Sen. Kyrsten Sinema takes a perverse pleasure in trolling the voters who elected her to office as a Democrat. This is not normal or healthy behavior for a senator.
The Washington Post reports, Sinema, McConnell engage in mutual admiration — and some Democrats seethe:
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on Monday engaged in a mutual admiration exchange with the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), expressed support for restoring elements of the filibuster and suggested that Republicans might win control of the House or Senate in the midterm elections.
Sinema delivered a speech on “The Future of Political Discourse and the Importance of Bipartisanship” at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center, named after the senior Kentucky senator, who introduced Sinema at the event. (h/t Busienss Insider).
Sen. Sinema begins at 27:17 in video.
Several Democrats were unhappy, criticizing not only her remarks but her timing.
Sinema made the comments during a speech at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville, speaking and answering questions at the invitation of McConnell. There, McConnell effusively praised Sinema in his introduction, saying she is the “most effective first-term senator” he’s seen during his 37 years in the Senate. [Oh, please. This is objectively false.]
“She is, today, what we have too few of in the Democratic Party: a genuine moderate and a dealmaker,” he said.
Sinema, for her part, spoke highly of McConnell. “Despite our apparent differences, Sen. McConnell and I have forged a friendship, one that is rooted in our commonalities, including our pragmatic approach to legislating, our respect for the Senate as an institution,” she said.
Like you, I just threw up in my mouth a little. I have oft repeated in several postings over the years, including this one, The ‘Enemy of The People,’ Mitch McConnell, is the real radical (snippet):
As Dana Milbank wrote, Mitch McConnell, the man who broke America:
By rights, McConnell’s tombstone should say that he presided over the end of the Senate. And I’d add a second line: “He broke America.” No man has done more in recent years to undermine the functioning of U.S. government. His has been the epitome of unprincipled leadership, the triumph of tactics in service of short-term power.
* * *
As Charles Pierce says, There Is No More Loathsome Creature Walking Our Political Landscape Than Mitch McConnell:
He doesn’t have the essential patriotism god gave a snail. He pledges allegiance to his donors, and they get what they want. He’s selling out his country, and he’s doing it in real-time and out in the open. This is worse than McCarthy or McCarran ever were. Mitch McConnell is the the thief of the nation’s soul.
As historian Christopher Browning has written, “If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell.” The Suffocation of Democracy.
And 70 former senators in an open letter in the Washington Post rebuked McConnell’s years-long destruction of the Senate and called upon senators for “the creation of a bipartisan caucus of incumbent senators who would be committed to making the Senate function as the Framers of the Constitution intended.”70 former U.S. senators: The Senate is failing to perform its constitutional duties.
Since 1993, dozens of Democrats and Republicans, diplomats and foreign leaders have spoken at the McConnell Center. Vice President Joe Biden did in February 2011; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) spoke in April of this year. But Sinema’s appearance came just weeks before midterm elections as several of her Democratic colleagues are campaigning to help the party hold onto the House and Senate in November.
“As you all know, control changes between the House and the Senate every couple of years. It’s likely to change again in just a few weeks” Sinema said. [Historically inaccurate.]
That angered Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), a potential challenger to Sinema in 2024.
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) September 26, 2022
Sinema has frequently expressed interest in the kind of bipartisanshipthat has frustrated her progressive Democratic colleagues, particularly when Republicans used the filibuster to block them from passing climate, abortion and voting rights legislation. Democrats had called for scrapping it to enact key parts of their agenda ahead of the midterm elections, while they control the White House and Congress. The appointment of judges and key administration officials has also been slowed by Republican use of the filibuster.
“I have an incredibly unpopular view,” Sinema told the crowd in Kentucky. After saying she supported requiring 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate — where her party controls only 50 seats — Sinema said she wanted to go even further. “I actually think we should restore the 60-vote threshold for the areas in which it has been eliminated already. We should restore it,” she said, before pausing to let the audience applaud their approval.
Note: Not one voter voted for you to do this. You are not a Queen, despite how you think of yourself, you are answerable to your constituents in a representative democracy. You have betrayed your constituents.
Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) eliminated the 60-vote threshold for federal judges in 2013. McConnell, in 2017, scrapped the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees as the Senate considered President Donald Trump’s nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch.
“Frustration” with the filibuster, Sinema said, “represents solely the short-term angst of not getting what you want. And those of you who are parents in the room know that the best thing you can do for your child is not give them everything they want.”
Oh, so now this flake thinks that she is the adult in the room?
She argued that bad laws emerge without the kind of consensus that a filibuster can force. As proof, Sinema pointed to the House where no filibuster rule exists. “When Republicans are in control, they pass a little bit of crazy legislation,” she said. “And when the Democrats are in control, they pass a little bit of crazy legislation. And the job of the Senate is to cool that passion.”
She criticized both Trump and President Biden for talking about eliminating the filibuster as well as both parties on immigration and border security.
“For my entire lifetime,” the 46-year-old senator said, “the federal government has absolutely failed, absolutely failed in its charter to protect our border. We have not had a secure border my entire life.” But, after the election, Sinema said she would connect with “my good friend” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) to work on the issue.
“The two of us from different political parties, but sharing the same core values. We recognize the crisis that we’re in and we want to solve it.”
Do you remember why comprehensive immigration reform did not pass a Republican Congress with a Repubicnan president in 2007? Sen. John Cornyn. JOHN CORNYN’S WEASELLY IMMIGRATION RECORD (excerpt):
On a June afternoon in 2007, U.S. Senator John Cornyn sounded eminently reasonable. In a floor speech, the rangy, snow-haired Texan said that of all the legislative issues he’d wrangled with during his four and a half years in the Senate, immigration reform had produced the most controversy. “Passion,” he avowed, “can produce more heat than light, but what we need is some light and some clear thinking and some better solutions to our broken borders and our broken immigration system.”
Less than two hours before, Cornyn had voted against a comprehensive immigration reform bill, the fruit of months of bipartisan negotiations and a Hail Mary attempt to salvage President George W. Bush’s otherwise disastrous second term. The measure died by a tally of 46-53.
Frank Sharry, a long-time immigration reform advocate, had decamped with allies to a bar near the Capitol to mourn the bill’s defeat. When the senator from Texas appeared on a television screen, Sharry’s blood pressure rose. “We’re sitting there just heartbroken; this was probably the last chance we would have for reform for many, many years,” said Sharry, now director of the pro-immigrant nonprofit America’s Voice. “And who takes to the floor? John Cornyn, to give a 15-minute speech on the need for immigration reform. I swear to God, if I could have reached through the TV and throttled the motherfucker, I would have.”
If that reaction seems a tad trenchant, consider that Cornyn’s 2007 vote was part of a pattern. Throughout the years, the Houston native claimed to be open to comprehensive immigration reform. When Cornyn took over the Senate’s immigration subcommittee in 2005, he wrote: “We must address the need for better border security … while acknowledging the important contributions that immigrants make to our economy.” The anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform bemoaned his ascension to chairman, while the pro-immigrant organization the National Immigration Forum saw it as “a hopeful sign.”
But a gulf would open between the senator’s actions and words. In 2006, 2007, and 2013, Cornyn voted against hard-fought compromises that made it to the Senate floor and, in his critics’ eyes, further undermined the bills through grandstanding and bad faith amendments.
If Sen. Sinema’s “friends” are the Senate GQP leadership, i.e., Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, she is an incredibly poor judge of character. Then she is of questionable character herself, so there’s that.
Cornyn and Sinema were part of a bipartisan group that worked on successful gun control legislation following the deadly mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Tex. [The bill did the very bare minimum.]
Sinema’s appearance crystallized what her critics have said is the freshman senator’s problematic alliance with the Republicans, whose agenda many Democrats argue is harmful to the country.
Keith Olbermann, the former ESPN “SportsCenter” and MSNBC host, went on Twitter to criticize her comments and, in so doing, revealed that they had a personal relationship years earlier. “When we dated, in 2010-11, Kyrsten was a legit progressive, far to my left. Now she has embraced the Political Industry where there is only process, not policy, and never people.”
When we dated, in 2010-11, Kyrsten was a legit progressive, far to my left.
Now she has embraced the Political Industry™️ where there is only process, not policy, and never people.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) September 26, 2022
During the question-and-answer session, Sinema was asked whether it was harder to run for statewide office or run a marathon. Sinema — a self-described “avid marathoner”— said they were somewhat comparable and that after completing one recent marathon she “could barely walk in the Senate for the whole following week.”
Standing from the podium, she added, “I was walking around —” then slightly gyrated her body with her hands raised into fists, as if gripped on fixtures for support. “But you know, in the Senate that’s fine.” As the crowd laughed, she added, “Most of them struggle with walking anyways.”
So now Sinema is mocking od folks? Her best bud Mitch McConnell is 80; John Cornyn is 70.
Business Insider: Sinema has been polling poorly among her Democratic constituents in Arizona, who say they disapprove of the job she’s doing. A new poll commissioned by the AARP this month found that a majority of Arizona voters on both sides of the political aisle — 54% — view Sinema unfavorably.
UPDATE: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who worked as a senate aid for a number of years and is a student of senate history, did not hold back in condemning Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for her ‘relentless ignorance’ and ‘constitutional vandalism’:
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell unleashed a brutal fact-check on the one-time progressive activist. He began with the quote from Sinema saying, “those of you that are parents in the room know that the best thing that you can do for your child is not give them everything they want. Right?” Sinema doesn’t have children, has never been a parent and is divorced.
“Kirsten Sinema is not one of the parents, and a note to Sinema’s speech writers, most parents are not open to parenting advice from politicians who are not parents, or politicians period,” O’Donnell shot down. “Needless to say, Sen. Sinema’s parenting advice was every bit as bad as you would expect from somebody who has no idea what she is talking about.”
Her logic explains that because no one should ever get everything they want is the reason that she believes there should always be a 60-vote supermajority to vote on everything in the Senate.
“So numbers — she thinks that the 60 vote threshold ensures that nobody gets everything they want. There is not a single senator in the history of the United States Senate who has gotten everything that he or she wants, not ever,” said O’Donnell, who spent more years working in the U.S. Senate than Sinema. “Sen. Sinema did not give a single example of a bill being passed with less than 60 votes that was then repealed when there is a change in power in Congress and the White House. Not a single example of her theoretical justification for a voting threshold in the Senate that was not yet provided for in the Constitution, and which defies democracy.”
Sinema advocated restoring the 60-vote threshold for the Senate for all votes, including judges.
“Not everybody likes that because it would make it harder, harder for us to confirm judges, and it would make it harder to confirm executive appointments in each administration,” she confessed. In the case of executive appointments, Donald Trump simply had a slew of “acting” Secretaries because he couldn’t get them approved. So, a 60-vote threshold would simply ensure each president would be able to have whoever they wanted in their administration, regardless of their level of extremism.
“But I believe that if we did restore it, we could actually see more of that middle ground in all parts of our governance. That’s what I believe our forefathers intended,” said Sinema falsely.
If the Founding Fathers intended for there to be 60 votes to pass a bill, however, they likely would have mentioned something about it in the Constitution. They likely also would have indicated their desire for a 60-vote majority somewhere in the thousands of papers, letters, and documents that all of them wrote over the course of their lives after writing, debating and signing the Constitution.
“Our forefathers, as she called them, intended that women never be Senators,” O’Donnell explained. “Our forefathers intended that women never have the right to vote. Our forefathers did not intend for a place called Arizona to be represented in the United States Senate. When the Founding Fathers were writing the Constitution, the place we call Arizona was Spain. And the authors of the Constitution expected it to remain Spain. In 1821, when Mexico secured its independence from Spain, the place now called Arizona was in Mexico. When the United States took that land as the spoils of war, which is how we got Arizona, the Arizona territory eventually became the 48th state in 1912. Pretty late in the game. But that was the same year the constitutional amendment finally overruled the Founding Fathers, and allowed the United States Senators to be elected by the voters of the state, instead of the state legislatures, as the founders wanted them to be.”
He went on to say that if Sinema truly believed in what the forefathers advocated she would actually be staunchly opposed to the 60-vote majority, as the Constitution she purports to admire was very specific about the requirement of a majority vote, with the exception of treaties and impeachment convictions, which take a two-thirds vote.
“The number 60 never appears in the Constitution, which seems to live in her imagined version of the Constitution,” O’Donnell explained. “The simple majority vote is a dangerous and fickle threshold for governing in a democracy. Why should only five members of the United States Supreme Court get to decide the final interpretation of the law of the land? Why doesn’t Sen. Sinema advocate a minimum of a 60-vote threshold in the United States Supreme Court, instead of a majority? Why is the United States of America the only country that has a 60 percent threshold to win a vote in a national legislative body?”
O’Donnell also noted that the United States Constitution also says that “the President shall nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint judges of the Supreme Court. The Constitution does not say that Mitch McConnell shall prevent a nominated Supreme Court Justice from even being considered by the United States Senate for its consent as Mitch McConnell did to Merrick Garland in the last year of the Obama presidency.“
It’s worth noting, McConnell didn’t need 60 votes to do that either.
“Today, Kyrsten Sinema traveled to Kentucky to celebrate Mitch McConnell’s constitutional vandalism, and her own relentless ignorance, by saying this about Mitch McConnell,” he closed.