[guest post by Dana]
It’s refreshing to see a politician remain undeterred by their party’s pressure for conformity of thought and vote their conscience in an effort to serve the best interests of their constituents. When she was elected to represent Arizona in the Senate, Kyrsten Sinema was the first Democrat elected to a Senate seat in 30 years. In her victory speech, she made it very clear that she intended to do what Arizonans were clamoring for: focus on common goals and bridge the political divides in her state. Arizonans, she recognized, simply wanted the state to work as it should, and to work without all hyper-partisan nuttery that is Washington:
As your Senator, that’s exactly what I’ll do. Not by calling names or playing political games, but by showing up and doing the work to keep Arizona moving forward.
So far she has charted her own course. Too bad for her, though, that’s against the Party rules. As a result of being a political centrist, the Progressive Caucus wing of Arizona Democratic Party are up in arms, and have submitted a resolution of censure:
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is facing a censure vote from the Arizona Democratic Party, brought by progressives who deem her politics too accommodating to President Donald Trump at the expense of Democratic values.
The Arizona Democratic Party is planning to hold a vote this week to determine whether Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) should be censured.
The Arizona Republic reports the censure vote is due to the fact that progressives in the state Democratic Party see her as too accommodating to President Trump and his policies.
Those seeking to censure Sinema point to her vote to confirm David Bernhardt, Trump’s nominee to serve as secretary of the Interior, as well as her vote to confirm William Barr as Attorney General, the news outlet notes.
Additionally, progressives in the Arizona Democratic Party cite Sinema’s resistance to joining fellow Democrats in trying to reinstate net neutrality rules to prevent internet service providers from throttling websites.
Here is precisely what’s bothering Democrats:
FiveThirtyEight’s Trump Tracker found that Sinema has opposed Trump during her time in the Senate 81 percent of the time. During her time in the House, where she served three terms, she supported Trump’s agenda 54% of the time.
Dan O’Neal, the state coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America, asserts that Sinema’s centrist ways are unacceptable:
“Here’s the thing: We really support Kyrsten Sinema, we want her to succeed, we want her to be the best senator in the country,” O’Neal said. “But the way she is voting is really disappointing. We want Democrats to vote like Democrats and not Republicans.”
In contrast to O’Neals’s observations, Arizona’s Democratic Party chairwoman, Felecia Rotellini, demonstrated a little of her own independent thinking when discussing the censure (which she isn’t convinced will pass):
“We are a very diverse group and that means diversity of thought, as well,” Rotellini said. “I don’t think it reflects poorly on the party at all, I don’t think it’s an indication of a fracture. I think it’s an indication of a group of people who think differently and have a different perspective on the same topic.”
Here is the resolution. The vote to bring it to the floor will be held on Saturday.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)