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Playing Chicken in Arizona

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

A Carribian cruise with a group of iconic steel drums playing energetically in the evening gives a glimpse of how the vacation might work for voters after the election! But then the boss enters and offers unlimited extra hours for the following week! This daydream feels like the post-Sen Warnock Georgia senatorial race victory interrupted by Sen Sinema announcing her resignation from the Democratic Party to become an Independent Party member. While overtime provides extra income, overtime takes someone away from family, friends, and their mental break. Sen Sinema leaves the Democratic Party to accept "the boss' proposition to work overtime." Instead, the ship or Democratic Party continues to navigate without the Senator from Arizona.


The headline-grabbing announcement did not surprise many people who have watched closely at Senator Sinema's centrist politics. Recall she and West Virginia Sen Joe Manchin obstructed the Biden administration's efforts to push through their Build Back Better Agenda stopping voting rights and justice in policing act. Interestingly, in her announcement, the senator from Arizona talked about respecting who she truly is and what Arizonans want. However, the truth is that Senator Sinema has always expressed contempt for partisan politics and party leadership, which limit her ability to govern. As a result, the decision to leave the Democrats is not surprising.

The honorable senator's decision is like a political chicken game with two cars rushing to one another. The senator is highly unpopular in Arizona as a democratic. Her obstruction of the Senate at a time when many Americans needed her support for critical progressive policies, she chose not to support her caucus, and Arizona Democrats noticed. Consequently, Sinema becomes an Independent at a time when Democrats are building more significant political majorities, as witnessed in the recent Arizona election Midterms, democrats did exceptionally well. She is not the only Independent to join the democratic movement. Senator Bernie Sanders is an independent, progressive person who works with the Democrats. It, therefore, seems to be a reorientation of her political career. The good news is that the Democrats retain a majority in the Senate. But, her decision has implications for 2024, where she can run for president or without opposition for the senate seat making the race a three-way proposition - Republican, Democrat, and Independent.

We'll see who winks first in this political chicken game or a head-on crash. I certainly hope that we don't take our eyes off the road ahead and continue to push for real change like voting rights, police reform, and universal healthcare during the remainder of the Biden administration.


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