Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema has started a trend of elected Democrats saying goodbye to the Democratic Party, citing severe partisanship and extreme policies that are too much for some to handle.
New York City Councilman Ari Kagan, who has served in the city council as a Democrat since he was elected in 2021, came out and stated that unlike Sinema, who changed her affiliation to Independent, he would now be switching to the GOP.
“Every month I found myself, like, ‘What am I doing in the Democratic Party?’” said Kagan to local media. “It’s not about the numbers or an election. It’s about [sending] a message. The Democratic Party in New York was moving to[the] left at such a speed I couldn’t keep up.”
“It’s not leaving the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party very quickly started to leave me.”
In West Virginia, Glenn Jeffries, who serves in the State Senate, also ditched the Democrats as well to join the GOP in November. These departures have caused panic in the party, even though Democrats managed to still pull key victories for themselves during the recent midterms nation.
“Both parties have challenges,” said former chief of staff to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Kevin Seifert, in an interview with Fox News. “Democrats have an ideological problem because of their woke, progressive base.”
Since November 2022,
✔️Councilman Felix Gines switched from 🔵🔜🔴 in Mississippi
✔️Councilman Ari Kagan switched from 🔵🔜🔴 in New York
✔️State Senator Glenn Jeffries switched from 🔵🔜🔴 in West Virginia
✔️Senator Kyrsten Sinema switched to independent in Arizona
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) December 11, 2022
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It’s Not Me, It’s You
Seifert continued to point out just how radical the liberal base of the Democratic Party had become, saying its no surprise that some politicians like Sinema just got fed up.
“Progressive activists literally chased Sen. Sinema into a bathroom when she wouldn’t agree to their policy demands on immigration,” Seifert mentioned. “In recent cycles, they systematically primaries moderate Democrats who didn’t toe the far-left line. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that leaders are responding to these overt pressure tactics by leaving the party and becoming independents.”
While Sinema specifically has chosen to be an Independent, she has assured her constituents that while she is still firm in her progressive values, even she recognizes that the far-left today makes her seem conservative by mere comparison and that our partisan environment makes it impossible for anything meaningful to get accomplished.
“Becoming an Independent won’t change my work in the Senate, my service to Arizona remains the same,” Sinema stated in her formal announcement.
“In catering to the fringes, neither party has demonstrated much tolerance for diversity of thought. Bipartisan compromise is seen as a rarely acceptable last resort, rather than the best way to achieve lasting progress. Payback against the opposition party has replaced thoughtful legislating.”
BIG NEWS: Senator Kyrsten Sinema leaves Democratic Party, becomes Independent
Congratulations @kyrstensinema 👏👏👏
There are millions of Americans who reject ideology and party labels and just want common sense, practical politics.👍
— steve hilton (@SteveHiltonx) December 9, 2022
A Shot at the Establishment
Sinema’s decision to leave the Democratic Party has not been without criticism. The Democrat establishment had for years already attempted to put her in her place beyond just having activists follow her to the restroom. In 2021, Sinema faced heavy attacks from progressives alone; there was even a group called “Hot Bisexuals Against Kyrsten Sinema” who held phone banks across the state of Arizona asking constituents to call her office complaining that she was not toeing the party line consistently.
Rep. Ruben Gallego, who was already a primary opponent of Sinema’s aiming to beat her for the Democrat nomination in 2024, went after Sinema’s exit calling it simply opportunism.
“Senator Sinema is once again putting her own interests ahead of getting things done for Arizona,” Gallego said. Regardless, Arizonans seem pretty happy within her performance in Washington, including Republicans and independent voters, as shown by a September 2022 poll.
Sinema has even received blowback from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who while also is labeled an Independent, has run for president twice seeking the Democrat nomination. Sanders called her a “corporate Democrat” who, along with West Virginia Senator and frequent swing voter Joe Manchin, has “sabotaged enormously important legislation.”
“She’s a corporate Democrat … “
— CNN (@CNN) December 11, 2022
“People accuse Kyrsten of being a political chameleon and an opportunist. I think she’s an empath,” said libertarian and former lobbyist Tom Jenney in an interview with Reason Magazine. “She really likes people and wants to feel what they’re feeling. And, of course, she wants them to like her.”
“When she was hanging out with college radicals and downtown types 15 years ago, and representing them in the state legislature, she channeled their leftie angst and anger and ideology. Now that she’s representing the average Arizonan, and talking to a lot of dentists, she’s channeling a lot of centrist sentiments.”
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