Kyrsten Sinema at lectern
Image from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's web page

Manchin, Sinema Might Not Be Alone in Seeing Dems’ Problems

Charles Cooke of National Review Online assesses congressional Democrats’ concerns about the direction their party is taking.

When Democratic proposals begin to fail, Senators Sinema and Manchin tend to take all the heat. But that doesn’t mean they’re actually alone in their opposition. Indeed, as we’ve now seen with both the minimum wage and the filibuster, their reluctance is often a warning sign that there are other Democrats who do not want to get aboard, but do not want to say so quite yet.

This morning, Politico reports that:

It’s unclear exactly how many Democrats are siding with prominent House and Senate moderates. One centrist Democrat up for reelection next year, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), declined to say whether she’s comfortable with the $3.5 trillion spending number on Monday, or whether she agrees with pausing the legislation.

The 2022 midterms are still a long way out, but at the moment Hassan is losing. And she knows it. Perhaps, when it comes to it, she won’t care. Perhaps she’ll be convinced that she can save herself by acquiescing to the binge. Perhaps she’ll end up voting for the whole thing, if she gets the chance, out of blind loyalty to her party.

But perhaps she won’t. And, at the very least, the fact that she won’t answer questions suggests that this is not a position she especially wants to be in. …

… The Democrats’ plans are utterly absurd. They are extraordinary. They represent government malpractice of the highest order. Joe Manchin seems to know it. Kyrsten Sinema seems to sort of know it. The moderates in the House seem definitely to know it.

Does Senator Hassan? Do others?

To this point, Manchin and Sinema have had little company when dissenting from the absurdity of congressional Democratic leaders’ plans. It will be interesting to see if 2022 midterms push more senators into their camp.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...