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September 11, 2015


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A vote like that will not win Republicans to her side. Why vote for Republican Lite when you can get the real thing? She instead lost some Democratic votes. I hope some alternative emerges for the primary.

She also famously accused Republicans in the Lege of being "terrorists." So which one is the real Sinema? Is there such a thing? There's triangulation, and then there's loose cannon-ism.

Take heart! Sinema's slippery-slidey term will soon be just a distant memory. She campaigned as a Progressive and has voted Kook-lite.

As Jon said, Sinema is not going to win over any Republicans; the CD9 Tea-Publicans are not fooled by her sell-out voting record. And she has damaged forever her standing with the lefties in CD9.

It comes down to this: Why vote for a Democrat who votes like a Republican?

She's a smart cookie who knows when she needs to vote against President Obama in order to win reelection in her purple district. Upset liberals need to recognize that the other option for this district is a Republican, not a more liberal Democrat.

Two observations:

A young democrat rep makes herself look like a young Hillary. Really?

One of the most disgusting things I've ever heard a candidate say
" I pledge alliance to the republican party'.

What happened to "COUNTRY" ?

Hey, Brad!
We already HAVE a Republican in CD9 . . . our friend Kyrsten! Take a look at her voting record.

No Democrat of any stature will consider primarying Sinema. She has the backing of both the DCCC and the Arizona Democratic Party, and has a formidable war chest from her “Third Way” corporate backers. She can pretty much do whatever she wants and ask “What are you going to do, vote for a Republican?” Well, are you, punk?

OK, ok . . . I probably won't vote Republican. But I won' work for her (like I did in her first primary race); I won't donate money; I will speak out against her at every opportunity . . . and if there is no one else to vote for, I will not vote. I don't care if the Republican wins. As I said earlier, we already have a Republican representing HER OWN interests in CD9.

Anyone notice her recent TV ads? She's got a bundle in her campaign fund and she'll need it to fight off a primary challenge.

I applaud her decision....the CORRECT ONE" to vote NAY on one of the worst "deals" out of a President and his Administration.. Like Rep Polosi thinks..."we have to pass it to know what's in it"..
The DICKtator-in-Chief Obama and SOS John "Jane Fonda" Kerry have sold us and Israel down the River, and those Democratic "Leaders" who voted AGAINST the wishes of the American people will hopefully NOT be reelected and will have the blood on their hands,
I shall NOT support ANY Congressman/woman who voted to give our Iranian loving President and Valarie Jarrett this defeat for America.

If she loses she probably can get a teaching job from traitor Saint Janet.

This is political triangulation. The US House has nothing to do with ratifying treaties. So what is she triangulating? McCain wins again, somehow survives the actuarial science of longevity, and then Sinema runs for the US Senate? Or will she go up against Flake when his lackluster term is up?

She came out against the Iran deal but not out because she was against it. She may be cynical but she isn't insane. The deal is a no-brainer, which explains why the people with no brains were absolutely against something they know nothing about except for the Fox News capsule version. On the other hand, once it was clear the deal was safe, she decided to exercise that great "independence of mind and spirit" which typifies red-state Democrats. Now she gets to wave the terrible treaty in TV commercials so Republicans have one less thing to hit her with. Yawn. If the treaty came down to her vote, she would have been there with us. Politics 101.

I was still living in Arizona when she won her seat and I was a bit surprised. Her district has a big swath of central Phoenix in it, however, so there's just enough sane people in it that she was able to win. Purple districts get purple (or lavender) representatives for a reason. In Tucson, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was a good friend to the gun lobby. Ponder that for a moment when you consider the blood spilled to keep even a marginally liberal person in that office. Red Barber? Not so lucky.

Sorry about this, but I need to rehash this point about reality versus purity. Democrats who live in the real world as opposed to, say, Vermont, don't get to make fantasies real with Facebook memes. Arizona is a far-right state with a few pockets of liberals. Many of them, as the blog shows, simply pack up and leave. I admire those of you who remain and fight the good fight. It's not easy for actual liberals to win in Arizona let alone shift the dominant ethos from crazy to sane. Do yourselves a big favor and don't make it impossible.

Skip, Other dictator presidents, Washington, Lincoln, Both Roosevelt's. Gee Obama is in some bad company?
No matter the Iranian deal, the Israelis can nuke them off the map anytime they choose to do so, as can the US . Hopefully this deal will give some breathing room to the great Persian people to topple the Jihadist idiots currently in control of Iran.
AND while I thought Fonda was not to bright, she did oppose a criminal war, Vietnam. As did one of my Hero's Mohammed Ali, better known to white racists as that traitor Cassius Clay

Intriguing comments. One additional note worth considering:

The Yellow Sheet reported yesterday (9/10) that the Democratic PAC, End Citizens United, endorsed her.

Apparently, that endorsement was based on her ambiguous and contradictory answers to the ECU survey she submitted in June 2015.

In the survey, she answers every question, all of which are in the form of "do you support legislation that..." with a YES.

However, in her written explanation to survey question 3, she spells out that she doesn't sponsor/co-sponsor bills unless they have "bipartisan support."

Perhaps End Citizens United would have done well to ask her to clarify whether her written out answer means that she only will support REPUBLICAN bills on campaign finance reform/repeal of Citizens United.


Triangulation is dead.

Iran will find that having nuclear weapons is a necessary luxury. You can have them, but you can't use them.

Jane Fonda got caught up in the hype and shot herself in the mouth by going to Hanoi. 64,000 (!) active military men and women saw her courtesy of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in the Philippines, Okinawa, and Thailand before this political misstep.

Man will never be free until the last politician is strangled by the entrails of the last corporation.

What soleri wrote.

A shorter soleri:
Hey look over here Fido. And she throws them a bone.

Which, given Mr. Talton's voting statistics, certainly seems plausible.

But for the record: I'm a centrist Democrat who doesn't like her vote either. As it presupposes that Mr. Obama is a fool. A sop. A tool. A namby-pamby negotiator who is wheeling and dealing for the sake of his posterity (ironically: with a treaty that is doomed to failure).

But Mr. Obama is clearly not a surrender monkey. He's bombing the ISIS despite liberal concern. And he is droning missiles down on terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The left hates that, yeah?

Obviously: You mess with Mr. Obama and the USA at your own peril. That's pretty damn clear isn't it? Remember when he gave permission to have those Somali pirates shot in his first year? He said in his campaign that year, over and over: I'll never compromise the safety of the American people. You can put a check by that.

So no way is Mr. Obama going to gift Iran a get-out-of-jail card unless he's happy with the tradeoffs. It's simply not in his character. By implying that it is, especially so for political expediency, Ms. Sinema is saying something deep about her character and something shallow about Mr. Obama's.

Best. Damn. President. Ever.

Koreyel. Obama wins a third term? Shouldn't be much of a contest against the schmooz's currently running!

It's one thing to run as a moderate; it's quite another to build one's career as a solid -- and in Sinema's case, far left -- liberal, using those credentials to recruit campaign volunteers and take their money, again and again, only to legislate against those very principles. Then the hardworking volunteers and other Democrats find their votes held hostage by said candidate who threatens that if they don't vote for her, a Republican will take the seat. Well, shoot, at this point (especially with marriage equality a done deal) why should anyone care about that argument?

Soleri, we all knew what you said
we just didn't want to say it.
No reason for Sinema to be Joan of Arc.

The answer is yes. She is both and she has a long record of counting the votes and then batting clean up. Personally, I like Kyrsten. She is a former student of mine, but always remembers me (even though the class was online) when she sees me. It takes a lot in the way of resources it takes to get and keep her position. At 50k for a no guarantee city council seat, the money to hold a national office is truly mind bending. Big money sings an inordinately persuasive siren's song that must require a good deal of mast strapping to resist. I think this was a big mistake on her part, unless she pulled a huge amount of swack out of the deal. Unless she got a high visibility committee chair or something of equal value I predict that she will look back on this as a colossal misstep. As others have noted, she could join the All Lives Matter camp or do a photo op with Kim Whatshername and still not earn a single Republican or right leaning Independent vote. On the other hand, I have another former student who calls herself a centrist and hails this vote as principled and says that "Kyrsten always votes her conscious". I do know that lobbyists love her, at least the ones I know do. In today's political climate, unless you are Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump, that does seem to be the thing that matters the most. What I would like most is to wake up in a world where television no longer existed. Video killed more than just the radio star.

Sinema's apologists are fond of defending her questionable votes by saying "that vote didn't matter since it made no difference in the outcome" and that is, in fact, true. With a Republican dominated House, not a single one of votes matters in that sense. Not one of her good votes, not one of her bad votes. Her bad votes do matter, however, in that they give Republikooks bipartisan cover for their insanity. That way, Breibart can say "see, even some Democrats know this is a bad deal". Kirkpatrick is in a much tougher district than Sinema and she doesn't feel the need for this sort of pandering to people who won't vote for her in a million years anyway. For Sinema, it's all about the lobbyist benjamins. To hell with her.

Cal: Obama wins a third term?

It would be a cakewalk.
He's just damn good at what he does.
No scandals. No drama. No malice. Practical and fair minded.

Thank the devil we've got term limits built into our constitution now to prevent talented Presidents from "hanging on."

On the other hand, get Hillary in there and she will ask him to sit on the Supreme Court should an opening occur. And that, may well be even a better place for Mr. Obama and the country in the long term.

Birth of a career politician. Always sad to see. Even sadder and uglier during the next fifty years of their draining of the public trough.

I'm connected to her on LinkedIn, originally met her when she was canvassing for that City Council run as a Green back in 2001 when I had started The Midtown Messenger. I used to lampoon her for her professed bisexuality in Fake News articles in the paper (midtownphoenix.blogspot.com), because it was mentioned every time the Willow neighborhood newsletter featured her in any way. She gave me shit about it, but that didn't stop her from participating in a piece by Jason Jones on The Daily Show in 2009 when the state was thinking of selling the Capitol and leasing it back to save $$ in its budget shortfall. (He poked around her legislative office like a homebuyer.) I gave her shit in a message a couple years ago about some vote where she defected from Obama, I forget the issue. I later realized maybe Dem leadership had OK'd the defector votes when it was assured to pass without them. But yeah, she's a chameleon.

I was thinking about the problem with symbolic votes and how, if you're at all liberal, you tend to find betrayal almost everywhere. For example, Hillary voted for the AUMF resolution in 2002, which led to the Iraq catastrophe that Republicans, for some odd. Some of this is their own base of ultra-low information voters but a large part remains the purity problem of liberals themselves. We live in a world where right-wing tropes take root in our brains like deadly pions. If you can't trust Hillary to vote with us on Iraq, how else will she betray you? Rinse, repeat, and Ralph Nader, here's your cue.

We're locked in a cosmic battle with some genuinely bad people. I don't mean bad as in "wrong". I mean bad as in very damaged. We don't have the luxury of intramural skirmishes that result in purging our own ranks. Arizona is not going to elect a more liberal Democrat in CD-9.

My fervent prayer is a more liberal America. If that means Democrats covering their exposed asses on symbolic votes, so be it. But for the sake of our own sanity, let's remember who we're really fighting: people who are mostly racist, cruel, and anti-empirical. Let's stop making the betrayal drama our main political point. This nation is not going to elect a socialist president, and CD-9 is not Dennis Kucinich country.

Liberals find betrayal everywhere? Maybe, maybe not. But Kyrsten Sinema is a shameless slap-in-the-face to her constituency.

I, too, hope for a more liberal America. It's coming. I'm voting for the socialist for President; and I'm working against sell-out Sinema in CD9.

I'll keep my torch and pitchfork handy. The revolution is coming.

SJ: A pitchfork is a very revolutionary synbolic tool but keep in mind the Posse Comitatus folks have walk in gun closets filled with American Sniper weapons and they buy as much ammo as possible every weekend. And they would love an opportunity to shoot a pitchfork bearing liberal.

Cal: I'm from Arizona. We all have guns. Viva la revolucion!

It's a very romantic notion that we'll shoot our way out of this political impasse. As Cal suggests, if you think the left's firepower is somehow superior to the right's, you're simply delusional. By the right, I don't merely mean the nut-jobs. The American military would be used to squash any leftwing uprising along with para-military police departments. Remember how well Occupy was treated?

The worst part of this delusion is that reason will somehow triumph over human history, that our species' instinct for cruelty and xenophobia is a forgettable little evolutionary stage we've somehow gotten beyond. No, no, no, no.

The political process has been imperfect because we well-dressed killer apes are less rational than we fancy ourselves. Don't be too eager to discard the institutions that buffer us from our basic natures. Revolution involves not some frolic in a Rousseauvian garden but a hideous amount of suffering in which the outcome most likely favors the least humane and "evolved". Do yourself a favor and go back to video games. You have no idea what you're advocating.

Soleri: We are due for a revolution. Either a political revolution or an armed revolution.

Our political process is imperfect because it now belongs to the corporate class, lock, stock and barrel. Can we take it back?

We should not be afraid to take to the streets to push for change. No denigrating the Occupy folks! Occupy was just a start. An unfocused sort of start, but the first real street-level protest movement that I've seen since the '60s. Good for them.

We spend time teaching our children about the minutemen and guerilla fighters from the Revolutionary War, but not much time talking about what it is to fight and die for a principle (because for the last 50 years our wars have been devoid of principles).

So we try to effect change through our broken system, and then what?

Live on my knees? Die on my feet?

Shouldn't we all be willing to take a rubber bullet for our grandkids?

sj, hyperdramatization is not a good enough reason to burn down the house. While there are severe problems, we have no idea what an armed revolution will bring. Most likely it would simply entrench the heavily armed class who already rule. A political revolution is possible only if we persuade enough people to meet us halfway. I get that incrementalism is not sexy but it buys us time until the elderly goofballs who vote Republican for no better reason than skin color and Jesus go to their just reward. Politics is extremely frustrating but I'm optimistic people will eventually overcome their racialist preoccupations (intermarriage, anyone?) and this country will calm down.

As frustrating as this nation is, we're still a work in progress. 75 years ago, it was impossible to imagine a black president, or gay marriage, or near-universal health care. Things are getting better despite the corporate lock on our political system. The last time we lost faith with the idea of progress, enough people voted for Ralph Nader to throw the election to George W Bush, perhaps the worst self-inflicted wound our democracy ever suffered. Citizens United resulted, which ought to give us pause before we streak down the street naked once again in an ecstasy of naiveté.

We have one job as conscious and ethical citizens: defending democracy, which has been severely injured by right-wing nihilism and left-wing purity fantasies. We're not angels, but we can behave justly despite our flawed natures. Don't give up.

A liberal revolutionary. That's a new one.

Sinema is just as unimportant as her votes. One Republican more or less in a Republican dominated House doesn't matter a hill of beans, but one less Democrat who will stop giving the kooks bipartisan cover matters a lot. Hasta la vista, baby!

ANON. u researched the definition of liberal revolution?

Soleri, you are a good and patient man. Soldier on.

SJ, If u r a scott ridley fan maybe u should join The East. U can probably sign up at R R Sundance Ranch. Or u could hook up with Kellie Lasn and bust some ads. Think I'll put on Blade Runner and watch Olmos make paper chickens. So Orwellian. We're u born after 1984?

Cal Lsd? Has a nice ring to it, but Cal Peyote seems more appropriate.

Since no Democrat has the guts to run against Sinema, I think it would be ironic if she went down to defeat as a result of an anti-war Green candidate drawing off enough votes so the Republican wins. Ironic, since Sinema started her political career as an anti-war Green. At this point, I really don't care if a Republican wins this seat. Explain to me why it matters that Sinema remains in this seat as opposed to a Republican.

boor, because Sinema will vote with our side at least half the time? Because half is better than none?

Sigh. Forget it. I really think you purists are intentionally dumb about politics.

Funny, I think people like you, soleri, are obtuse about politics. Let's try this again ... slowly: 1) None of Sinema's votes matter in a Republican dominated House. Not a one of them. 2) By giving bipartisan cover to the position of Republicans, she legitimizes them. She makes the insane seem reasonable because it has "bipartisan" support.Bipartisan is magic in our corporate media.

Her votes don't matter, but her public position statements do matter. They matter a lot. Get it now, soleri? I didn't think so. Keep believing your in your magical incrementalism. Hope it works for you.


A Democrat steps outside the party line and all hell breaks loose.

I thought Republicans were the cult?

OTOH, we're going on two decades of completely dysfunctional government and here we see the cynicism of the left.

Maybe she (like a handful of others) just voted what she thought?

Or maybe, she just voted the way her big money donors wanted her to. This happens on both sides of the aisle: politicians who represent the people who give them money, not the voters in their district. BTW, the circular firing squad in the Republican Party still puts the one in the Democratic Party to shame.

boor, I can already see the handwriting on next year's wall. The purists will decide that Hillary isn't Bernie enough for them and sit out what might well be a very close election. Of course, it's all her fault because she didn't listen to geniuses like you who want 100% compliance with the left's agenda. And if she loses, you can posit some magical heightening of contradictions that will then leverage a new earthly paradise. Or something equally insane.

When politics is all about you, your goodness, your smarts, your principles, all of which shall never be abridged or compromised, then losing becomes definitive proof that you were and always will be right. I call this the Beautiful Loser syndrome. Portland is full of people like this, too good for this world and perpetually disappointed by it. Time to toke up.

I hate to agree with INPHX, but the left can be every bit as irrational as the right.

You call me a purist, but I'm really not. I don't demand 100% compliance with whatever you think is the "left's agenda. I am a very practical man who wants results. You're approach doesn't get them. I've lived in Arizona most of my life and watched your approach fail. I've watched Republicans gain more and more power in Arizona, aided and abetted by cowardly Democrats too timid to challenge them on fundamental issues. People like soleri.

I'm supporting Bernie Sanders, but, if he loses to Hillary, and he likely will, I will hold my nose and vote for Hillary. I will do so because it matters that a Republican not get elected to the presidency. It matters not one bit, whether Sinema returns to Congress. Actually, it does matter. If she doesn't return to Congress, we will have one fewer Democrat legitimized the insanity of Republicans.

This isn't the first time that Sinema has undermined her party on critical issues: repeal of the estate tax, logging in public forests, ... I could go on and on. Point is, she does more damage than a Republican would to what I believe in by giving bipartisan cred to the Right. Your "Beautiful Loser" purist Leftist is a strawman.


You'd vote for Hillary over ANY Republican?

Carly? Carson?

INPHX, thanks for the insane recommendation of two people who have never held public office, have no history of leadership on public issues, and are total tokens. Really, why would anyone who's not a complete right-wing loon vote for them?

Boor, politics is the art of the possible. Please point out where unabashed liberals win in purple districts. Arizona is not Vermont. It's not even Nevada. Maybe Sinema is too cute by half when it came to issuing her word salad against the Iran treaty but she is and will remain a vulnerable incumbent. Because it's a winnable seat for the GOP, she's tailoring her viewpoints to maintain "moderate" cred. Yes, it's irritating. But any Democrat is still better than a Republican voting for Paul Ryan's budget. Progress, not perfection.

As I have often said, America once had two mass political parties, each with liberal, centrist and conservative members. Now it only has one, the Democrats. So it shouldn't matter that Sinema is a sometime-conservative Democrat.

Except to those who feel pandered to, taken advantage of, or believe ideological warfare with GOP-style discipline is necessary to win. I agree with Soleri about the perils of purity but also want to understand the spectrum of frustration among her critics.

One thing she would do if she can stay in the seat is give the Democrats a majority. Unfortunately, that's a long way off.

In the old days of mass parties, when factions of both came together in compromise, minority members could still help their states. E.g. John Rhodes on the CAP. Today, the minority is consigned to nada -- unless it is the disciplined Republican minority.

Does Sinema do anything for her district? Transit funding? Anything? Not being snarky...honest question.

Again, I will point out that Kirkpatrick has a far tougher district than Sinema and has not found it necessary to adopt Kyrsten's self-serving antics.

Again, I will point out that it doesn't matter a hill of beans if there is one more or one fewer Dem in an overwhelmingly Republican dominated house.

Again, I will point out that someone like Sinema does more damage to the Democratic message than a Republican in that same seat would.

I'm not asking for an unabashed liberal. Harry Mitchell held that seat for a long time and made many votes I disagreed with. What Harry did not do is undermine his party for the sake of his own ambition. He voted for Obamacare, even though he understood that might cost him the next election (and it did). That is a level of courage we will never see from Kyrsten.

And no, INPHX, there is no Republican running for President who I will consider voting for because, unlike Kyrsten's seat in the House, who is President matters.

Jon, Maybe I'm wrong but there seems to be some political commonality between Sinema and Napolitano.

And, re Rhodes and his backing of Hayden on the CAP, I was opposed as they were even more mistaken than Teddy Roosevelt. Hopefully Skips Dictoral president will create millons more acres of Roadless Wilderness and do away with Forest fire fighters and smoke jumpers.

Pat, It's all spell checks fault (Cal lsd). at 75 I'm still an "illegal" drug virgin.

What Sinema and all associated GOPer-small minded dolts addicted to Israeli paid propaganda on Fox News have forgotten is that NOT ONE of the 9/11 attackers were from Iran. 15 of 19 were from Saudi Arabia, who is also a major funder of ISIS and assorted other fundie wackjobs across the world. Saudis are not our friends, they buy our war toys but now wreck our shale industry and drag us along in endless wars and new wars like in Yemen.

Sinema hasn't forgotten that. She is a very bright woman and knows all of this. It just doesn't matter to her. If she has to pander to people indoctrinated by right wing propaganda to raise money and further her career, she will do it. That's why people will never learn any better with Democratic politicians like her helping to catapult the right wing propaganda. And that's why she needs to go.

I know, I know . . . politics ain't beanbag . . . you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. But no one's scratchin' the working man's back. In the last 30 years, three-quarters of the middle class has been waltzed right off the cliff. Our Congress, our entire political system, is bought and paid for. We will get no help from them.

A government is supposed to do things for the common good, and help and protect its citizens. Our elected representatives are now enacting laws that directly harm us. They don't even have to bother to be sneaky about it anymore. And the Democratic party and the Republican party go right along with the charade.

So, is expecting a politician to do the right thing "purity"? Maybe. Or maybe it is just a percentage of the population standing up for what we believe to be right and just.

We can do our best to make changes through our broken political system, but I am much less optimistic than Soleri.

I appreciate Boor's reasoning about Sinema's useless (and damaging) representation of CD9.

The Hunger Games go planet wide with ISIS as the kings men.

Boor, shall we then surmise that you believe Democratic Senator Schumer needs to go also because he voted against the written agreement with Iran?

There are many reasons why Schumer should go, that being among them.

However, Schumer does not represent me, nor does he purport to. As a Democrat in her district, Sinema does purport to represent me. She doesn't. Sinema is a political chameleon who tells every group what she thinks they want to hear. She represents the stereotype most people have of slimy politicians.

Your answer sounds a lot like one a politician would give.

I know your district and Arizona. You stress she represents the district as a whole, not you in particular. I am going to speculate that the majority in your district are against the deal. Arizona, the home of bombs away McCain, is a particularly militaristic state.

You can speculate all you want, but I live in this district now and think you are wrong. I welcome any evidence that you have to the contrary.

boor, how long have you lived in the district? Sinema and I travelled similar paths in Arizona against the right wing pigs that run the state.

You and SJ can be Democratic jihadists if you like, but Simena needs to win. You won't do any better in redneck Arizona.

Move while your young boor. Vermont isn't the only refuge.

Drifter, it can be better. It has been better. There have been some sane politicians in Arizona in both parties. But I'm not sure how we get to that point without straight jacketing some insane pols.

Schumer had no choice. The JDL are some bad ass dudes.

Oooo! Name calling, Drifter?

Here is something to consider: When a candidate runs as a moderate, then the voters expect that office holder to vote, well, moderately. You don't have to agree with your favored pol on every issue, but, as a voter, you have a general idea of where he or she will come out in the end.

When your favored pol ran as a starry-eyed progressive, then you expect most of the votes to stack up a certain way. It is disheartening to find out that, after all the shouting dies down, your progressive-ish representative is voting Republican.

You can offer all the excuses that you want, but Sinema has burned bridges in CD9.

I don't plan to vote for her. She is not the best we can do. She is dishonest-ish.

This is why we can't have nice things in Arizona. Democrats are cowards.

Hear! Hear!

YT kealhola, got the right and there's a ton of fact to back it

Screw Sinema. May she rot in hell.

Gee Boor, take a breath. I think Soleri mentioned go ahead an inhale. Cowards is a strong accusation but I think it has some validity. But not just in the AZ Democratic party but in the AZ Republican party. There are a lot of moderate conservative Republicans in AZ. But they are in hiding fearing they well be labeled as Rhinos. And many Rhinos vote the Republican party line because they have been told to do so. However in my 65 years in AZ I have noted that since about 1970 the Democratic party leadership has been poorly organized, lacking strong leadership, internal disipline and a fire in the belly.

The reason RINOs are extinct in Arizona is pretty much the same reason why liberal Democrats cower in a corner with Raul Grijalva. Arizona is a huge, surburban wasteland with little to no urban pulse.It means people vote their real values: low taxes, weak communities, lack of civic engagement, short-changed public education, and few civic investments other than freeways and prisons. Kyrsten Sinema, I would suggest, is the symptom of a catastrophe and not its proximate cause.

Would it help if Sinema was as liberal as, say, Barbara Lee, D-CA? Only if you confuse Phoenix with Oakland.

Betrayal dramas are the life-blood of True Believers but you're not going to elect a real liberal from CD-9 anytime soon. You might open your window in order to understand why. You live in Anywhere, USA, not Berkeley, Portland, Seattle, the Upper West Side, Boston, Minneapolis, Burlington, or Santa Monica. Democrats don't vote in mid-term elections, which means Republicans can pick up wins in competitive districts like CD-9.

Beggars can't be choosy but you can crowd the internet with your tribal war chants and Bernie-mania. I hope you all feel empowered with the magic of group-think but it doesn't translate to winning a liberal majority, let alone a Democratic one.

Funny, that.

Soleri: Your analysis is interesting. However, I must point out that we DID elect a "real liberal" in CD9. Kyrsten Sinema ran as a progressive, and she was elected, right here among the great unwashed.

The problem is that, when spring came, she shed her skin and slithered off to vote Republican.

sj, why do you think she did that? Was it because she was secretly much more conservative? Or because she had a revelation that America's Stupid Party is actually closer to the truth? Or because she realized her political survival in Arizona depended on appearing "moderate" and independent?

I think the third possibility is the most likely. I can understand why you're irritated with her brazenly insincere announcement. She got some unfavorable attention nationally, too. But it helps you understand as well just how difficult it is to survive as well in state without a strong liberal base.

I'd rather she survive as a sometimes friend than Arizona simply get another Taliban-lite Republican congressman. She might eventually evolve back to her original positions. With a Republican, you just get one more vote for insanity and nihilism.

Soleri, while your third option (political survival) is a possible explanation for Sinema's swerve to the right, it begs the question(s): How did a professed progressive get elected in this district in the first place? And if the voters were happy to elect her as a (bisexual!) progressive, why would she need to appear more moderate to those very same voters now?

I propose a fourth possibility: Fundraising. She is a fabulous fundraiser . . . and her corporate masters hold the reins.

Sinema's voting record is not an act of conscience; it is not even a cynical play to retain her office; it is the quid pro quo for oodles of cash.

Sinema for Governor, President?

sj, fundraising, however, is a necessary evil. If you're think progressive politicians should be above it, you're essentially ceding the playing field to the party of plutocrats. I know this drives purists crazy, but there is no substitute for the mother's milk of politics. We are not going to levitate the Pentagon or tie-dye our way to Aquarius. Money is power. If we're lucky, we'll get liberals on the USSC, overturn Citizens United, and then get a more liberal congress (and McCain!) to vote for meaningful campaign reform once again. Yeah, liberals will get their hands dirty in the meantime. But there's no other route to the promised land.

Wait a minute . . . I think I missed something along the way.

We should put up with Sinema's fundraising antics, otherwise the plutocrats win? But . . . don't the plutocrats win anyway, if they've purchased Sinema's vote?

Heads they win, tails we lose.

Wait a minute . . . I think I missed something along the way.

We should put up with Sinema's fundraising antics, otherwise the plutocrats win? But . . . don't the plutocrats win anyway, if they've purchased Sinema's vote?

Heads they win, tails we lose.

sj, sorry if this is news to you, but Democrats compete in something called the Real World. Yes, they get donations from Wall Street, real-estate interests, and other shady places. The money has to come from some place and as Willie Sutton would have said. You're not going to win with bake sales and rummage sales. Of course, if you really don't care if Democrats lose as long as you get to be pure and virtuous, that's another story. Now, which party voted in virtual unanimity for campaign finance reform? Yep, Democrats. Which party was almost entirely against it? Yep, Republicans.

Does a light ever go upstairs or are you just trolling here for the hell of it?

"Hey, if you can’t take people’s money and then screw ‘em, then you’ve got no business being in the business."

Former Mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, 1996.

Trolling? Did you miss your nap?

Willie Sutton couldn't bake and he was a piss poor bank robber.
Purity? I met her in a church basement when I was 6. Thus the old Midwest expression. I was 8 before I was 7. And i have know few pols that wouldn't get on thier knees for the money in the pass the collection plate.

Who are - or were - the best Democrats? Union "thugs". They knew who they were up against, what the stakes were, and how to get the best deal. Now your average Green might as well be an Unitarian minister trying to teach a feral cat to be a vegetarian. I don't mean to be insensitive about our too-good-for-this-world lefties, but just because you don't care about winning, there's really no good reason to get exercised about those who do. Yeah, they're tainted. And probably something you're not: effective.

Effective? You mean like the Arizona Democratic candidates who lost every.single.statewide.election by adopting your strategy of pandering to the right for money and for votes. I have a question: if Democratic candidates are too timid to challenge Republican ideology or, as some do, actually embrace it, won't Arizona continue to drift to the right? Even if they win the election, we lose. I do care about winning and your strategy doesn't seem to win.

I noticed that no one has addressed Jon Talton's question: What has Sinema delivered for her district?

That's an excellent question: What has she accomplished for her district that a Republican in the same seat wouldn't have? Don't all speak at once.

Where is Lefty Mofford when We need him?

To answer Jon's question, Sinema toots her own horn quite a bit about veteran's issues. Not necessarily a district issue, but she has delivered for veterans.

To boor's point, what Sinema has delivered for veterans is nothing more than we could have expected from a Republican.

Boor, it's not my strategy since I'm not in the employ of the Democratic Party. What I'm saying is that if you're too good for the Democrats, if you're forever pouting about how impure they are and insufficiently liberal, YOU are the problem. You think Arizona would elect Bernie Sanders US Senator? Alan Grayson in CD-9? It's this detachment from reality which highlights the problem. Arizona is a Neo-Confederate state that, mirabile dictu, actually does elect a few Democrats who happen to be markedly less crazy than a party so extreme it was making Barry Goldwater blush before he died. We can argue all day why it is that Arizona doubles down on dopey right-wing policies that damage the state. What we can't argue with is the Big Sort that made Arizona into a magnet for low-information cretins and bigots. Sinema is, for all her sins, still a refuge for people who recognize a kindred spirit in her person if not all of her political feints.

Survival is the number one principle in war and politics. It's no good being pure in a state as insane as Arizona, which at the level of state government no longer elects Democrats to any office. This catastrophe is not the fault of Sinema. If you want a more liberal state, move. Arizona is so far gone that there's no hope for old-school lefties. Moderates are the best you can do.

I've never suggested that Grayson or Sanders would will in CD-9, again, a strawman of your construction.You may not be in the employ of the Arizona Democratic Party, but believe me, you would fit right in. You think the way they think.

Things will never change for the better in Arizona so long as Democratic candidates refuse to challenge Republican ideology instead of running as Republican-Lite. "Oh, you crazy hippy purist", you say. "You will lose every election if you try that". Well, guess what, Democrats managed to lose every single statewide election by employing your strategy and the strategy of the ADP. I guess your real strategy is to give up and move. Good for you.

That crazy hippy radical Harry Truman got it right: "Given a choice between a fake Republican and a real one, the public will choose the real Republican every time."
When will the brain trust of the ADP get this through their thick skulls?

boor, Democrats are beggars in Arizona. If you want to run for office as an unabashed liberal, they'll welcome you even if they think you're wrongheaded. There isn't any conspiracy to thwart purists like you. There's just political reality itself, which means Republicans outcrazy each other in order to win their primaries while Democrats often don't even bother to field candidates. Because they're aren't any. If you said "yes", party apparatchiks would kiss your feet.

CD-9 is a special case in that it's one of the nation's few competitive districts. Sinema is a pro. She probably knows something about political reality that you don't. Yes, it's frustrating living in a country and state where right-wing megaphones outblast our feeble kazoos. But that's reality. You want to blame me for this? C'mon. It's a lot bigger than any of us, even Barack Obama, who I imagine you also find inadequately liberal.

Harry Truman's bromide aside, people vote Republican - against their own self-interests, in fact - because the GOP has simplified politics to something grotesquely Pavlovian. It's predictably compelling to condemn complexity, government, multiculturalism, and taxes. Defending those things are difficult. Democrats like Sinema work the margins as well as they can but there's no blaring trumpet that calls liberals to arms. Bernie bewitches you with that idea but he's a special case, running for the presidency of New England and New York. He cannot win a national election because Republican juju is too powerful. We're not Denmark and we probably never will be. But if it makes you feel better, I will say this: I wish we were.

The tragedy of Arizona is also our national tragedy. People living in places they don't really love or care for vote that way. If you're lucky, you get to live on the Left Coast, or New England, or the Upper Midwest or the Mid-Atlantic states, all of which are prosperous, mostly white, and well-educated. Flyover country, which includes Arizona, is full of birdbrains and soreheads. If you want to change Arizona's politics, change its socioeconomic reality first. It's not Krysten Sinema's or the Democratic Party's fault Arizona is Mississippi with saguaros. I would suggest if you read this blog very much, you'll get a good idea whose fault it really is: our own and nobody's. After a while, you stop beating your head against that well and either move or accept it. It's up to you.

Ah soleri, still beating the "deluded leftist purist who thinks Arizona is Vermont" strawman I see. If your point is that Alan Grayson or Bernie Sanders could never get elected governor of Arizona, I fully concede that point. Hell, I would settle for a Democratic candidate who just isn't ashamed to be a Democrat with some fire in their belly and is willing to take the fight to the Republicans who have destroyed our public education system and ensured that Arizona remains a low wage state. You probably think that is pie in the sky. I'm not willing to concede THAT.

This reminds me of a conversation that I had with one of Terry Goddard's campaign consultants back in 2010. He told me that the only kind of Democrats that could get elected in Arizona are Blue Dogs and that if I didn't like it, I should move to another state. Terry lost that campaign for governor, but medical marijuana, which he was too timid to support, won.

Arizona voters, in this hopelessly conservative state have passed a number of laws by initiative that would never make it through the Arizona legislature: 1) Medical marijuana 2) Clean Elections 3) An increase in the state minimum wage 4) Expansion of the state's Medicaid program to cover people up to 100% of the poverty level. If Arizona is so conservative, how did all of these initiatives pass?

If Democrats are beggars in Arizona, it is by their own choice. "Please don't eat me" is not a strong bargaining position. This is a stronger bargaining position: "Governor Ducey, you want to get your school funding proposal using state trust lands on the ballot, but you can't get enough Republican votes? You do have a problem. You know who will take the blame, don't you. Tell you what, why don't you and your fellow Republicans pay the public schools what the courts say you owe them and we will talk, otherwise go pound sand"." Yeah, I know, far left radical Alinsky tactics.

Anyway, this is a whole different subject from Sinema, who I admit is just a symptom of a larger problem. The larger problem being self-serving Democrats who are willing to sell out their principles and their party for a chance at the brass ring.

I canvassed for Sinema the first time she ran. I was originally supporting David Schapira, a protege of Harry Mitchell's, hardly a wild-eyed leftist, but a scrapper. When David lost to Kyrsten in the primary, I was willing to canvass for her as a good Democrat. She claimed to be a "progressive" and that's what she was elected as. It turned out to be false advertising. I am unhappy.

Fun fact:Polling shows Arizonans would be willing to pay slightly higher taxes to fund public schools, yet Fred Duval was never willing to mention the "T" word in his campaign. He claimed to be able to fund public schools without a tax increase. Everyone saw through this as moonbeams and mirrors.

Sinema's way blog: and here comes Fiorina.


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