Thank You For the Visuals on Video, Senator Sinema.
Video of the Arizona Senator casting her no vote for the minimum wage increase has understandably sparked outrage online.
As many of us who have been following the fate of the $15 minimum wage in the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill already know, eight Senate Democrats voted alongside the Republican party to kill the amendment including the wage increase. A wage increase that would have given America’s lowest earning workers a raise they have not seen since 2009. Among the eight, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema had been vowing to vote against this piece of the bill virtually from the time Joe Biden indicated his intentions to include it.
As if eight Senate Democrats sending a message to the left and killing what is inarguably the bare minimum of progressive policy goals wasn’t infuriating enough, the now viral video of Senator Sinema casting her no vote has sparked justifiable outrage online. Head held high and making her way to the center of the Senate floor, Sinema made a show of sticking her arm all the way out, jutting out her hip and knee into what looked like a half attempt at a curtsy, and gleefully turned her thumb down before throwing her bag over her shoulder and marching away.
Seconds before, she was even caught on video clapping Mitch McConnell on the back and attempting to get his attention, looking back around to see if he would watch her cast her no vote.
He ignored her.
Earlier in the day before casting her vote to deny tens of millions of people a raise — as if the video of the vote wasn’t telling enough — she brought cake to the Senate for what her office insists was for the Senate staffers who had worked tirelessly through the night.
Well, the choice of dessert and the context surrounding it is certainly fitting, considering the infamous legendary statements of Marie Antoinette before the French Revolution:
“let them eat cake…”
As a cherry on top, Sinema’s spokeswoman thought it wise to argue in response to the blowback that it was sexist to point out her “body language” or “physical demeanor”.
From the moment her filmed antics began to spread like wildfire online, I’ve been doing best to work through the undeniable rage, frustration, revulsion, and deep sadness it ignited not only within me, but countless other people who watched this escalation of open class warfare captured on video. After processing it and seeing it come across my social media feeds numerous times, I’m admittedly feeling a little bit of gratitude now as well.
As disgusting as it was, I’m grateful that Sinema at least had the guts to show her constituents and the nation how she really feels. Frankly, the American people need to see more of it. As tens of millions continue to remain jobless, with back rent, mounting bills, and food insecurity continuing to plague families all across this country, I wish the nation got to see the sociopathy, cruelty, and callous disregard for the people they’ve been elected to serve a little more often. We need the visual reminders of just how brutal the ruling class truly is. By all means, they can continue to test those waters, thumb those noses, and blatantly mock the unnecessary pain they deliberately cause.
History, the ultimate teacher, has proven it doesn’t exactly work out in their favor.
We’ve all gotten the sense that electoral politics in America is dying, haven’t we? That said, seeing it there on video on full display is something else entirely. It’s time for the American people to take matters into our own hands, and if it takes videos like these for people to truly understand how callous our legislators are, then I’m glad for it. There has never been a better time for the American people to be inspired to come together and organize not only among labor, but consumers as well. If our lawmakers will gleefully deny us a minimum wage and eat cake in the halls of congress as they do it, then we’ll hit the donors who pay them where it hurts the most: their bottom line. How much longer are we going to be expected to beg, or ask politely?
It’s time for a general strike.
Imagine for a moment if a French lawmaker had done what Kyrsten Sinema did. How would their citizens have responded?
What’s stopping us from doing the same?