First and foremost, let's get this out of the way: I am personally of the mind that if someone is elected to high national office, they absolutely deserve to be yelled at all the time, no matter the circumstances. If a person holds the lives and wellbeing of millions of constituents in their hands, then a sincere haranguing is truly a small price to pay in exchange for that sort of unimaginable power and privilege — especially if that person has gone out of their way to make themselves as unavailable as possible to those same constituents who might otherwise go through more traditional channels to get their representative's attention.
Which is all to say: I don't really have a problem with a group of activists trying to hold Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema accountable for her obstinate, and largely self-serving, refusal to not only pass her own party's legislative priorities, but to even explain why she's chosen to derail them in the first place. That progressives had to approach Sinema in her classroom at Arizona State University, trailing her to a nearby restroom as she refused to acknowledge their personal stories of human trafficking and anti-immigrant experiences, says more about her effort to insulate herself from criticism than it does any perceived impropriety on the part of the activists.
While following someone into a bathroom is certainly an unappealing prospect for both sides of any given scenario, it's not, as Sinema herself complained Monday, "not legitimate protest." A breach in some nebulous, unspecified standard of civility may be uncomfortable, but it's hardly the collapse of the American political system Sinema wants us to think it is. Sorry being a politician is not all wine luncheons and high-roller donor meetings, but them's the breaks, I suppose.
To get a sense of just how backward the criticism of this whole scenario is, take a look at who has come oozing out of the muck to share their opinions on what is and isn't acceptable in politics. Real decorum-respectors like ... overt xenophobe Stephen Miller:
... and Tim Murtaugh, a former spokesman for former President Trump:
... and current Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington:
... and Newsmax host Steve Cortes:
... and Nevada Trump campaign co-chair Adam Laxalt:
You get the idea.
Do you sincerely believe for a second that any one of the above-cited ghouls actually cares about the following:
- Kyrsten Sinema
- The legislation being discussed
- The personal experiences of the activists
Of course they don't. What they do care about is the scent of blood in the water, as Sinema poses a very real threat to President Biden's agenda. Had these activists followed Sinema into a bathroom to rant about voter fraud or some nonsense like that, the same conservative swamp rats defending Sinema's right to privacy would no doubt be lauding their patriotism and tenacity.
The ultimate point is that I suspect this won't be the last time Sinema gets yelled at for being an obstructionist weirdo. I certainly hope not. Yelling at elected officials is good — for you, for them, for everyone. But as long as Sinema remains wholly committed to preventing her own party from doing some sincere legislative good while they still can, she'll probably keep enjoying the full-throated support of some of the worst conservative ghouls in the country. That's politics, folks!