by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If it’s “honorable” and “brave” when a Republican man bucks his own party, what’s it called when a Democratic woman does the same thing? In the case of Kyrsten Sinema, I’m almost afraid to find out.
The Arizona senator announced Friday that after nearly two decades as a Democrat, she was switching her party affiliation to independent, stupefying liberals and Democrats in her own party, now unsure as to what it means for the Democratic majority in the Senate.
There’s nothing off brand about it. She literally tweeted after her first Senate victory in 2018, “I’ll be an independent voice for all Arizonans.” And Sinema routinely agitates her caucus by either demonstrating a willingness to side with Republicans or by withholding support for Democratic legislation that isn’t closer to her own political preferences. In recent months, Sinema has opposed eliminating the legislative filibuster and a major social welfare package pushed by the Biden administration, both of which were priorities for her former party.
As part of the routine, liberals and Democrats are once again doubting her sincerity, belittling her competence and insulting her very presence as an elected senator. But only after attacking her in the most viciously sexist ways.
Channeling the spirit of mean girls everywhere, GQ magazine writer Gabriella Paiella wrote on Twitter, “It’s so crazy that Kyrsten Sinema is a senator when she would be soooo much happier running a burlesque-themed knitting store that also sells those retro signs of housewives saying things like ‘I’m not a bitch, I just play one in your life.’”
Sunny Hostin of ABC’s “The View” rattled off a bunch of Sinema’s approval ratings by demographic and sniffed, “They’re still gonna not like her.”