Will Krysten Sinema Change Parties?

Yves here. I had briefly considered whether Krysten Sinema or Joe Manchin might change parties last Thursday, when it was clear the Nancy Pelosi could not round up the votes to pass the infrastructure bill sent over from the Senate, and then deemed as Manchin as more likely to defect since he is a lone Democrat in a state dominated by Republicans. I have seen Sinema’s silence as her trying to have Manchin be the high profile bad guy, and riding on his slipstream. Politico contends that Sinema is running a dated playbook, that Arizona is becoming more blue and her sort of “centrism” is a bad place to be.

But Barkley Rosser’s reading is plausible. And Sinema being repeatedly accosted over her wanting to cut back the big Biden bill even further lays the groundwork for Sinema depicting herself as run out of the party (recall Biden basically said she should toughen up when asked about her being hounded in a bathroom).

By Barkley Rosser, Professor of Economics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Originally published at EconoSpeak

I have resisted posting something like this, but while I have yet to see anybody else suggest it, this possibility has been on my mind now for several days.

We have never seen to my knowledge a senator refuse to offer their views on possible resolution of a major disagreement involving money. The contrast to Sen. Sinema is her associate in the Senate in blocking various Dem initiatives (including undoing the filibuster, which would really open things up), Joe Manchin of WV. For how annoying he may be, at least we understand that he comes from one of the most pro-Trump states in the country, as well as the state being the heart of coal in the nation, so no surprise he resists limits on fossil fuels. So, no surprise he is resisting. But he art least actually provides numbers he wants and seems to be open to negotiation to come to a conclusion.

But Sinema is playing a game never seen before, ever. She says nothing. Apparently last week she had four private meetings at the White House with President Biden, yes, four. Apparently he tried really hard to get her to the Manchin stage, actually saying a number, much less details of what she would like to see removed from the current $3.5 trillion (over ten years) reconciliation bill. She may have hoped the House would pass the hard infrastructure bill, which she supports, so she and Manchin would have been in a position to either cherry pick details or outright block the soft reconciliation bill. I am unclear how much of her unprecedented behavior is a matter of ignorance and stupidity or something else.

So, here I am worrying about the something else. She was originally a Green, supporting Ralph Nader in 2000 when his campaign probably put Bush in instead of Gore. So, she has been drifting to the right, with this buzz about her personal life that got mocked on SNL last Saturday. So now we have this spectacle of her refusal to even meet with AZ voter groups has led to her being “harassed” as Fox News is now huffing and puffing about. Poor thing, people filming her in a restroom and confronting her in various public places. Poor thing.

Well, I am now getting suspicious of what she is up to here with all this, whether it comes before or after whatever resolution of all these big policy debates comes about, not to mention the matter of the debt ceiling issue, which would easily be handled if the filibuster would be shut down, which she could decisively support. But, hey, McConnell is looking at polls that suggest that if a failure to raise the debt ceiling leads to a major economic crash, a majority of voters will blame Biden and the Dems.

So we get reports that rather than meeting with AZ voters who supported her, much less saying a single word about a number or details on the reconciliation bill that might lead her to support it, she has been meeting repeatedly with various corporate funders giving her money and urging her to at least modify if not just outright oppose the reconciliaton bill. What does this mean?

I fear this is a prelude to a cataclysmic move: Sinema changing parties to the GOP. This would put the GOP in charge of the US Senate, with Mitch McConnell in charge there. This would be the end of basically anything Biden or other Dems would like to do at all in the Congress. Sinema already is more popular in the GOP than she is with Dems. With piles of corporate money, the GOP in the Senate would welcome her munificently and reward her greatly. But while this might make her a short-term star, AZ is changing, and Dems will make sure this is the last term she serves in the Senate if she follows through on this, and may well do so anyway through the primary process if she stays with the Dems while continuing to behave as she has been recently.

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  1. DJG, Reality Czar

    This posting is all much too speculative. There are lots of references to motives that no one has access to. The obligatory reference about Nader throwing the election to W. Bush doesn’t help: That’s an article of faith among liberals, a precursor to Russia Russia, to Jill Stein Is a Russian Stooge, and to “Nobody in the Senate Likes Bernie.”

    And this:
    I am unclear how much of her unprecedented behavior is a matter of ignorance and stupidity or something else.

    Well, I guess that we are in the Great Cloud of Unknowing.

    It is better to think of Sinema as typical of the kind of bad candidates being thrown at the electorate by the Democrats. Isn’t she part of the demographic ascendancy, or something? And politically–is she truly all that far from being a classic Clintonista?

    Not that I’ll exonerate the Republicans and their own forms of identity politics and well-cultivated fundamentalisms. Hey, she’s less repulsive that Tom Cotton, which isn’t saying much.

    And that’s where we are collectively. Kayfabe and sermons. Yumlicious.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Sinema as typical of the kind of bad candidates

      Sinema was boosted by Schumer, she received DSCC funding, and her campaign manager and top staffers were DSCC.

      In other words, she was not so much “typical” as chosen. I don’t imagine anybody thought she would play her obstructive role as flamboyantly as she is doing, but here we are. Rahm Emmanuel did exactly the same thing by installing obstructionist Blue Dogs in 2006, with the result that the Democrat Party was it was in 2008, resulting in among other things the years-long ObamaCare debacle. Maximum fundraisng, minimum governance, those are the parameters (plus maximum virtue signaling and moral panic churning).

      Now the party the Democrat leadership constructed so carefully is causing problems, when even the dimmest Democrats knows that at a minimum there’s a case for “doing something” that must be addressed, (Even Manchin knows this; we just don’t like his answers.) Rather like the famous machine that turns itself off.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Lambert Strether: Chosen. A clarifying word, indeed.

        Clarifying because the Democrats tend to portray themselves as victims of fate and of the machinations of Evil Republicans. That, ohhh, vast right-wing conspiracy.

        Chosen also reminds me of Adolph Reed’s criticisms of Obama, as someone groomed to be the acceptable black candidate, largely ceremonial, who would nevertheless service big capital and serve stagnation.

        Then Rahm was chosen to be mayor of Chicago, to service big capital and serve stagnation. With the side effect of diminishing the black population.

        Another Senator who was chosen is Tammy Duckworth, whose House race was bothered by the fact that she didn’t truly live in the district. And we’re talking Illinois, where that kind of local politics matters a great deal. So she was kicked upstairs (chosen for the Senate), where Dick Durbin seems to e telling her how to vote, because she’s politically a cipher.

        And Jackson Park, chosen for the Obama Luna Park, the archive with no papers.

        Yet the money keeps rolling in. Rahm is off to Japan, I guess, although his background and temperament are useless.

        Chosen. As long as the money pours down from the heavens like rain on the elites, decline isn’t much of a problem. Decline and degradation are for the little people.

        1. d w

          you might think she is a Manchurian candidate? it does happen, and will happen again, where either party elects some one that doesnt fit in their party. and then they find out how bad that turns out.

          but the last i checked, its the voters that ‘choose’ their senators. not the parties, and about the closest it van come, is if a senator cant complete their term, some states allow the governor to ‘appoint’ them, temporarily, cause an election has to be held asap.

          and have voters been tricked into electing some one that doesnt represent them? sure, happens all the time. but the next election may lead them to being fired too huh?

      2. Eric377

        When Schumer was boosting her at the most critical moment, Schumer had some very different views on things of great importance now. The Schumer that boosted her had negative interest in getting rid of filibusters for example.

        1. ptb

          IMO the Schumer that boosted Sinema wanted to be Senate Majority Leader. Everything else was bonus. Therefore, a DINO in the AZ seat was a more credible way to get to the primary goal than a “reliably Democratic” candidate.

      3. Darthbobber

        And he was boosting her even as she was publicly saying that she wouldn’t vote for him as minority leader and was striking poses about how the democratic leadership was betraying the electorate. (While keeping the nature of the betrayal vague enough that left, right, and center could all nod along.) Which gives an idea of how seriously that sort of thing is taken by all concerned.

        I’ll grant that in 2018 she was the strongest candidate running in that primary. I believe the anointed left challenger failed to crack 25%, which may make the DSCC boost little more than piling on for the likely winner.

    2. Harry

      This is the second time I have come across this speculation. The first time was from a very wealthy, very well connected Dem insider.

      Sinema is reported to want a few good paydays. This is a strategy which will lead to that.

      I would not dismiss it.

      1. albrt

        I could see Sinema joining the Republicans until 2024, but even she is not delusional enough to think she could win the Republican nomination in Arizona. So yeah, a few good paydays.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          If you think the national leadership would not commit to massive funding if she flipped, you are smoking something strong. Look at Newsom in CA. He was way behind in the recall until he dialed up the spending big time. Money makes campaigns.

      2. lordkoos

        I am neither wealthy or well connected but it seems no-brainer for her to switch when her term is up, and I had this same thought several days ago. It seems the logical move for her when her term is up as it seems that she will not budge on her positions — she has been bought and paid for.

        What I have difficulty with is the idea that there is nothing the Democrats can do to persuade her, which leads me to believe that this outcome is exactly what the party leadership wants.

      3. Ed S.

        The senior Senator is in an incredibly powerful position right now. She’s not up for re-election until 2024 and Mark Kelly is up in 2022. Here are her options:

        1) She eventually caves in from her current position and supports the D leadership and legislation moves forward. No longer as powerful and has made numerous enemies. Less of a chance of bigger payoff in the future as she didn’t deliver for her “constituents”. Less support likely in 2024 from D leadership.

        2) She holds fast and prevents the legislation from moving forward (note that this course may be exactly what the D leadership wants her to do). Possibly bigger payoff in the future for delivering for her “constituents”. Even more enemies in the D party and targeted for removal so she can’t run as the D incumbent in 2024 (she served her purpose and can be disposed with).

        3) Switches parties and delivers the Senate to R. End of Biden programs. R’s may not like her, but would owe her. Could run as a R incumbent in 2024. Maybe even bigger payoffs. Downside is she may not be trusted going forward.

        Option 3 is “nuclear” but may be the smart move for Sinema.

        1. Darthbobber

          Well, if we assume that the paydays are all that matters to her, then it’s believable that she really doesn’t care much about reelection.

          Pretty sure that in return for the services presently being rendered she can count on a quarter to half million a year sinecure with either a pharma company or one of the industry’s umbrella organizations. For something that will effectively be a part-time job. Not a bad addition to the Senatorial pension and health plan.

    3. vidimi

      agreed with this take, the article is chock-full of liberal brain syndrome and assumes so many things that are not in evidence (like democrats being the party of the ‘good guys’). it displays a childlike understanding of politics.

      The last thirty years have shown us that there is not much difference between democratic and republican governance such that party loyalty has been reduced to feelings of resentment and scorn of the other side. if you’re blue, you hate the uneducated, uppity hicks who refuse to do what’s good for them to spite you; if you’re red, you hate the condescending, hypocritical yuppies who talk down to you like insolent children. messaging around family, wokeness, equality differ but the polity does not.

      Policy-wise, Sinema (like most other members of congress) would be just as at home in either party, but the democrats need her in their villain rotation and the republicans wouldn’t accept her for her liberal bonafides. She would have nothing to gain from switching sides. this article could have been written about almost every other politician within the american bipartisan concensus.

      besides, what does it matter if she switches teams? her politics don’t change. it reminds me of all the well-meaning liberals on twitter lamenting that if things get worse under biden than they were under trump the latter will win again if he runs in 2024. but why would that be a bad thing if trump was better?

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        “Policy-wise, Sinema (like most other members of congress) would be just as at home in either party, but the democrats need her in their villain rotation and the republicans wouldn’t accept her for her liberal bonafides. She would have nothing to gain from switching sides. this article could have been written about almost every other politician within the american bipartisan concensus.”

        Indeed. This article seems to operate with the assumption that there’s a major difference between a Democrat and a Republican and that Sinema’s politics are out of step with the Democrats. Not that I can see. She’s just more in your face about it.

        And yes, you’re completely right that the Democrats need her (and have built her up, as Lambert points out) and the Republicans don’t. I see no benefits for her switching parties. On the contrary, she got four (yes, four, lol) private meetings with the president last week. Would a Republican Sinema have that much power?

        Same with Manchin for that matter.

    4. Alex Cox

      Thanks for pointing out the gratuitous and seemingly inevitable snide against Nader and the Greens. Whenever I get to one of those I stop reading the article.

      1. Wm Dawg

        Yes, that caught my attention also. A further perpetuating of the myth/ misrepresentation/ lie that Ralph Nader , and those who supported his viewpoints, were responsible for Bush’s supreme court sponsored / “stolen election” in a piece about sincerity and truth telling.
        Trying to remember… Was Gore able to “win” his home state Tenn. that election?

  2. timbers

    President McConnell has ruled out any debt increase Sure, something good break. But that’s how it is and how it was planned by both parties years ago.

    1. Eric377

      Schumer and Pelisi could get this done without McConnell. They prefer not to do so and have reasons for that preference, but if they wished to end this conversation for the rest of this term of Congress, they could do that this week.

  3. Pavel

    I keep waiting for someone to ask *any* of the politicians (Pelosi, Biden, McConnell et al) who is going to pay for all this ever-increasing debt? In other words, which generation?

    I am firmly of the “Pox on all their houses” bent, as of course both parties are guilty of endless and pointless and pork spending, most notably on the endless wars which serve mainly to enrich Ratheon et al. (Not to mention the insider trading by congresspeople.) I see Dems on Twitter criticising the Repubs for bloated military spending but the Dems keep voting for “defence” spending increases as well.

    Lord knows I’m not a financial expert but it seems the Fed will just keep printing fiat currency leading to further inflation (the “hidden tax”) and/or the foreign lenders especially China will just stop propping up the USD causing it to collapse.

    It is simplistic but if someone is crazily in debt and abuses credit cards does it really make sense to increase the credit card limit? The USA needs to bite the bullet and cut spending, starting with the military. David Stockman who has consistently been against military spending (even as Reagan’s budget person) said on a Tom Woods podcast that if he were president he would cut the Pentagon budget to around $300B or $350B, which is what the Eisenhower military spending was at the height of the cold war (adjusted for inflation). That’s the kind of thinking we need. Until then, let the whole bloody house of cards collapse.

    (Do I sound bitter?)

    1. Bill Smith

      I am of the belief that nobody has to pay the debt -> until that plan no longer works. Roll it over. At some level of debt that plan will fail. At this point, It clear that it is higher than it is now.

      Something along the line “Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”

      I mean, who knows what rules apply and then when the rules that apply change.

      1. jimmy cc

        a rolling loan gathers no loss…

        the debt is there to create a demand for the dollar, much like taxes do according to mmt.

        the ultimate self licking ice cream cone…

    2. Tom Pfotzer

      No, not bitter. Right.

      Top-down is not gonna work, guys. Top is controlled, populace is on TV dope.

      Change, if it happens, will come bottom up, when the bottom of the pyramid grows legs, and moves the whole society. The bottom must economically and culturally disconnect from the top. Let the top feed off themselves.

      Where’s the locus of volition? it sure isn’t at the top; the top exists / are installed to keep things the same.

      Who will be the next Obama? What will be the next Top-Sponsored-Hope? You know you’re going to get one. So why pay attention?

      We have a massive resource mis-allocation problem. Big problems not being solved. Top won’t move.

      I’ll ask again: where is the locus of volition? Who is ready, willing and able to do something different? Will more petitions and tax-the-rich dress-theatrics (more TV dope) change anything?

      Has that worked in the past? Ever?

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Since the largest group by far of treasury holders are wealthy Americans, there is a simple solution. We’very been literally not taxing them for the privilege of paying them later. And we can still pay the Japanese bond holders as the largest sovereign holder of US treasuries…yeah, the Japanese.

    4. d w


      and i suspect that expecting a different out come is wishful thinking

      then again short of eliminating almost all of the deductions, and all of the corporate deductions for their spending (from labor, real estate, etc), you would not get the funs to run the country (we arent likely to want to live in a country where mob rule is the norm, and every business is paying protection money to them, to keep bad things happening to them( nice building you have there, be sad if some thing bad happened to it). plus its nicer to be able to drink water and breath air than is not suppose to kill you.

      course your real complaint is with voters. they expect that for their taxes some thing good gets done (even if a lot of times…its mostly by accident than by design)

      1. d w

        they maybe the larges non US bond holder. the largest bod holder is actually the US public (some times its through Federal agencies, for example, SSN is a huge holder of US debt, i.e. bonds which is why those pushing for the debt crisis, and we know who that is, may find that will rue the day that they pushed it through)

    5. Angeli

      who is going to pay for all this ever-increasing debt?

      Who cares? You just issue more debt to pay the previous debt. After well over a decade of printing money like there’s no tomorrow, it should be clear by now that 100% or 200% GDP debt makes no difference. Not long ago, it was generally believed by politicians and economist that a country with over 80% of their GDP in debt was on the brink of collapse. Today we have healthy economies running on well over 100% of GDP in debt. Japan is doing great at 237%. The US is running 106%, they can double their debt and still be in a much better position than Japan.

      The real question is what are we going to do with that money. Are we giving it to the plutocrats? Or are we going to use it to build something?

      Also, as long as interest rates are this low, inflation will eat that debt up.

      1. Grant

        I am so tired of people making arguments about inflation based on state money creation while ignoring that private banks create far more money than the state does. Even if a person could say that money creation alone results in inflation (which is not true), if that were true it would be more logical to look at private banks than the state. But, then there is the issue of there being a capacity to make more stuff and to employ more people. If we are not at full productive capacity and not at full employment, you cannot necessarily say money creation will result in inflation. Even if all of that were an issue, where the money goes after it is created impacts things. If money was created and all of found its way to the savings account of Bill Clinton and just sat there it would increase wealth inequality, but it wouldn’t circulate the markets where goods and services are bought and would not impact inflation. This is a non issue, sorry for many reasons. Shocking to see these types of takes here, and to quote Stockman of all people, yikes. Not only do we need the state to spend more money, we need to address the power of private banks to create money. Dealing with the environmental crisis without dealing with this issue head on will lead to collapse, and arguing for austerity is pure lunacy. I mean, do you assume the economy is going to grow? If so, and if the the state takes money out of the economy, where exactly does economic growth come from? Necessarily from private banks, which basically results in a explosion in private debtz which actually is a huge issue. Private banks create money when someone goes into debt to them.

        If Stockman wasn’t such a crank on the issue he might instead call for changes to state money creation. The state creates the currency it uses, so is it really “borrowing” a currency it can create? It has to know tax revenues and spending before it even knows if there is a deficit. This means that state money has to essentially be created before bonds are created. Why does the state issue bonds at all these days? Why is the Fed barred from buying from the Treasury directly? Why do we even do open market operations when the state could just create all money through the Treasury? Why do we not at least nationalize the Fed?

    6. Jonhoops

      Pavel, your calls for austerity won’t find much traction around these parts. Do yourself a favor and pick up the Stephanie Kelton book “The Deficit Myth”.

      Stockman didn’t know what he was talking about in the Reagan years, and continues to spout outdated nonsense.

    7. Neohnomad

      The US government is a Currency Issuer, it literally creates its own money and can never ever “run out” of it.
      And it can destroy its own money via taxation.
      It can run out of things to buy, or people who will sell to it, and there can be competition for things and labor from entities that also have said currency(bidding war/price inflation) but that is not the issue.

      It’s a matter of policy, the old guns and butter balance. The Federal government buying guns and labor to provide “security” as opposed to buying raw materials and labor to provide other “social goods” is a matter of political will.

    8. Jason Boxman

      It is simplistic but if someone is crazily in debt and abuses credit cards does it really make sense to increase the credit card limit? The USA needs to bite the bullet and cut spending, starting with the military.

      But the federal government is *not* like a household. No household is a currency issuer. The limitation here is available resources and their allocation. Military spending at today’s level is an extreme waste of resources, to be sure, because resources are not being put to a worthwhile use.

  4. Bill Smith

    One of those two switching parties? That would be hilarious. The whole two party system is a mess.

    Basically the Democrat’s need her slightly less than the Republicans do? Or more?

    1. d w

      well, either of them wants her to join them today, since that would change who is in power in the senate, as today both have no more than %50 of the seats. course thats today, but when their next election happens, neither may want her. or Manchin, though he may have a better chance to survive, being in a very red state. and AZ is changing rapidly. but who knows, they may both want to be in a new party, the 3rd party.

  5. voteforno6

    Let her switch, then. I doubt she could win as a Republican, with how much of a mess that party is right now – she would immediately be challenged by some crazy Trumper. No Democrat would ever vote for her again. There might be some short term pain, but the Democrats wouldn’t be saddled with trying to defend her running for reelection, if she even wants to be reelected.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It wouldn’t even have to be a #Trumper. There are 4 GOP congressmen and leading state legislators. This Kim Yee is popular down there. The border and abortion types won tolerate Sinema. It’s not like this is Lieberman in Connecticut where they don’t stand a chance. Flake and McCain were Senators last week.

      It’s why guys like Manchin have never flipped. Their power disappears immediately, and the local GOP gentry and culture forces won’t tolerate it.

  6. diptherio

    Anyone who still believes that Nader running threw the election to Bush, instead of massive voter roll purges and a very unusual supreme court decision…well, I’m going to have a hard time taking their other political analysis very seriously. Just sayin’.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Back in 2000, I was a part-time bicycle seller and fixer here in good ole Tucson. One of my coworkers was a Nader supporter. There was no way in heaven, hell, or anywhere in between that he would vote for Gore or Bush.

      So, the idea that my former coworker and his fellow Nader supporters were so waffle-y in their support that, well, maybe they’d change their minds on election day. That wasn’t going to happen.

      I also seem to recall hearing that, in the great state of Florida, Nader got something like 90,000 votes. However, there were 200,000 Bush votes that came from members of the Democrat(ic) Party. Back then, Clinton fatigue was real, and a lot of people were very persuaded by Bush’s “change the tone in Washington” message.

      1. orlbucfan

        People seem to forget that jeb! Bush was FL governor during that disaster. That crowd isn’t called The Bush Crime Family cos it’s cute.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Shrub broke into the non Cuban Hispanic voter population too. The DNC and Donna Brazille, Fox News contributor, strategy was that Gore would win Tennessee because he had visited the state 20 years prior and snagged his dad’s old seats amid party realignment. They were worried about winning the electoral college and not the popular vote, moving resources to run up he score. Sound familiar? HRC’s ’08 primary and 2016 general election did the same thing.

      3. Pavel

        Gore and the feckless Lieberman (chosen because of Bill’s blue dress scandal) couldn’t even carry Al’s home state. And they have the nerve to blame Ralph!

        1. chuck roast

          Yep, that’s always been “shut up” line. I’m guessing that between him and his old man most of the people in Tennessee viewed them as aristocrats by 2000.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        Also, in one of the Florida regions ( West Palm Beach?), some “Democrat” designed a butterfly ballot
        which just happened to “accidentally” put the punch hole for Pat Buchanan right next to the Al Gore name, leading about 2,000 or so old Jewish retirees to vote for Pat Buchanan when the ballot mislead them into thinking they were voting for Gore.

        Purely by accident, of course. That “Democrat” who designed those ballots could not possibly have been an undercover Republican. Why . . . that’s tinfoil thinking!


  7. Micah

    Sinema is the darling of Republicans because she is making things difficult for Democrats. An attempt to switch parties would be political suicide for her due to her political history ( supported Nader, supported Green initiatives, ran as a Democrat, attacked Trump, etc.) and her sexuality ( she is bisexual ). Those things would really hurt her in a Republican primary where the Republicans would have a choice between a pseudo-Republican ( Sinema ) and a pro-Trump Republican. Sorry folks, her political career would be a wrap if she switched parties and then tried to run as a Republican.

    I am much more intrigued by the idea that she is looking to cash in during her post political career. If she was a one term senator that backed wealthy interests in a stealthy sort of way ( by letting Joe Manchin take all of the flak ), she could make a bunch of money doing lobbying work after her term was over. If she isn’t doing that, then I have no idea what she is doing because she is really annoying Democratic primary voters at the moment ( who tend to skew further left then general election voters and are usually better informed ).

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There might be a promise of lobbying work, but who will want to be seen with her? This is a crucial issue. Lieberman at least managed to win and was bff with Saint McCain and Lindsay Graham. Lobbying requires good connections. Even Jonathan Chait is for reconciliation at 3.1T.

      She’s pretty stupid and arrogant, perhaps, buying anything, but MSDNC won’t put her on if Chait is an issue. Fox for the reasons you listed.

      1. Darthbobber

        It only requires real connections if it’s a real job.

        As opposed to a relatively cheap and legal deferred bribe as quid pro quo for what she’s doing right now.

  8. Phil in KC

    The prospect of Sinema bolting the Democratic Party makes passage of the BIF even more pressing, lest an Republican majority lead by Mitch squash any and all pending legislation. Of course, if she bolts then Democrats are relieved of any responsibility for legislating, which may be what they want. Pelosi can retire and spend her remaining years as a victim of Sinema’s bad faith. Why, almost as good as winning!

  9. Eric377

    Why switch? Vote against one bill and stay. If that wrecks the reconciliation bill, then run on saying it helped prevent a massive rout in 2022, which actually is not totally far-fetched.

  10. Carolinian

    Well if this really is her plan then creating GOP outrage and sympathy by following her into the bathroom was a great idea, amiright?

    Personally I’d say Arizona is a lot less “blue” than people think although there are lots of Californians moving in.

    There was a similar article the other day about Texas and the folks who moved to Austin thinking it was all blue now but finding out Texas still pretty thoroughly red. Surely the real taleaway here is that the Dems just barely control both houses and have been overplaying their hand. More humility from Joe would also help.

  11. Darthbobber

    Suspect that even Sinema realizes that the LGBTQ thing and the 100% Planned Parenthood voting record make her a non-starter for the Republican constituency.

    People keep looking for deep-laid plans from one of the shallowest, purely ego-driven politicians we have on the stage. I think she’s just feckless and sees large parts of a Senator’s job as a distraction from her personal life.

    She HAS already achieved the level of grating condescension that it took H. Clinton 25 years to reach, which I suspect isn’t helping with her constituents. And such explanations as she deigns to offer for her ever more convoluted “positions” barely reach the Palin level of gravitas.

    I imagine a psychologist who had a clinical relationship with her would be in a better position than a political analyst to explain her behavior. She’s a walking talking inversion of “the personal is political”.

  12. Matthew G. Saroff

    Sinema cannot switch parties.

    Her entire political brand is that she is a bi woman, and the Republicans won’t, and can’t accept that.

  13. ptb

    It would certainly be a devastating move. Democrats still have a favorable Senate map for 2022, last I checked, so the effect could be reversed then.

  14. Michael Ismoe

    I predict that Sinema will join Joe Manchin in passing a $2 trillion bill, everyone will be forgiven and that Sinema will collect about $80 million in Act Blue contributions in 2024 because Trump endorsed her opponent. She will be easily re-elected.

  15. drumlin woodchuckles

    If a coalition of DemProgs and New Deal Reactionaries were to decide to decontaminate and purify the DemParty over the next 10-20 years, driving Sinema out of the party would by a good symbolic start.

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