'Abusing her position': Mehdi Hasan explains why Sinema will have to 'play a little nicer' if Warnock is reelected
Democrats learned that they would be keeping their majority in the U.S. Senate when Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was reelected in Nevada, and they will be slightly expanding that majority if incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeats Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia. MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, during a Sunday night, November 27 commentary, laid out some reasons why a 51-seat majority would be better for Democrats in 2023 than a 50-seat majority. And one of them, Hasan argued, is the fact that centrist Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona will have less power.
“Sinema, in my opinion, has been abusing her position as a swing vote, a swing senator, throwing her weight around in a 50/50 Senate to stall the Democratic Party’s agenda at every turn,” the progressive Hasan told viewers. “Before the midterm elections, the Senate was split down the middle, 50/50. That meant that Democrats needed every single one of their senators to vote together, with Vice President Kamala Harris then acting as the tie-breaker in order to get anything passed. So, by threatening to defect —by threatening not to vote with her party — Kyrsten Sinema, as well as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, could hold any Democratic Party legislation hostage.”
Hasan added, however, that Sinema’s “sway over” fellow Senate Democrats “may be coming to an end” if Warnock is reelected and Democrats end up with a 51-seat U.S. Senate majority. Republicans, in that scenario, would be a 49-seat minority in the Senate.
“So, instead of having to beg both Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin for support all the time, Democrats would only need one of them,” Hasan told viewers. “And while they’re both up for reelection in 2024, only one of them, Kyrsten Sinema, is running for reelection in an increasingly purple state…. Even without a Warnock win, Sinema might need to play a little nicer with her Democratic colleagues in D.C. in order to boost her support with the party base back at home in Arizona. Otherwise, she’s going to face a grueling primary come 2024. And let’s be honest, she deserves to.”
Hasan made his point by bringing on Rep. Rubén Gallego, a liberal Arizona Democrat who was reelected in the 2022 midterms and is being mentioned as a possible primary challenger for Sinema in 2024. Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville has said that if Gallego challenges Sinema in a Senate primary, he will support him.
Gallego told Hasan that he hasn’t decided whether or not he will run for the U.S. Senate but told Hasan he will “have my answer in 2023.”
Although Democrats kept their Senate majority in the midterms, they lost their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. And Gallego is expecting the worst from the new GOP House majority that will be seated in January 2023.
“This is what they’re going to do for the next two years — it’s just a series of gimmicks and tribunals, essentially,” Gallego told Hasan. “Because they don’t have solutions. They’re not going to be able to govern unless they just kind of give more bread and circuses to their own party, which is going to be the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and Lauren Boeberts of the world. They have no solution to help bring down inflation; they have no solution to actually help health care be cheaper and more affordable. If anything, they’re going to try to make it worse. So, what they’re going to do is do these types of gimmicks.”
Watch the video below or at this link:
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