Sinema’s decision to leave the Democratic Party sparks criticism and speculation

By Casey Harper (Centre Square)

US Senator from Arizona Kyrsten Sinema’s announcement that she was leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent sparked a flurry of speculation on Friday about what it could mean for the Democratic majority in the Senate and the future of the party itself. same.

After U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia defeated Herschel Walker earlier this week, Democrats found themselves with a 51-49 majority in the Senate, including independents who caucus with major political parties. That gave them breathing room after navigating a narrow 50-50 divide with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris’ deciding vote in the first two years of Biden’s administration.

Many have speculated that Sinema’s departure could pave the way for U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.V., to leave the party as well. Manchin and Sinema have been among the most centrist Democrats, often stopping, slowing or changing Biden’s agenda over the past two years.

“Joe Manchin is next, except he should go all out and become a Republican,” conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza said after Sinema’s announcement.

RELATED: Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema and the ‘secret weapon’ she uses against GOP men

As Biden has pushed his agenda since taking office, Manchin has raised worries about energy costs as well as concerns about inflation and increased federal spending, often Republican messaging points. Manchin’s resistance forced Democratic leaders to meet and accommodate him, even if they were still able to spend trillions of dollars in new federal spending.

Warnock’s victory this week gave Senate Democrats hope they could be freed from that kind of restoration, but Sinema’s decision could dash those hopes.

At the same time, the House Republican majority could render discussion moot unless Democrats are able to sway some House Republicans for their agenda.

Critics said Sinema’s decision was self-serving and aimed to avoid a tough Democratic primary because of his moderate stances.

“Rather than risk a primary defeat, she’s created a scenario where if the Democrats field a 2024 overall nominee, they risk starting the race for people like Kari Lake,” said Matthew Gertz of Media Matters.

Sinema explained his decision in an op-ed with the Arizona Republic.

“There is a disconnect between what ordinary Americans want and deserve from our politics and what political parties are offering,” she wrote. “Becoming independent will not change my job in the Senate; my service in Arizona remains the same.

Related: Kyrsten Sinema quits the Democratic Party – goes independent

Sinema blasted Washington, DC, partisanship, saying it’s hard to do anything.

“Arizonans expect our leaders to follow this example – put political games aside, work together, make progress, then step aside so we can build a better life for ourselves and our families,” a- she writes. “It’s no surprise that Washington, DC often fails to reflect this expectation. Ordinary Americans are increasingly being left behind by the rigid partisanship of national parties, which has hardened in recent years. Pressures from both parties pull leaders to the edges, allowing the loudest and most extreme voices to determine their respective parties’ priorities and expecting the rest of us to comply.

Republicans hailed Sinema’s decision.

“Good to see [Sinema] leave the Democratic Party,” said U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert, R-Colo. “This year alone we have had [Tulsi Gabbard and] Senator Sinema – both top Democrats – is switching parties. I hope many more will see the light!

Arizona Democrats attacked her.

“Through several landmark pieces of legislation and the help of Senator Sinema, Democrats have made tremendous strides in providing this to Arizonans,” Arizona Democratic Party Chairman Terán said. “However, Arizonans also need their voting rights protected and corporations paying their fair share. Unfortunately, in those areas, Senator Sinema fell short, leaving the Arizonans behind. As a party, we welcome independent voters and their views. Senator Sinema may now be registered as an independent, but she has shown that she caters to corporations and billionaires, not Arizonans. Senator Sinema’s party membership means nothing if she continues not to listen to her constituents.

Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.

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