By leaving the Democratic Party, Kyrsten Sinema proves she’s a bigger diva than Broadway’s first Evita, Patti LuPone
Two days after Senate Democrats celebrated Raphael Warnock’s runoff victory in Georgia to give the Party a 51-49 majority, Arizona Democratic senator (and model for senatorial workplace decorum) Kyrsten Sinema announced she was leaving the Party to become an independent.
And not only that, unlike the two other former Democratic, now independent senators, Bernie Sanders (Vermont) and Angus King (Maine), both of whom caucus with Democrats making them de facto Democrats, Sinema did not indicate with which Party she would caucus.
Talk about buzz kill!
In declaring her new status, Sinema said “I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington,” offering no evidence that there really are “growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics.”
Several observers believe that Sinema’s announcement to switch political affiliation confirms her “diva status” by keeping herself in the spotlight. But perhaps more importantly, it allows her to avoid what is likely to be primary challenges in 2024 when she is up for re-election.
As reported by The Washington Post, “She has angered quite a few Democrats in the Grand Canyon state, so much so that she was likely to face a Democratic primary challenge in a 2024 reelection bid. The lawmaker has been repeatedly criticized by the Democratic Party’s base for not being on board with core liberal priorities, including increasing the minimum wage.”
The Post went on to report, “Sinema did not say whether she would seek reelection in 2024. [But] In announcing her switch in party affiliation, she avoids a direct challenge from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) in the Democratic primary.”
Sinema has blocked Democratic attempts to increase taxes on corporations and Wall Street and has been accused of kowtowing to for her wealthy donors. Which, of course, fits in nicely with the allusions to “Evita,” as this slightly altered song suggests:
Coming so soon after Kari Lake’s unfounded claims of voter fraud in her losing campaign for Arizona governor (a claim that she said she would not have made if she won!), Sinema’s switch in affiliation simply confirms what we know of the Grand Canyon state (with apologies to Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice).