Tale of Two Senators
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
Despite being characterized as a “purple” state, Arizona has two blue — meaning, Democratic — senators, Krysten Sinema and Mark Kelly. Yet other than common party affiliation, the difference between them could not be more striking.
Take the argument over killing the filibuster in order to pass the misnamed Voting Rights Bill (the one which would forever bury Jefferson Davis). Ms. Sinema has bravely come forth and given a speech on the Senate floor explaining why this was a bad — in fact Un-American — idea.
She was brilliantly articulate in explaining the role of the filibuster in maintaining some semblance of policy stability in the face of partisan swings. It wasn’t a partisan speech; it was an American history lesson from an unusually thoughtful senator.
Most importantly, it represents Senator Sinema’s constituency, which is overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of eliminating voter ID, a key feature of the voting rights bill. She has stood athwart the scheme with firmness and dignity in keeping with the august nature of the Senate itself.
And Senator Kelly? Nowhere to be found. Whatever happened to the brave, patriotic American who risked his life in the service of the American space program? Where is he when his constituents need him to step up and show a little of the courage and leadership that once informed his life?
Upon election to the Senate, Mr. Kelly seems to have opted for early retirement. Can one name a single issue on which the ex-astronaut has taken a position demonstrating an inkling of moral courage or independent thought?
Take, for instance, President Biden’s policy of a wide-open border. That’s even more unpopular in Arizona than the issue of voter ID. Were Senator Kelly from, say, North Dakota this wouldn’t be such a hot button issue, but Arizona is on the front line of the border crisis.
Every day tourists carrying fentanyl, disease, criminal and subversive intent, come traipsing across the undefended Arizona landscape. It is hard to understand why Mr. Biden has embraced such a policy, unless he is planning to include these new visitors in the Voting Rights bill, but he certainly hasn’t made any friends in Arizona.
So, what has Mark Kelly done about this? Our review of the record fails to turn up a single thing. What, one might ask, can a lone Senator do about immigration policy? The answer is, if the lone senator is one of only 50 Democratic senators, a lot. Look no further than what Mr. Kelly’s colleague, Ms. Sinema, did about the filibuster.
On any issue important to Mr. Biden on which he needs a Senate majority — say the broken border — all Mr. Kelly has to do is threaten a ‘no” vote. Mr. Biden would take care of it faster than you can say “C’mon man.”
Instead of taking this rather obvious step to promote the welfare of his constituents, Mr. Kelly has been playing footsie with his newfound, left-wing friends, voting in lock step with the Pelosi-Biden agenda. The contrast with Senator Sinema could not be more glaring.
It was wise of the Founders to populate the Senate with two members from each state. This not only reduced the chances that a single senator would accrue too much power, but it doubled the chances that at least one of them would do his — or her — job.