Kyrsten Sinema: If It's Broke, Don't Fix It!
When Kyrsten Sinema became a Democratic senator from Arizona, we wanted to be her biggest fan. We'd still love to!
But we really really really do not understand why she is so dead-set on refusing to even look at changing the rules of the filibuster, which is literally the one (1) thing standing in the way of President Joe Biden and the Democratic Congress doing AMAZING things for the American people. There's the obvious one, HR1/S1, AKA the For The People Act, which would federally protect the people's free and unfettered right to vote for their leaders and have those votes count. (It also fixes gerrymandering, so your vote that you voted and that counts isn't just Republicans choosing their own voters.) There's the Equality Act. There are acts that haven't even been proposed yet!
We might understand more if Sinema were an 854-year-old senator who just couldn't get their head around changing the rules, since it's always been this way. (It hasn't actually always been the way it is now.) But the 854-year-old senators are miles ahead of her on this one! Sinema is more Manchin than Manchin about this right now. We really don't get it.
It's cool that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's staff found a loophole in the rules of budget reconciliation and the Senate parliamentarian agreed with their interpretation of the rules, which means Democrats have significantly more opportunities to pass good legislation for the American people in the coming months, as long as the parliamentarian agrees it's budget-related. But that ain't remotely everything we need to fix what's ailing the American people.
Sinema said a couple things to the Wall Street Journal that are just frankly annoying the shit out of us right now.
"When you have a place that's broken and not working, and many would say that's the Senate today, I don't think the solution is to erode the rules," she said in an interview after two constituent events in Phoenix. "I think the solution is for senators to change their behavior and begin to work together, which is what the country wants us to do."
She also said:
The Senate's job is "to craft bipartisan solutions to solve the challenges we face in our country," she said. Asked how she thought both parties could come together, given how polarized the country has become, especially over elections, she responded: "I actually think I've got a pretty good track record."
OK, let's piece this apart.
First of all, let's be clear, to make sure we're all arguing from the same basic truth: The goal is to fix what's ailing the American people. That's it. Period. End of story.
The goal is not for senators to get along and play well with others. The American people are not grading senators like it's a preschooler's report card, where Kaitlin always shares her toys but Madison is a real pill about that shit.
It is not "to craft bipartisan solutions to solve the challenges we face in our country." There is an extra word in there.
The American people, from sea to shining sea, do not actually give a flying fuck if senators get along. They care about what they get done. That's why the billboards Democrats are putting up around the country, the ones that say "help is on the way," crediting President Joe Biden and Democratic senators for the COVID relief package (and specifically not crediting Republican senators), are so resonant. The American people are living through a pandemic and an economic crisis and joblessness and all kinds of other shit, and really don't have time to worry about whether senators are enjoying pastries together in a bipartisan way. They just don't. Nobody cares, goddammit, nobody cares.
Oh sure, some might tell pollsters they care about bipartisanship, but they care about Congress getting shit done way more.
And here's the thing. "Bipartisan solutions" would be superfuckingswell if we had a "bipartisan" that was willing to work with Democrats to achieve The Goal, which, again, is fixing shit for the American people. But we don't. There were zero Republican votes for the COVID relief bill, though many Republicans have been bragging about what the bill did for their constituents, without their help. Mitch McConnell has already stated there will be zero Republican votes for President Biden's infrastructure bill. And that's just on bills that pass the "budget reconciliation" smell test.
Guess what? If Republicans aren't willing to help on those, they certainly are not going to protect the vote of the people — they don't believe in that — or ensure equality for America's LGBTQ+ citizens. Even more certainly, there won't be ten of them to cross the aisle and do the bipartisan hokey pokey Sinema seems to believe is both achievable and also a more desirable goal than actually just getting shit done.
Which brings us back to Sinema's first statement: "When you have a place that's broken and not working, and many would say that's the Senate today, I don't think the solution is to erode the rules." Fair enough. You know, unless "the rules" are the part that's broken and not working.
The filibuster, as it's currently utilized, means that if there aren't 60 votes to invoke cloture on a bill, the bill is done. Senators don't have to even do the active verb part of "filibuster" anymore, they just say "U R FILIBUSTERED!" and the bill dies a fast, painful death. That's it. That's not "working together." That's not "bipartisan." That is one party that's decided it cares more about fucking Democrats over than it cares about actually doing anything for the American people. Can't much do bipartisan worky-happy-time if there's no fucking bill to bipartisan worky-happy-time with.
Does anyone believe that if the COVID relief bill HAD required a 60-vote threshold that there would be $1,400 in their checking account right now? We guess somebody might believe that, but Christ, what a moron that person is.
The filibuster, as it's currently utilized, is the problem. And wishin' the GOP would just be nicer ain't gonna make it so, despite how great the senator thinks her "track record" is. We have to fix the part that's "broken and not working."
At press time, Senator Sinema was advising constituents with broken gushing water pipes not to call plumbers, but instead encouraging them to find ways to "work together" with the gallons of poo-water currently threatening to drown their families and pets and destroying their homes. Maybe the poo-water could be convinced to change its behavior.
After all, Senator Sinema's got a pretty good track record in these situations!*
*Just fooling, Senator Sinema did not give any advice like that. We bet she would PERFORMATIVELY THUMBS DOWN that kind of advice.
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