Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kyrsten Sinema has issues

And we should be glad she does.

There's a stranger in the House from out west and it looks like she might shake things up a bit.

Newly elected to Congress, Kyrsten Sinema is the subject of a lengthy story, "Neither pioneer nor poster child," on the front page of today's Washington Post Style section. Sinema, once homeless as a child, later a graduate of Brigham Young University, then a social worker in an impoverished Phoenix neighborhood, next a member of the Arizona state legislature, and finally an elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives, is a walking quote machine, flamboyant political performer and maybe, with her focus on poverty and the economy and what sounds very much like a social justice agenda, a real life agent for change.

Nothing is guaranteed, of course, and it might well be that the House of Representatives, dominated by conservatives, will grind down the loose-lipped and openly bisexual Democrat, but maybe not. As described by reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia, Sinema comes across as tough enough to endure whatever Republicans heave at her and challenging enough to ensure that they will be looking around for stuff to throw.

Sinema is also a runner and shared a reflection on Republican pinup Paul Ryan, "who claimed a suspiciously fast marathon time," Roig-Franzia wrote. "'I will tell you this, I'm not fast, but I'm honest about it,' [Sinema says]. 'You don't need to lie. I guarantee you he knows exactly what his time is.'"

Sinema says her sexuality isn't an issue worth discussing, but she will be joining "six openly gay and lesbian members in the most demographically diverse Congress in U.S. history." Roig-Franza adds Sinema's disarmingly simple elaboration on her sexual partners. '"For me it just doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter if that other person is a man or a woman.'"

Okay, then. I'm thinking it doesn't matter to me, either, whether Sinema is a man or a woman. I'm just looking forward to what she does next.

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