To Quote Dorothy Parker, “How Can You Tell?”

Matthew G. Saroff
4 min readDec 10, 2022


When famous wit Dorothy Parker was told that the famously taciturn Calvin Coolidge was dead, that was her response.

The same could be said of Kyrsten Sinema the now former member of the Democratic Party.

There has been no way to tell that she is a member of the Democratic Party since early in her days in the Arizona state house.

While she makes much of being, “Independent,” any examination of Sinema’s political career reveals that there is little or no ideology or any coherence behind her actions.

Ideology neither explains past behavior, nor predicts future behavior.

What does explain past behavior, and predicts future behavior is that she is an extremely toxic narcissist.

She wants to be demand power and attention well beyond what her accomplishments or her skills justify.

As such, Raphael Warnock winning the Senate runoff in Georgia, and raising the number of Democrats in the body to 51 naturally led her to leave the party, because she became irrelevant.

When the Senate is 50–50 split, her erratic and dishonest behavior had to be tolerated, but now, she can be ignored, which is something that she cannot abide.

There is also an electoral calculus here. It appears impossible that she could win a primary in Arizona now, the state party (justifiably) loathes her, and given that the Grand Canyon State has a “sore loser” law, she could not run as a spoiler after losing the primary.

Her path to victory, however unlikely, in 2024 consists of her getting on the ballot as an independent, and using that fact to forestall a strong candidate from running against her, as Angus King did in Maine in 2012.

It is unclear as to whether she would caucus with the Democrats:

Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced on Friday that she would leave the Democratic Party and become an independent, unsettling the party divide anew just days after Democrats secured an expanded majority in the Senate.


Democrats experienced this week after their caucus secured a 51st seat in the Senate with Senator Raphael Warnock’s victory in Georgia. It was likely to provide new complications for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrats going forward, even though she wrote in her column that “becoming an independent won’t change my work in the Senate; my service to Arizona remains the same.”

Still the move by the first-term senator, who was facing a likely Democratic re-election challenge in 2024 after angering her party by opposing key elements of its agenda, was unlikely to change the day-to-day reality in Washington for Democrats, who have long had to contend with her unpredictability and diversions from the party line. The bigger practical effect was likely to be on Ms. Sinema’s political standing in Arizona, where she would have had difficulty prevailing in a Democratic primary.

Ms. Sinema informed Mr. Schumer of her plans on Thursday, according to a Senate Democratic aide who described the private conversation on the condition of anonymity. The aide said that Ms. Sinema would keep her committee positions through Democrats, meaning the party would still hold a one-seat edge on the panels next year, giving them new flexibility over nominations and legislation.

Ms. Sinema did not specifically say that she would still caucus with the Democrats, as do two other independent senators, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine. Even as a Democrat, she rarely attended the regular party meetings. But her appeal to Mr. Schumer to keep her committee posts — and his decision to grant it — effectively means she will be a third independent aligned with Democrats, preserving their 51-to-49 majority.

She rarely attended meetings. Again, she doesn’t want to do the work, she just wants the power and the attention, though she would never do anything with these.

Narcissism is as narcissism does.


There was little question that the move was in Ms. Sinema’s political interest. A recent poll by Civiqs highlighted her unpopularity with Democrats in Arizona — just 7 percent approved of her — while 27 percent of Republicans and 29 percent of independents in the state had a favorable view. Still, a plurality of Republicans and half of independents disapproved of her.

Those numbers are stunningly bad. Dick Cheney scat pr0n would probably be more popular in polling.

Though Ms. Sinema strictly limits the news media’s access to her, she relishes being a center of attention in the Senate and has made Mr. Schumer work for her vote. When Mr. Manchin relented in July and decided to back a sweeping climate change and spending bill, Mr. Schumer still had to secure Ms. Sinema’s vote as a final step and she won hefty concessions, forcing Democrats to drop a $14 billion tax increase on some wealthy hedge fund managers and private equity executives and to change the structure of a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations. She also won drought relief in the bill for her state and others in the West.

“Relishes being a center of attention in the Senate,” huh?

Well that’s one way of describing a self-important psychopath.



Matthew G. Saroff

Husband, father, pinko, slave to cats