Kyrsten Sinema Leaves Dems, Registers Independent

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema writes for the Arizona Republic:

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.

Americans are told that we have only two choices – Democrat or Republican – and that we must subscribe wholesale to policy views the parties hold, views that have been pulled further and further toward the extremes.

It’s no wonder a growing number of Americans are registering as independents. In Arizona, that number often outpaces those registered with either national party.  That’s why I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington. I registered as an Arizona independent.

Politico reports:

In a 45-minute interview, the first-term senator told POLITICO that she will not caucus with Republicans and suggested that she intends to vote the same way she has for four years in the Senate. “Nothing will change about my values or my behavior,” she said.

Provided that Sinema sticks to that vow, Democrats will still have a workable Senate majority in the next Congress, though it will not exactly be the neat and tidy 51 seats they assumed. They’re expected to also have the votes to control Senate committees.

And Sinema’s move means Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — a pivotal swing vote in the 50-50 chamber the past two years — will hold onto some but not all of his outsized influence in the Democratic caucus.