Kyrsten Sinema, bathroom protesters and the rise of crude politics
Kyrsten Sinema spent the past year participating in a Beltway social experiment that could determine whether an intellectual nullity, dressed in Instagrammable vintage clothing, could be portrayed as a brave and serious centrist ideologue. And it must be said that this plan has worked spectacularly for the senator from Arizona. Lately, she’s been the subject of a flattering article from Axios who reveled in the fact that she had lugged spreadsheets around the Capitol—but didn’t even bother to check his math. And over the weekend, she earned a Maureen Dowd profile that compared her to a “silent movie star“, probably for no other reason than the fact that Dowd got stuck on the deadline, insisting that the senator’s last name rhymes with” movies. ”
But Sinema’s effort to become what I’ll call the Caroline calloway of obstruction ran into a problem when his constituents confronted her in a public toilet crudely demand that she do her job. This, in turn, triggered a paroxysm of the media take In regards to whether such clashes broke the limits of civility. It became a kind of expert sub-genre after a few similar met To Restaurants collapsed during the Trump era, sparking discussions over whether hoi polloi needed an authoritative guide on how to interact with their superiors in public.
While we could continue discussing the proper rules of engagement for angry voters …the toilets are bad; good town halls!– it would be confusing a symptom with the larger disease. Simply put, a cruder form of politics becomes inevitable when people are deprived of political power. In this case, the critics of his hecklers missed a key detail: Sinema refuses to interact with the public. As an Arizona activist Explain, “You have to understand, we’ve tried all ‘normal’ ways of talking to him. You can’t get a meeting. His office is closed. Her voicemail is full. We cannot afford to attend his fundraisers. She hasn’t had a town hall for three years.