One of the worst Democrats in the Senate is Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and she proved it again this week by refusing to help pass voting rights legislation that she supposedly supports.
Sinema has repeatedly stood in the way of President Joe Biden’s popular legislative agenda, including voting rights legislation that would nullify the many voter suppression laws Republicans are rolling out to rig the 2022 and 2024 Elections. She refuses to support changes to the filibuster, which requires 60 votes to move legislation through to a vote. Of course, Democrats can’t get 60 votes because there are not ten Republicans with a spine that would cross the aisle to protect democracy.
Without the filibuster, Democrats could pass the legislation with a simple majority vote. But Sinema is bought and paid for by Republicans and conservative interest groups. And that’s particularly enraging because she once touted progressive values and supported progressive policies.
This week, as President Biden prepared to speak on Capitol Hill to push the voting rights legislation towards the finish line, Sinema decided to insult him by speaking prior to his arrival, and dashed any hope that the bill could be passed. The excuse she used to justify her childish naivety was that the bill should be bipartisan.
“We must address the disease itself, the disease of division to protect our democracy,” Sinema said. “It cannot be achieved by one party alone. We need robust, sustained strategies that put aside party labels and focus on our democracy because these challenges are bigger than party affiliation. We must commit to a long-term approach as serious as the problems we seek to solve. One that prioritizes listening and understanding one that embraces making progress on shared priorities and finding common ground on issues where we hold differing and diverse views.”
The problem is that Republicans want to destroy democracy while Democrats want to protect it. There is no common ground, and nor should there be. There is no room for compromise here. Either you support democracy or you don’t. Clearly, Sinema doesn’t.
The backlash against her was brutal but deserved.
I say this as her former friend and the person who first gave her national television exposure on @msnbc: @SenatorSinema needs to resign or be removed from office immediately. Rather than decreasing “division” in this country her action guarantees it pic.twitter.com/fFVXlbg5LA
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 13, 2022
@SenatorSinema just put a knife in the heart of Democracy. My heart breaks how easily she was bought to support the Republican coup.
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) January 13, 2022
In which @SenatorSinema reveals herself to be one of the best friends that the forces of partisanship and division have in the US Senate — Republican partisanship and division. Thanks to Sinema and Manchin, divisive GOP limits on voting proceed unchecked — on a partisan basis. https://t.co/MH7aZpku44
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 13, 2022
The people of Arizona deserve better. They should primary Sinema and end her political career permanently. The filibuster is a relic rule that isn’t even in the Constitution. It was concocted by conservatives in the 19th century to prevent anti-slavery laws from being debated and passed. It has been used ever since to block legislation, especially legislation that Republicans don’t like. It is the ultimate partisan tool. And Sinema supports it, making her a complete hypocrite whose lines about bipartisanship are fake. If she really cared about democracy, she would support ending the filibuster and would vote for the voting rights bill. Unfortunately, all she cares about is being liked by Republicans.
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