This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Many on the right are breathlessly talking about Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona as if she’s the next Ronald Reagan: fawning all over her, commenting on how beautiful she is and how they’d like to see her on a vice presidential ticket for president. It’s true she’s provided crucial assistance blocking radical leftist bills or watering them down. But overall, her voting record isn’t that much different than most Democrats.
In 2018, when she first ran for the U.S. Senate, her lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union in the House of Representatives was 13. It’s only gone up to 14.59 in 2020, and is lower than it was in 2013. Similarly, the Heritage Foundation’s lifetime ranking of Sinema is 9. The truth is, she has merely opposed her own party on a few high-profile bills. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has voted against the party far more often, 8%, compared to Sinema’s miniscule 2.8%. As of June 7, she voted with President Joe Biden 100% of the time.
Democrats have been scrambling the past few years to explain Sinema’s aberrations, deliberately leaving out the most obvious explanation since it goes against their mantra — she has to in order to ensure reelection in a red state. It’s essentially the elephant in the room. They don’t want to admit that, since they’ve been falsely claiming that Arizona is turning purple or blue. Admitting Sinema votes with the Republicans because she’s worried about reelection might make it look like they admitted there was election fraud in 2020.
Politico said Sinema’s dissenting votes are “something of a mystery to her Democratic colleagues,” quoting numerous Democrats who said they are confused about her behavior. CNN dared to acknowledge the real reason, but said Sinema is mistaken — doubtful considering how bright Sinema is. “Part of what may be happening is that Sinema thinks that Arizona is a redder state than it actually is.”
While it’s true that Sinema is no longer as radical as she was in her early days in the Arizona Legislature, when she was awarded the Vladimir I. Lenin award by the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers for being the furthest left legislator, her record since supposedly becoming a moderate in the House of Representatives is still pretty bad.
Let Her Record Show
She voted to convict Donald Trump in both impeachment trials. She urged her colleagues to vote for the highly partisan January 6 commission to investigate the events at the U.S. Capitol (she didn’t vote herself, citing “a personal family matter”). She worked to pass the radical DREAM Act. NARAL rated her voting record on abortion 100% in 2020 and her record on the Second Amendment is about as bad.
She fooled people by campaigning on a platform that sounds very centrist, avoiding all mention of the Democratic Party. She spent hundreds of thousands of dollars while running for Congress on TV ads that are so vanilla it was impossible to tell whether she was a Republican or Democrat.
People can’t point to much that she’s done to oppose her party other than quibble over Biden’s Build Back Better bill and oppose abolishing the filibuster. She likely chose those issues since they are so high-profile, making her look more moderate than she really is. And there are a few more issues, such as illegal immigration and overturning Dodd-Frank, where she’s bucked the party.
Sinema also seems determined to fill the role of Arizona’s late Sen. John McCain as a maverick. If he could keep getting reelected by voting against his party on a few high-profile issues, she probably figures it’s a safe move for her.
Yes, we can be grateful to Sinema for blocking far left bills from her party. But she’s only doing it in order to get reelected in a red state, deep down she is still a lefty and not anyone suitable for president. Voting for someone because they’re “hot” is a terrible reason. You may as well vote for actress Alyssa Milano, who is considering running for Congress.
Key Races in 2022
Arizona is about to get a test of how blue it’s become in the other Senate seat up for election in 2022 held by Democrat Mark Kelly. It’s considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic-held seats in the Senate. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a former director from the Goldwater Institute who is championing election integrity, is challenging him and widely expected to take the seat. Similarly, newscaster turned political candidate Kari Lake, who identifies as a “Trump Republican,” is expected to replace the more moderate Doug Ducey as governor.
People point to Californians fleeing their state and moving to Arizona in droves, but only 19% of them are Democrats. It’s mainly Republicans fleeing; they are not turning Arizona blue. If anything, Arizona is becoming redder as Republicans widen their lead in voter registration. Sinema is very intelligent and understands this. Don’t be fooled by her. We can do a lot better for vice president — like a Republican.