No, John Fetterman Is Not the New Kyrsten Sinema


  • Sen. John Fetterman is more and more drawing comparisons to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
  • Certain, they’re each eccentric personalities who push boundaries with their vogue decisions.
  • However Fetterman’s break with the left is nothing near Sinema’s thwarting of her personal social gathering.

In latest weeks, Sen. John Fetterman has more and more been in comparison with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema by each progressive activists and conservative information retailers alike.

It is clearly a tempting comparability.

Each senators have eccentric private manufacturers, characterize swing states, push the bounds of what is acceptable to put on within the halls of Congress, and appear to harbor one thing of a contrarian streak.

However in actuality, the Pennsylvania Democrat could not be extra completely different than the Arizona Unbiased — and it is value taking a better have a look at each politicians to grasp why.

Loads of Democrats really feel the identical manner about Israel as Fetterman — he is simply extra blunt about it

Fetterman’s unique sin with progressives has been the staunch pro-Israel line he is taken for the reason that October 7 Hamas assault.

Not solely has he declined to situation vital criticisms of Israel — regardless of the mounting civilian demise toll in Gaza — however he is pushed again ferociously on criticism, arguing that progressives ought to be protesting Hamas as a substitute.

In November, he even appeared to troll a gaggle of pro-ceasefire protestors as they have been being arrested on Capitol Hill.

However whereas Fetterman’s angle in regards to the battle has been grating and discouraging for progressives, it is value noting that on paper, there’s little distinction between his stance and that of most different Democrats — what’s completely different is how Fetterman’s channeled that stance through his blunt, usually trollish private fashion.

Certainly, most Democrats and primarily all Republicans, like Fetterman, are against putting situations on US support to Israel and assist sending the nation an extra $14 billion in army support.

Fetterman has hardly damaged with the social gathering typically

Past Israel, Fetterman has angered progressives by supporting ongoing talks within the Senate about making vital adjustments to the nation’s immigration legal guidelines, which Republicans have insisted in trade for persevering with support to Ukraine.

However even then, he isn’t calling for something particularly draconian, however reasonably expressing the mainstream view that the continuing unlawful immigration to the USA have to be by some means addressed.

“I hope Democrats can perceive that it is not xenophobic to be involved in regards to the border,” Fetterman instructed POLITICO earlier this month. “It is a affordable dialog, and Democrats ought to have interaction.”

He additionally instructed the outlet that he’s in opposition to any deal that harms Dreamers, comparable to his spouse, Gisele. Past that, he has mentioned little particulars of a possible package deal, past expressing broad assist for taking the problem critically.

Against this, Sinema has damaged together with her social gathering on quite a few core points, whether or not it is authorities spending, altering the Senate filibuster, or her option to abandon the social gathering altogether final yr.

One key distinction of their evolutions, nevertheless, is that Sinema hasn’t positioned herself a progressive since her time as a Inexperienced Occasion activist in Arizona.

Fetterman, till lately, embraced the label.

Neither senator has modified that a lot over time

It is also value acknowledging that neither politician has fully reinvented themselves, whilst they’ve developed over time.

Whereas nowhere near the registered impartial and potential 2024 Senate spoiler that she is now, Sinema was a really reasonable Democrat within the Home for a number of phrases earlier than her 2018 election to the Senate.

And Fetterman made his staunch pro-Israel positions abundantly clear in a 2022 interview with Jewish Insider, lengthy earlier than he was truly elected.

“At any time when I am in a state of affairs to be referred to as on to take up the reason for strengthening and enhancing the safety of Israel or deepening our relationship between the USA and Israel, I’ll lean in,” Fetterman instructed the outlet.

In brief, no matter you consider their politics, they should not precisely come as a shock.

Simply wait till Democrats have a trifecta once more

Maybe probably the most essential distinction between the 2 senators — even when it is a distinction that is still to be totally examined — is their willingness to truly thwart their social gathering’s agenda.

Sinema first drew the ire of not simply progressives, however primarily the complete Democratic social gathering, as a result of she and Manchin held up vital elements of President Joe Biden’s home agenda in 2021 and 2022.

Not solely did she oppose the unique “Construct Again Higher” social spending and local weather invoice, however she opposed weakening the filibuster to move voting and abortion rights laws.

Fetterman, in contrast, has not sought to thwart his social gathering on something. And he ran as an unabashed proponent of eliminating the filibuster.

True, the US is now in a interval of divided authorities, and there is not a lot Biden can do to advance a constructive legislative agenda anyway.

But it surely’s value noting that as he ran for Senate, Fetterman was criticizing Sinema for not voting like a Democrat.

In the end, the actual take a look at of the comparisons will come as soon as Democrats have a trifecta once more.

If Fetterman, at that time, emerged as a big impediment to the aspirations of his social gathering, then the comparisons to Sinema can be applicable.

However till then, it is a fairly lazy analogy.



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