Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) roasted Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) during his interview on CNN’s State of the Union. As an Independent caucusing with the Democrats, Sanders forcefully called the Arizona legislator “a corporate Democrat.” The Vermont senator derided Senima for helping turn America into an oligarchy and wholeheartedly believes the self-described “maverick” senator “sabotaged” the Democrats when she came out as an Independent.
The talk show guest claimed that Sinema would never take on special interests given how she has voted in the past. Although NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd said that she voted with President Joe Biden “90 percent of the time.” Sanders continued on State of the Union:
“She doesn’t. She is a corporate Democrat, who has in fact, along with Senator Manchin (D-VW) sabotaged enormously important legislation.’
Just three days after the Democrats won a true majority with Senator Raphael Warnock’s (D-GA) hard-fought race, Sinema said she was going to leave the Democrat Party and become an Independent. The Dems had been celebrating holding 51 senators against the Republicans’ 49 senators. Then, Sinema left her party, cutting the Democrats’ majority celebration short.
‘I think, the Democrats, they’re not all that enthusiastic about somebody who helps sabotage some of the most important legislation that protects the interests of working families and voting rights and so forth. So I think it really has to do with her political aspirations for the future in Arizona. But for us, I think nothing much has changed in terms of the functioning of the U.S. Senate.’
The Democrats were livid. But the party said it would let the senator keep her committee assignments, since she indicated she would align herself with the Democratic Caucus. Senators Angus King (I-ME) has also been an Independent as well as Sanders.
By caucusing with the Democrats, Sinema allowed the party to retain control of the Senate. And, actually, the Arizona senator has not said whether she intends to run again in 2024. Now the question becomes, “Will the Democrats nominate a Democrat to run against Sinema in 2024?” Sanders talked about why she left the Democrats’ party:
‘I happen to suspect that it’s probably a lot to do with politics back in Arizona.’
Sanders pointed out that Sinema and Senator Manchin were both moderate Democrats, and they managed to kill a number of important Biden bills either individually or separately.
Sinema was against getting rid of the legislative filibuster. This was crucial, because the Senate needs 60 votes to pass most bills. Progressive Democrats also believed that she was in bed with corporations, because she was against the Democrats’ large “social spending bill.”
In response to the Democratic criticism, Sinema sent an op-ed to The AZ Central. She wanted to tell her constituents why she jumped party:
‘Americans are told that we have only two choices – Democrat or Republican – and that we must subscribe wholesale to policy views the parties hold, views that have been pulled further and further toward the extremes. Most Arizonans believe this is a false choice, and when I ran for the U.S. House and the Senate, I promised Arizonans something different.’
It is possible that Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) would take Sinema on in the next general election.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Christie writes Gloria Christie Reports & Three White Lions Substack newsletters and a Three White Lions podcast available on Apple, Spotify, etc. She is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress). Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions her book on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc.