NBC: Sen. Sinema isn't a 'bi icon' anymore, she's a negative stereotype come to life

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

If you want to know just how angry the left is with Kyrsten Sinema, this opinion piece that appeared yesterday in NBC’s Culture and Lifestyle section is a pretty good indication. You might think that articles arguing someone is essentially a bad stereotype, one who is harming an entire identity group, would be verboten these days. Haven’t we all agreed that attacking people with negative stereotypes is generally not a good idea? Apparently the stigma against doing that is lifted if you annoy people on the left enough. And so, the author of this piece, who is bi herself, wants everyone to know that Sen. Sinema is no longer a “bi icon.” Instead she’s “bad for the bisexuals” and an example of the “limits of representation.”

Instead of a brash, bisexual icon willing and able to stand up to the far right, she’s now seen as an unreliable centrist, a self-absorbed Democratic turncoat more fixated on getting attention and lining her own pockets than uplifting her community. No longer a bi icon, she’s now held up as a cautionary tale about the limits of representation

Within the LGBTQ community, bisexuals can be viewed as fair-weather members at best — likely to bail the second we stop having fun. Media outlets might not be talking about Sinema’s sex life, but her political reputation as greedy, unreliable and attention-seeking echoes many of the stereotypes my community has been dealing with for years…

“Is she bad for the bisexuals?” I find myself wondering on a nearly daily basis. It feels uncharitable to put so much responsibility on one woman’s shoulders. Yet given that she’s arguably the most prominent bisexual woman in the nation, it feels fair to wish she’d put a little more effort into being a bit less of a stereotype.

People are of course free to think what they like but it would be nice if the author could manage a smidge of self-awareness about what is happening here. The left is angry with Sinema and so they are turning all of the political, social and cultural pressure they can muster her way in an effort to force her to go along with the party. That includes activists following her into bathrooms and through airports and it includes lots of media pieces about what an inscrutable, irrational and even murderous person she is. It’s not a very subtle campaign at this point.

In fact, it’s fair to say the only reason NBC published this piece is that, right now, there’s a huge market for Sinema-bashing. Absent that market, which is entirely based on the shaky political fortunes of one party, no one would be hounding her or calling her a bad bi.

Look again at that excerpt above. The author’s description of Sinema is based on a series of links. The first link is to a CNN story titled “Liberal backlash against Sinema grows on Capitol Hill as potential Arizona challenger emerges.” The tone of that is that liberals are angry with Sinema to the point they could primary her. Here’s a bit of what it says:

“Her position is well known,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday when asked by CNN if the Arizona senator has conveyed concerns about tax hikes directly to her…

“She’s really negotiating with the President and, so I feel like what I have is what the President has said to me, which is, she is very much at the table,” Jayapal added.

The third link in that same list is to a tweet from the Late Show. It’s a clip mocking Sinema as unable to decide what she wants. The author thinks the last line of this skit, “I kinda like the attention” is proof that Sinema just wants attention.

Just to sum up so far, we have late night comics mocking her (like I said, all of the left’s cultural power is being turned against her) for not being able to make up her mind but you also have an article at CNN which indicates Speaker Pelosi and President Biden think her views are clear and that she’s “very much at the table.” They can’t both be true but maybe the author is hoping you didn’t bother to follow the links.

The fourth link is a story about Sinema taking money from lobbyists for the Chamber of Commerce and others. The argument made there is that, absent that money, she’d totally be on board with the BBB bill. She has no principles of her own just an outstretched hand and a desire for filthy lucre.

Finally, the second link goes to a Slate podcast headlined, “Kyrsten Sinema Has Toxic White Lady Energy.” That one is from back in June and is mostly about Sinema’s refusal to end the filibuster.

What you have here is a hodge podge of progressive outrage, some of if contradicting other parts of it. The author is basically surfing a wave of barely coherent rage and collecting it together into one particularly nasty and personal attack: Sinema is such a bi stereotype that she’s embarrassing an entire group of people. Imagine saying this about any other minority represented in Congress? It’s ugly stuff and it’s all based on nothing but the anger progressives feel over not getting their way.

The left has always been good at destroying people they oppose. They did it to Kavanaugh just a few years ago, now it’s Sinema and Manchin taking the hits. This NBC piece is a low point in that effort.