Kyrsten Sinema makes a face during an interview with someone filming her on a cell phone.

Kyrsten Sinema and Mitch McConnell Are Really Proud of Their ‘Friendship’

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema appeared at the McConnell (as in Mitch) Center at the University of Louisville to give a speech on the importance of “bipartisanship.” This should be surprising to exactly no one, as Sinema has spent her term in office engaging in McConnell’s favorite past time: blocking every piece of Democratic legislation she can.

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In introducing Sinema, McConnell said she was “the most effective first-term senator I’ve seen in my time in the Senate.” That’s an odd compliment, given that Sinema is most known for voting against legislation that could help people. But we know the metric the Senate Minority Leader is using and yes, I guess in his eyes, Sinema’s penchant for ignoring her constituents’s needs and raising a ton of money from corporate and ultra-wealthy lobbyists would make her seem “effective.” To the rest of us, doing things like, say, holding a massive social spending bill hostage until Democrats agree to make it more billionaire-friendly is the opposite of effective leadership.

When Sinema took the stage, she also spent time praising McConnell. “In today’s partisan Washington, it might shock some that a Democratic senator would consider the Republican leader of the Senate her friend. But back home in Arizona, we don’t view life through a partisan lens,” Sinema said. And that might be true, given that a majority of Arizona voters from all parties have an unfavorable view of her performance in office.

“Despite our apparent differences, Senator McConnell and I have forged a friendship, one that is rooted in our commonalities, including our pragmatic approach to legislating, our respect for the Senate as an institution,” Sinema continued.

Sinema’s insistence that she is dedicated to bipartisanship and finding “middle ground” is absurd. She has consistently put the interests of wealthy donors and lobbyists ahead of actual issues, voting against basic quality-of-life progress like raising the minimum wage.

Sinema made it extremely clear just how little she cares about helping actual people during a Q&A following her speech, when she said that she will never vote to repeal the filibuster—a necessary move to stopping Senate Republicans from blocking all Democratic legislation as they’ve been doing—and in fact, she wants to strengthen the filibuster.

“Not only am I committed to the 60-vote threshold, I have an incredibly unpopular view,” she said. “I actually think we should restore the 60-vote threshold for the areas in which it has been eliminated already. We should restore it.”

She also made that point using the most condescending language possible, saying, “The best thing you can do for your child is to not give them everything they want.”

Someone should maybe tell Sinema that voters are not her children, but adults with basic needs and a desire for their human dignity to be recognized by the people they elected to serve them.

(image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.