The anger on the left towards Kyrsten Sinema is palpable, with politicians and media figures alike crusading against the Arizona senator for opposing the Bernie Sanders budget. She and Joe Manchin, who is also taking an absolute beating from his own party, are standing in the gap for fiscal sanity as Democrat leadership make an irresponsible, inflation-booming attempt to “transform” the economy.
The attacks are becoming more and more direct, and Ro Khanna, a “rising” Democrat star in the House, launched his last night against Sinema. In doing so, he revealed a delusion that exists on the left in regards to what power they truly hold. He also just managed to completely own himself, which is always good to see from a Democrat.
.@RepRoKhanna: "Senator Sinema has been treated like a head of state. I've never requested or met with the president in the Oval Office. I meet with his staff. She meets with him like everyday… she's a first term Senator." https://t.co/7ax05999RW pic.twitter.com/BpW57jLCBn
— The Hill (@thehill) October 1, 2021
He’s so close to figuring it out and just can’t quite get there. You see, the reason the president isn’t meeting with Khanna and that he’s being relegated to chasing White House staffers is that he, like the rest of his progressive colleagues, has no leverage. There is nothing Khanna has to offer that can somehow move these negotiations forward. In effect, he is a nobody while Sinema is a somebody.
Political power is not derived from ideological purity, something that was learned during the Tea Party era as the establishment of the GOP still firmly remained in control. It comes from either having something to offer or from having the ability to blow up an offer. Sinema falls in the latter category, and that is driving the left batty. As Manchin said yesterday, if the liberals want to rule the roost, they should go elect more liberals. A “majority,” especially one that’s split 50/50, does not carry with it a mandate to bully the more moderate members into cosplaying the Great Society.
For Democrats to take the position that Sinema and Manchin owe them anything is delusional. It’s also self-destructive. Does anyone believe these attacks are moving Sinema? If anything, she seems to revel in drop-kicking her colleagues when they go after her. She also has no incentive to give the progressives what they want. Sinema, despite being a liberal on most issues, understands politics. She gets that a backlash against the far-left is coming in 2022 and that it could continue into 2024. Given that, she understands that getting in bed with Nancy Pelosi is politically foolish.
So Khanna and others can flail about all they want. It’s not going to make a difference. Manchin resides in a state that went for Trump by 30 points. Sinema is from a state that is primed for a move back towards the GOP. They are far smarter than their short-sighted progressive friends, and in reality, are saving Democrats from themselves.