Friday, October 22, 2021

Prioritizing Identity

The accolades, focused on identity, were plenty on that cool and cloudy day of November 12, 2018 in Washington, D.C. 

Scott Dworkin, co-founder and director of The Democratic Coalition, tweeted "BREAKING: Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has officially won her campaign for Senate in Arizona. Senator-Elect Sinema is the first woman to even serve as a US Senator from AZ." Appearing on the official Twitter account of the Democratic National Committee was "FLIP ALERT: Kyrsten Sinema has won in Arizona. Krysten ran on the issues that matter most to Arizonans- health care, the economy, and equality for all. We couldn't be more thrilled to se this smart, tenacious woman elected to the US Senate."

However, my favorite was from Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay woman to have been elected to the US Senate. She tweeted- honestly- "Congratulations to Kyrsten Sinema on a well-deserved victory. The upper chamber is lucky to have your steady leadership."

You many know where this is going, especially with that "steady leadership" thing.  Politico on Wednesday noted

As they seek to finalize President Joe Biden’s social spending plan by the end of the week, Sinema (D-Ariz.) remains opposed to one of the party's chief goals of raising tax rates on high-income earners and corporations, a long-sought objective since former President Donald Trump signed his 2017 tax cut law.

Now, party leaders are working behind the scenes to target the wealthy and corporate America without crossing what increasingly appears like a red line to Sinema, according to Democratic lawmakers and aides following the bill.

Though Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has advocated raising rates on high-income earners, corporations and capital gains, Sinema has landed to the right of Manchin on tax policy. And Democrats need to choose, quickly, to keep trying to convince Sinema or to craft workarounds that she can accept....

And many Democrats have grown frustrated with how much control Sinema is exerting, and the secretive way she wields it.

“This is a guessing game with Senator Sinema. Yeah, we're all supposed to be on the same team. And that means transparency, communication and collaboration. Without it, it makes this significantly more challenging,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas). “I don't know what the red lines are for one U.S. senator who has an amazing amount of power.”

Now, that is steady leadership, just as ex-president Trump continues to provide non-judgmental, unity-seeking leadership.  The jubilation felt by many Democrats upon the election of a bisexual because she is LGBTQ contrasts sharply with Justice Thurgood Marshall's much greater wisdom of thirty years ago when he was asked about selecting a replacement for him:: "I think the important factor is to pick the best person for the job, not on the basis of race one way or the other. I mean for picking the wrong Negro and saying 'I'm picking him because he's a Negro.'  I'm opposed to that...  I think the important factor is to pick the best person for the job, not on the basis of race one way or the other."



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