October 22, 2018


Don't believe the attack ads. Here's who Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally really are (Editorial board,  Oct. 21, 2018, AZ Central)

Sinema did wear a tutu. She told a Libertarian talk-show host that she had no problem with him joining the Taliban. But she also was one of the few Democratic state lawmakers who was willing to try to work with then-Senate President Russell Pearce, who authored the tumultuous Senate Bill 1070. She also became close friends with former Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon.

People change. They learn and grow. And Sinema's record in Washington proves it.

More than 60 percent of the bills she co-sponsored this session were introduced by Republicans. She voted just a couple of weeks ago to make some of the tax cuts permanent in last year's Republican-led bill - making her one of three Democrats to do so.

Sinema sides with Trump's agenda 62 percent of the time, according to an analysis by the website FiveThirtyEight - less so on social issues than on the economy and defense. But it's hard to argue that the Sinema of the last few years is some sort of commie - not when Andy Biggs, perhaps one of Arizona's most right-leaning politicians, votes with Trump only 74 percent of the time. [...]

McSally's foes have painted her as a negative hardliner who voted to ruin your health care. Sinema's campaign even ran an ad claiming McSally voted to cut Medicare, saying, "If she'll lie about our Medicare, she will lie about anything." 

For the record, McSally voted in 2017 for a Republican budget resolution that sought to slow cost increases by expanding the role of private insurance in Medicare. But nothing's actually been cut, and the debate's out on whether that plan would turn Medicare into a voucher system, as Democrats allege.

McSally does vote with Trump's position on issues 97 percent of the time. But she is not the ideological hardliner that many make her out to be, and you can see that in how she approaches legislation. Like Sinema, McSally studies issues deeply, works to make compromises within the legislation and, in the end, votes based on whether the bill is better than the status quo.

Perhaps most illustrative of her approach -- and completely lost in the campaign rhetoric on both sides - is how McSally handled Obamacare. She voted for repeal, but when that effort failed, she joined a bipartisan group that offered solutions to shore up the program - and noted in an op-ed that you fight the battle you're in, not the one you wish you had.

It is the lack of any substantive differences between the two main parties that makes politics at the End of History so partisan and identity driven.
Posted by at October 22, 2018 4:01 AM