Celebrating the survival of the filibuster with Senate Republicans was a bad idea for Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) because the effort to primary her is now even stronger.
Democrats attempted to change filibuster rules this week to push the passage of major voting rights legislation that Sinema supposedly supports. But Sinema, along with Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) joined with all 50 Republicans to block the effort. She did so while wearing a red dress, seemingly symbolic of her new political allegiance with the GOP. She then shook hands and celebrated with Republicans.
Because of her betrayal, Republicans will be able to continue passing voter suppression laws across the country.
For Arizona Democrats, this was the final straw.
If Sinema hoped that voting with Republicans to kill democracy would strengthen her support in the state, she spectacularly miscalculated. Because the very voters, activists, volunteers, donors, and politicians who helped her win her seat back in 2018 are eager to oust her via primary in 2024.
A new poll in the state found that her support among Democrats is a pathetic 8 percent.
That’s definitely not enough to win in a primary, especially if Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) runs against her. Gallego is a retired Marine who has spent seven years representing Arizona in Congress. Unlike Sinema, he frequently returns to the state to meet with constituents and votes with their interests in mind. Sinema has betrayed the people of Arizona repeatedly in the last year, first by cruelly voting down a proposed minimum wage increase that would have helped many working families.
She has since stood in the way of every piece of Democratic legislation designed to help people, including a human infrastructure bill that would provide child care, healthcare, lower prescription drug prices, and other beneficial programs to the American people.
Sinema has made it clear that she is a Republican who only cares about getting paid by wealthy and corporate interest groups. Some of Sinema’s previous supporters, including EMILY’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice America, have already abandoned her because of her obstruction of voting rights. And 94 percent of progressives in Arizona support a primary challenge. Again, Gallego would likely win that challenge.
So why is Sinema acting the way she is in the Senate? She doesn’t appear concerned at all about her imploding political career unless she intends to switch parties and run as a Republican in 2024. But Arizona Republicans are beholden to Donald Trump, so it’s likely they will want a solid Trump sycophant as the candidate instead. In the end, it seems to be all about the money Sinema is raking in from right-wing and corporate interest groups. She is bought and paid for, meaning Arizona really only has one senator in Senator Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), who did vote to drop the filibuster requirement to pass voting rights.
Sinema has shown no remorse for her behavior and shows no signs that she will change any time soon. She made this choice herself, and what happens next is on her. It’s clear that Arizona Democrats have no choice but to primary her. And that’s exactly what is going to happen.
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