Don't Blame Biden For Admitting He Doesn't Understand Kyrsten Sinema; No One Does

"Over The Falls" by Nancy Ohanian

This morning we discussed an old conservative politician in Alabama, Richard Shelby, who was elected to the state legislature, to Congress and to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat and-- when the GOP won a Senate majority in 1994-- hopped the fence and became a member of the Republican Party. He had already been voting like a Republican for decades. Many people in Washington guess that the next rotgut conservative to go that route, at least in the Senate, will be Kyrsten Sinema, a sociopath with no values and no principles at all and who has changed political ideologies-- from socialist to far right conservative-- as frequently as hair and wig styles.

Sinema was the single worst member of the House Democrats-- worst voting record and chair of the Blue Dog caucus-- when Chuck Schumer decided he saw a little bit of his corrupt self in her and recruited her to run for the U.S. Senate, where she proceeded to give Mitch McConnell an effective veto over the entire Democratic agenda. This morning, National Review, always looking to stir up a little trouble for Democrats, published a weak piece by Dan McLaughlin, Seems the Biden White House Is Gearing Up to Drive Kyrsten Sinema Out of the Party. He was referring to an excerpt in Jonathan Martin's and Alex Burns' new book, This Will Not Pass, in which Biden expresses confusion about who and what Sinema is. I've known Sinema since she was in the state legislature and we served on a national board together and perhaps if McLaughlin, Martin and Burns had paid better attention, they would understand that Kyrsten Sinema is not just another garden variety politician, not even just another garden variety corrupt politician (though she certainly is that). Garden variety politicians, conservative Democrats, corrupt scumbags... that's all part of the stream Biden has been swimming in since before Sinema was born. What Biden was confused about--and what he was not used to dealing with-- was someone who is certifiably insane. Kyrsten Sinema is a genuine sociopath and cannot be effectively dealt with from any other perspective.

That may be too much for Biden to handle, but it's basically too much for almost anyone to handle. On Wednesday, Mike Allen ran a leaked excerpt from the new book-- which McLaughlin foolishly and incorrectly attributed to the White House-- which has Biden expressing frustration in not understanding Sinema. "One person close to the president likened Biden's perplexity at Sinema to his difficulty grasping his grandchildren's use of ... TikTok. He wanted to relate, but he just didn’t quite get it." Who gets it? Not Schumer? Not anyone in the media. Certainly no one in the Arizona Democratic Party, which has all but disowned her. Allen:

In the spring of 2021, "she became the first-ever lawmaker to argue with White House aides when they asked her to wear a face mask in the company of the president, repeatedly asking why that was necessary when she had been vaccinated."
She also discouraged Biden from coming to Arizona after the president signed the COVID rescue plan in 2021.
...At a private fundraiser in DC with a Republican-heavy group of lobbyists-- which hasn't been reported before-- she portrayed herself as anti-tax and anti-government.
She mocked Biden while speaking warmly about House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, and even defending far-right Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who denied the election results and claimed Antifa had infiltrated the Capitol riot. "I love Andy Biggs," she said. "I know some people think he’s crazy, but that's just because they don’t know him."
Separately, Sinema old colleagues five or six other Senate Dem moderates were "hiding behind my skirt" as she pushed back on the left.