(The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.)
It continues to amuse me how presumably-conservative keyboard warriors latch onto — and sing the praises of — various Democrat “renegades,” including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona (the Democrat darling of the pseudo-right), who recently announced she was leaving the Democrat Party. The question is, Sinema might be “leaving,” but how far away is she going?
So in an effort to get a few things on the record, mostly the reasons she left the Democrat Pary to register as an Independent, Sinema penned an op-ed for the Arizona Republic, in which she said, fundamentally:
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 pulled further and further toward extremism.
The Arizonan correctly called the “two choices” option a “false choice.”
I know oodles of “Republicans” who claim the same — that neither party is right all the time or wrong all the time — yet write and talk completely the opposite. Why? Dunno, don’t care — but I do think it’s hypocritical.
In my view, principled objectivity matters, as long as it comports with constitutionally conservative views, and blatant hypocrisy on either side is inexcusable. Again, I know a whole lot of people who say they believe the same, yet more than a few whose words and actions simply don’t align with their claims.
And What of Sinema?
Sinema wrote at length about the “fringe elements” of both Democrats and Republicans, including:
Everyday Americans are increasingly left behind by national parties’ rigid partisanship, which has hardened in recent years. Pressures in both parties pull leaders to the edges, allowing the loudest, most extreme voices to determine their respective parties’ priorities and expecting the rest of us to fall in line.
In catering to the fringes, neither party has demonstrated much tolerance for diversity of thought. Bipartisan compromise is seen as a rarely acceptable last resort, rather than the best way to achieve lasting progress. Payback against the opposition party has replaced thoughtful legislating.
However, with Sinema’s announcement about leaving the Democrat Party, little in the mix is likely to change. She’s still expected to vote mostly with the Democrats and may only be strategically positioning herself for re-election in 2024. That’s not uncommon — particularly if a lawmaker believes he or she stands a chance of being primaried. But celebrating on the right as some sort of “victory” is naive.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sinema was encouraged by Democrat House members who might also believe that running as an Independent instead of a Democrat in 2024 might make for a more successful Sinema re-election campaign.
Consider what Cal Thomas noted in a recent op-ed:
In a strong indication of the Democrats’ confidence in the vast majority of Sinema’s votes,
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), has said she’ll keep her committee assignments. A Wall Street Journal editorial notes that ‘Sinema voted for President Biden’s priorities some 90 percent of the time this Congress. Where her independence mattered in the last two years is preserving the Senate filibuster and opposing the worst elements of the Biden Build Back Better plan.’
So, while Sinema says both parties have extreme elements, she’ll likely continue to vote — 90 percent of the time or more — with the Democrats. New uniform, maybe, but running the same, old plays.
Tulsi Gabbard and the ‘Elitist Cabal’
In contrast, Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard, who announced her departure from the Democrat Party in October, made no bones about her disgust with the party of Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, and co. More than a year after retiring from the House in 2021, Gabbard attacked the party in a nearly 30-minute video posted to her YouTube account. While she didn’t announce plans to join the Republican Party or any other political affiliation, she did take it to the Democrat Party — strong:
I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, actively working to undermine our God-given freedoms, are…
That’s how you leave the Democrat Party. That is, unless you’ve only left the Democrat label behind.
I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, are… pic.twitter.com/oAuTnxZldf
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) October 11, 2022
Still, as is the case with Manchin and Sinema, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Gabbard announce she’s a registered Republican anytime soon. Then again, we won’t see the Hawaiian caucusing with the Democrats, either. Anyway, sports fans, Kyrsten Sinema is no Tulsi Gabbard.