The Serious Case of the Non-Serious Senators

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2 mins read
Joe Manchin

Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin are not serious people, certainly not serious Democrats.

It’s not just the hypocrisy, which we have come to expect from Republicans but not from our own. It’s not just the gaslighting (though that’s part of it). It’s not just claiming to support legislation while rejecting the means to actually get to vote on that legislation.

It’s the fact that Joe Manchin can stand in the Senate with the sign above, which is a blatant lie. 

Executive branch nominees, judicial nominees, even our three most recent Supreme Court justices — the debates over these appointments all have ended with with a simple majority. So has raising the debt ceiling. And passing Republican tax cuts. 

Just yesterday Manchin spoke about voters who may be denied the ability to cast ballots, asserting, “[B]asically the government, the government will stand behind them and give them the right to vote.”

When you are a sitting senator, but you push off responsibility for a fundamental Constitutional right, you are not a serious person.

Sinema is not a serious person either. It’s not just voting against raising the minimum wage with a cutesy curtsy or presiding over the Senate in a denim vest or wearing a red dress for yesterday’s vote. It’s not just a political history that can be tracked in a straight line from left to right, from a Green Party “Prada socialist” to progressive Democrat to a member of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition. 

It’s the fact that last week Sinema addressed the Senate, claiming, “strong” support for the voting rights acts but still insisting that any fix come through “bipartisan” measures.

When you know something is impossible but you demand it anyway, you are not a serious person.

Or maybe both Manchin and Sinema are serious, just about their own futures, not those belonging to the people who elected them.


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Rena Korb is a professional writer and editor. Her publications span from children’s books to political commentary. She volunteers as a DemCast California captain and as a leader with her local Indivisible chapter. She also is a lifelong activist, attending her first protest when she was 16. She lives in San Mateo with her family and, in non-pandemic times, enjoys playing Ultimate frisbee.

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