The”Myth of Bipartisanship”: Kyrsten Sinema Becomes The Latest Victim of Rage Politics, by Jonathan Turley

Jonathan Turley examines the political tactics of spoiled brats. From Turley at

Below is my column in the Hill on the Democratic members and groups attacking Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) after she repeated her support for the filibuster rule. The reaction to her floor speech reveals the depth of the addiction to rage in our body politic.  It is the same license that we saw this weekend in Florida when Florida agriculture commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried compared the support of Gov. Ron DeSantis to the rise of “Hitler.” It is not enough to disagree. You have to compare your opponent to a genocidal murderer. It seems that we cannot discuss even agriculture policies without raising Anschluss in the age of rage.  Many of us criticized former President Trump for his personal attacks and attacks on the press, but many of those same voices are now denouncing others, like Sinema, as enemies of democracy and the people. Sinema is a case study in rage politics.

Here is the column:


In Shakespeare’s “Othello,” the character Iago famously declared that “men in rage strike those that wish them best.” It was a warning that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) now understands all too well. Both Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have refused to be bullied into changing the filibuster rule — a rule that forces the parties into dialogue and compromise.

Sinema supports the voting rights legislation but sees this move as endangering any chance of national healing and resolution. She stated on the Senate floor that “we have but one democracy. We can only survive, we can only keep her, if we do so together.” That deeply felt speech was met with vile, threatening attacks. It appears that, in a nation addicted to rage, even those seeking an intervention can become the casualties of our political distemper.

Sinema offered the same arguments long used to support the filibuster — indeed, the same arguments made by President Biden until this week. Biden once called earlier efforts to change the filibuster “disastrous” for democracy and proclaimed, “God save us from that fate. … [It] would change this fundamental understanding and unbroken practice of what the Senate is all about.” Others joined him then in demanding that Senate Republicans preserve the rule in the name of democracy itself, including then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who insisted that abandoning the rule would be “doomsday for Democracy” and reduce the United States to a “banana Republic.”

All of those speeches were celebrated back then in the media and by Democrats as powerful and poignant.

Yet that is the liberating quality of rage: It is pure and absolute without the burden of reason or recognition. Liberal commentators this week went after Sinema with sputtering, blind fury, many mocking that she became emotional as she described the anger and divisions in the country.

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