Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) appears to have been playing Tom Petty on repeat because, when it comes to destroying the filibuster, she has consistently stated that she “Won’t Back Down.” The lawmaker, along with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), has received no small amount of criticism over her refusal to support abolishing the senatorial tradition. Recently, Sinema struck back at her critics, pointing out political hypocrisy and reaffirming her stance.
Sinema Lashes Out at Critics
In a recent op-ed, the senator chided her fellow Democrats for their efforts to remove the filibuster to make it easier to ram through President Joe Biden’s radical agenda. In the process, she laid out her case for keeping the tradition in place. The lawmaker wrote in a popular Washington newspaper:
“To those who want to eliminate the legislative filibuster to pass the For the People Act (voting-rights legislation I support and have co-sponsored), I would ask: Would it be good for our country if we did, only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the minority?”
“This question is less about the immediate results from any of these Democratic or Republican goals,” she added. “[I]t is the likelihood of repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty, deepening divisions and further eroding Americans’ confidence in our government.”
Throughout the piece, Sinema pointed out that getting rid of the filibuster is a short-term solution that could easily come back to haunt the Democrats once Republicans regain control of the upper chamber. She also noted that “good-faith arguments have been made both criticizing and defending the Senate’s 60-vote threshold,” and that she agrees with the 31 Senate Democrats who opposed eliminating the filibuster in 2017 along with Biden.
However, it seems many Democrats changed their minds when they realized getting rid of the filibuster would be politically expedient, at least in the short term. Now that they control the White House and both chambers of Congress, they seem to believe it will be easier to enact their legislative objectives without such an obstacle in the way.
Why Are Democrats Pushing So Hard?
The reason why Democratic lawmakers are so gung-ho about eliminating the filibuster is not difficult to ascertain. Joe Biden’s presidency has already faced a number of policy failures, small and large, and it does not appear that his luck will change course anytime soon. Indeed, the president’s approval ratings are on a distinct downwards trajectory.
President Biden announced an ambitious and radical program when he took office, including amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, a crackdown on gun ownership, federal control over elections, and more. For people like Sinema, Manchin, and others, many of these initiatives are dead on arrival. Perhaps this is why their fellow Democrats are trying to pressure these reluctant lawmakers to capitulate. Unfortunately for the hard left, it appears that Tom Petty will remain on repeat for the foreseeable future.
Read more from Jeff Charles.