Musings on Sports, Politics and Life in general

A Senate Stunner


I’ve seen (at last count) ten gajillion articles trying to decipher AZ Senator Sinema’s decision to register as an independent. I don’t think I read one that gets it right.

I think the vast majority of us are reasonably well-plugged into politics at various levels. Some (ok, maybe more than some) of us have been watching and been part of elections since before the invention of fire, so nothing should surprise us. And yet, everyone seems to be.

Ms. Sinema was always much further left than the typical Democrat on social issues but to the right of even some Republicans on fiscal issues. Further, she’s been a proponent of the traditional rules of the Senate. So while registered as a Democrat and voting with party leadership more than 98% of the time, the former Green Party candidate never really fit into a neat “D” shaped box.

All of this might seem incidental, but for over a year she’s been the target of the leftist base of the Democrats. There are a couple of other Democrats who are also targets, but the biggest difference in her case is Reuben Gallego. Mr. Gallego is a former congressman and very popular in AZ among leftists. He’s already gearing up for a primary run and had an excellent chance of defeating Ms. Sinema, whose approval ratings among AZ Democrats mirrors the President’s overall approval.

In short, if there was a Democrat ready to declare as an independent after Democrats secured a 51st seat, it was Kirsten Sinema.

Now going forward, not much will change in the Senate’s composition. As mentioned previously, she’s voted with near unanimity with Democratic leadership. There’s no reason to suspect that will change now. She is keeping her committee assignments. If anything, Majority Leader Schumer can be expected to throw even more olive branches her way, as her vote will be crucial to many of his priorities (not least of which is keeping one AOC off his heels in NY).

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