I mean you’re not really surprised Krysten Sinema has left the Democratic Party, are you? Over the last two years, Sinema, along with Joe Manchin, built themselves into the powerbrokers of the Senate. That’s easy enough to do when you’re one of two critical votes giving the Democrats majority control. With the just finished election in Georgia giving the Democrats a true Senate majority, Sinema’s departure was the only real way to prop up her status as a Senate dealmaker or deal breaker in the next Congress.
I haven’t read any opinion pieces on it – and probably won’t at this point. Sure, it’s a blatantly self-serving tactic to preserve her power and influence, but that’s just politics. Democratic leaders in the Senate will still need to court her vote and give her voice an outsized hearing in the great debates to come. If anything, they’ll need to be even more solicitous as long as she keeps at least one foot outside the big tent of the Democratic Party.
I don’t expect a newly Independent Krysten Sinema changes all that much. It’s not as if she’s going to start suddenly voting in bloc with the Treason Wing of the Republican Party. She can, though, be a voice of restraint against any serious far left tomfoolery the progressive caucus in the Senate dreams up. Really, it leaves us more or less exactly where we have been – and honestly a Congress that’s busy tying itself in knots and not passing a metric shit ton of unnecessary new laws isn’t the worst thing I can think of at the moment. I mean an actual federal budget would be nice to have, but as long as they can stumble along and get the continuing resolutions passed on time, maybe that government is best that governs least.