By now, we’re all familiar with the campaign on the Left to publicly harass Kyrsten Sinema over her objections to the massive reconciliation bill, so this clip may seem a bit old hat by now. Activists have followed the Senate Democrat into at least one public bathroom with cameras, which sets up all sorts of questions about privacy and attacks on women. My friend Dan Gainor makes this point today, although this incident was at least in an area of an airport where people remain fully clothed:
If conservatives stalked a woman senator this way, the left would freak out. https://t.co/ha0c1ejCKd
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) October 26, 2021
Indeed. But what makes this clip rather special is its conclusion, which “Peoples Watch” apparently didn’t think to trim. As Sinema walks through the airport with Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, hardly anyone takes notice of him, although he’s giving Sinema plenty of moral support as she ignores her harasser.
That is, until the very end, when someone on the opposite escalator recognizes Scott under his mask. “Thanks for your work, sir!” the man calls out and gives a thumbs-up, to which Scott replies, “Thank you very much!”
This heartwarming Tim Scott moment is brought to you by Progressives for Backfire.
Anyway, activists remain angry at Sinema’s refusal to engage them, and by “activists” we must include the Washington Post, it seems. Amber Phillips calls it a “disservice to public discourse” without noting the “service” provided by professional haranguers like Peoples Watch. What does she hope to gain by silence, Phillips wonders?
In part because Sinema’s vote is so critical to major government policy changes, staying quiet about what she likes or dislikes is also arguably a disservice to public discourse. The more people know about what she and other lawmakers are debating, the more Americans can participate in shaping legislation that will affect their lives.
So, why is Sinema so mum amid all this criticism? Let’s review some possible theories.
Her office says she doesn’t negotiate through the press. “Sen. Sinema does not negotiate policy details through the press,” her spokesman, John LaBombard, said in a statement.
What does he mean by that? Reading between the lines, it appears that Sinema has decided that the media is not helpful to getting what she wants out of legislation.
Sinema appears to see media not as a tool, but as an obstacle to progress.
Is that an accurate take? In theory, you’d hope not, but in practice it suuuuure looks reasonable. It’s much more likely that Sinema’s been watching the progressives work the media refs long enough to know that debating them in those forums is a losing proposition. Besides, she belongs to the most venerable debate society in America, if not the world — the US Senate. So why debate with reporters and harassing activists when the only debate that matters takes place between 100 members of that club?
Speaking of backfire, shouldn’t all of these activists and the progressives they support worry that Sinema seems more engaged with Tim Scott than the Left these days? Maybe they’re pushing her into that position. The backfire might be multidimensional in this case.