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A Tale of Two Democrats

One is a surprisingly moderate, pragmatic politician. The other is running for President.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Okay, that isn’t quite accurate. Given the dumpster fire that is modern politics, I should say it’s more like just the worst of times—but I wouldn’t want you to think me a pessimist. And, fortunately, you can find a few bright spots here and there, if you’re willing to look hard enough. Take Krysten Sinema, for instance. She’s the Democrat from Arizona who took over Jeff Flake’s seat—and as it turns out, in spite of her Green Party past and staking out old positions that put her pretty much on the hard left, has not only governed as a moderate, but comported herself as one.

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not as though Sinema has gone all conservative. She’s still a darling among the Planned Parenthood set, and it’s not likely that the Club for Growth will have her as a keynote speaker any time soon. Sinema has, however, become a vocal advocate of America’s military and our veterans, and even applauded Donald Trump during the last State of the Union when the President touted the strong economy and historically low minority unemployment—this, while the rest of the Democrat caucus sat on their hands.

Well, it seems that this hasn’t settled very well with Arizona progressives, who are now spearheading an effort to bring Sinema to heel.

From the article:

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is facing a censure vote from the Arizona Democratic Party, brought by progressives who deem her politics too accommodating to President Donald Trump at the expense of Democratic values. 

And what would those values be, exactly? Does it have anything to do with policy positions and carrying out the will of Arizona voters? Nah, it only has to do with not being down enough with the #Resistance.

While Sinema’s political centrism has earned her Republican support, it has grated on progressives — some of whom silently protested her during a state fundraising dinner in downtown Phoenix. Democratic state committeemen will consider the resolution on Saturday, at the Arizona Democratic Party’s quarterly meeting.

They cite in particular her vote to confirm Trump’s nominee, David Bernhardt, to serve as secretary of the Interior, and her vote to confirm William Barr as U.S. attorney general. They also cited her resistance to join Democrats in trying to reinstate “net-neutrality” rules to prevent internet providers from throttling any websites. The Progressive Caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party is bringing the resolution.

Never mind that Sinema just might understand that it’s the President’s prerogative under the Constitution to appoint members of his own Cabinet, and that as long as the appointees are qualified there isn’t any good reason to stand in their way. And forget that Sinema could have her own opinions on whether or not so-called net neutrality was actually good for her constituents. She didn’t fall in line with opposing the Trump administration at every turn, and we can’t have that, can we?

Dan O’Neal, the state coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America, told The Arizona Republic the censure is intended to encourage Sinema to move back toward the left, where her political career began.

“Here’s the thing: We really support Kyrsten Sinema, we want her to succeed, we want her to be the best senator in the country,” O’Neal said. “But the way she is voting is really disappointing. We want Democrats to vote like Democrats and not Republicans. “

In other words, “Nice career you got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.”

Of course, this is politics—and politics is politics, which makes for only a slightly cleaner business than those chaps who blast fatbergs out of the London sewer. As the article notes, Republicans did the same thing with John McCain back when he was a pain in George W. Bush’s patootie—but then again, McCain didn’t oppose everything that Bush did, even though he felt more than a little spite at losing the 2000 primary.

On the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, we have Uncle Joe Biden—the guy who used to have a reputation for being moderate, but is steadily squandering that because of a Democrat base that now expects its presidential hopefuls to evoke Eva Peron as channeled through the spirit of Che Guevara. Doubtless this is confusing to ol’ Joe, who seems to have trouble these days remembering where he is or to whom he gave a medal, when he’s not fighting off gangstas like “Corn Pop” and the occasional eyeball hemorrhage. Biden’s latest gaffe, though, crosses firmly into dazed and confused territory—which makes me wonder if maybe Corn Pop got a few jabs in after all:

Maybe those extra 390 million people—all women, of course—live in the 57 states Barack Obama talked about on the campaign trail?

At any rate, it seems to me that the Democrats have bigger problems that Krysten Sinema not toeing the progressive line—specifically, that their current presidential front runner seems to be a few boxes shy of a Kellogg’s Variety Pack.

Priorities, priorities.


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