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Censuring Senator Sinema – WSJ


Journal Editorial Report: Senate votes on election rules and the filibuster fail major tests. Images: AFP/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

If there’s any remaining doubt that killing the Senate legislative filibuster is now Democratic Party orthodoxy, it vanished over the weekend when the executive board of the state party in Arizona voted to censure

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Her offense was taking a position in favor of the filibuster—which was Democratic Senate orthodoxy as recently as two years ago.

“While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Executive Board has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy,” Arizona Democratic Party Chair

Raquel Terán

said in a statement. News reports say the vote was unanimous.

This is unfair to Ms. Sinema, who supports the Democratic voting-rights bill. She simply refuses to blow up the 60-vote filibuster rule to pass the bill with 51 votes because she can see what Republicans will do under such a rule if they get control of the Senate, House and White House. She’s protecting democracy by requiring that the Senate follow its traditional obligation to forge consensus to pass major legislation that is unrelated to the annual budget.

The censure follows suggestions from her Senate Democratic colleagues that she could be challenged in a primary if she runs for re-election in 2024.

Bernie Sanders

said he likes the idea, and

Elizabeth Warren

refused to rule out support for a challenger. Asked Sunday on CNN what he thought of the state party’s censure of Ms. Sinema, Mr. Sanders called it “exactly right.” This from a man who for decades refused to run as a Democrat.

The Arizona censure is the mirror image of state Republican parties that have censured GOP Representatives who voted to impeach President Trump over his behavior on Jan. 6. In today’s polarized times, votes of conscience are now seen by too many partisans as acts of betrayal from the imperative to win and keep power by whatever means possible.

Congratulations to Ms. Sinema and West Virginia

Sen. Joe Manchin

for being exceptions willing to stand on principle. Ms. Sinema remains more popular among all Arizona voters than she is among partisan Democrats, and don’t be surprised if she is vindicated politically in the end.

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