MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who worked as a Senate staffer for years and has an abiding love for the institution of the Senate, didn’t hold anything back in tearing Sen. Kyrsten Sinema a new one for her performance politics speech defending the Senate filibuster rule.
Rush transcript (excerpt):
“I have never, never, heard a more contemptuous speech by a Democratic senator than the one written by Kyrsten Sinema’s Senate staff and read by Senator Sinema on the Senate floor today. The speech was filled with contempt for Senator Sinema’s Democratic colleagues, and her constituents, and for all of you.
Senator Sinema expresed that contempt by delivering a nonstop insult to the intelligence of everyone who was listening. She filled her 20 minutes on the Senate floor with a string of Hallmark greeting card like platitudes about how the United States Senate should work, and not a single word about the reality of why the United States Senate no longer works.
In announcing her opposition to changing Senate rules in any way in order to pass voting rights legislation by a simple majority vote, Senator Sinema said this:
“Eliminating the 60 vote threshold will simply guarantee that we lose a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy from threats in the years to come. “
It is hard to think of a stuider thing that could be said about the 60 vote threshold. That was Senator Sinema claiming that the 60 vote rule in the Seante is, quote, “a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy.“
It is, in fact, the single most anti-democracy rule that exists in American government. If Senator Sinema said a single true thing about the 60 vote rule today I would push the play button forthat right now, and let you har it. She didn’t. NOT ONE TRUE WORD about the 60 vote rule.
So here is something untrue that Senator Sinea said about her own history with the 60 vote threshold:
“There’s no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60 vote threshold to pass legislation. There’s no need for me to restate its role in protecting our country from wild reversals in federal policy.”
Quoting Sinema: ” My longstanding support for the 60 vote threshold to pass legislation.” (Look of disgust).
Here is Kyrsten Sinema in 2010 discussing the 60 vote threshold while she mocks a Democrstic senator for being insufficiently loyal to the Democratic Party.” [Irony is dead.]
Sinema lied today when she claimed she has always been a supporter of the 60 vote threshold. https://t.co/e7fFRxchdB
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) January 13, 2022
One of the differences about that speech is that no one wrote that for her. She wsn’t reading that. So maybe, maybe, that means that’s what she actually thought. That version of Kyrsten Sinema before she came to Washington, wanted to use the simple majority vote in the United States Senate “for good instead of evil.”
She said that the Republicans never got 60 votes. She didn’t say that as a complaint, she said that admiring the Republican tactical ability to pass legislation without having to get 60 votes.
We cannot know what Kyrsten Sinema actually believes, or if she actually believes anything at all. But we do know that she did not support her position today with logic, intellgence or truth.
Senator Sinema did tell us how she feels about the unanimous opposition to voting rights legislation by every Republican in the United States Senate:
“I share the disappointment of many that we have not found more support on the other side of the aisle for legislativeresposes to state level voting restrictions. I wish that were not the case.“
“Disappointed.” She’s disappointed in the Republicans. When Kyrsten Sinema ran for the United States Senate she did not say that she would bring all of her legislative and policy goals in the United States Seante to the Republcian leader of the Senate and try to gt Republcian approval [permission] of her agenda. That’s not what she told Arizona voters. But that is her position now. Republicans have to approve everything Kyrsten Sinema wants to do or she won’t even try to do it. She will just stand at her desk in th United States Senate and be “disapointed.” And she will give up if Republcians don’t want to do what she wants to do. She will give up. That’s what she is saying today.
Presient Joe Biden today said he is not giving up. Prsident Biden attended the Democratic Senator’s lucheon today, where it is reported that Kyrsten Sinema sat looking at her phone for most of the time. [Capping off a day of contemptuous behavior].
Senator Sinema’s speech on the Senate floor before the luncheon did not dissuade Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) fron delivering a passionate talk during that luch about changing Seante rules, and that speech received standing ovation in that room.
I assume that Kyrsten Sinema remained seated, or had already left the room.