, she’ll be that! But if you’re looking for someone with an “unwavering view that a woman’s health care decision should be between her, her doctor and her family,” you’re in luck, at least until defending that position requires changing Senate rules or shifting how Supreme Court appointments work.
But! “If anyone previously supported me because they believed, contrary to my promise, that I would be a blindly loyal vote for a partisan agenda—or for those who believe our state should be represented by partisans who push divisive, negative politics, regardless of the impact on our state—then there are sure to be others vying for your support.”
Again with the “divisive, negative politics” to refer to Democrats as some Republicans who ran for office in her state and lost just last month are refusing to accept their losses. After Blake Masters’ extremist anti-abortion campaign (at least until that became politically inconvenient for him—in the type of shift that should be familiar to Sinema), after Masters’ campaign video out in the desert rhapsodizing about the benefits of gun silencers. After the Kari Lake ad featuring an extremist homophobic, Islamophobic pastor. It’s Democrats whose divisive, negative politics are a problem for Sinema—because she’s talking here about the possibility of a primary challenge.
Kyrsten Sinema is and always will be about what is good for Kyrsten Sinema’s next election, next step on the ladder, next week of headlines. Following an election in which Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly was reelected, Democrat Katie Hobbs was elected governor, Democrat Adrian Fontes was elected secretary of state, and Democrat Kris Mayes was elected attorney general (albeit with a razor-thin margin), a jump to the Republican Party would not have looked like a good bet at all. But her 2024 reelection was going to be rough for Sinema as a Democrat, so building her personal “independent” brand became the best move … for her personal ambitions.
Comments are closed on this story.