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'Queer ConservaDems' Kyrsten Sinema and Sean Patrick Maloney Savaged for Joining GOP in Shutdown Vote

Bisexual Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema and gay New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, both Democrats, voted with House GOP to shut down the government and are being taken to task by LGBT advocates for doing so, the Washington Blade reports:

Maloney“I strongly support the president’s decision to give employers more time to comply with the law, and I believe that we should give families the same flexibility we’re giving to our small businesses,” Maloney said.

Maloney also explained his support for eliminating health care subsidies for government employees by saying the playing field for public and private workers should be equal.

“Families and businesses in the Hudson Valley are not getting special subsidies from Obamacare and neither should members of Congress or the White House,” Maloney said.

In a separate statement, Sinema defended her votes by saying they ensure individuals can sign up for health care plans without “being punished” for failing to purchase adequate healthcare coverage.

SinemaMichelangelo Signorile tears them a new one in a new HuffPost piece:

Since taking office, Sinema has voted with the GOP against economic justice issues that progressives, including LGBT activists, view as crucial. Both she and U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), an openly gay former Clinton aide, also elected for the first time in 2012, have voted with big banks and Wall Street time and again. Right out of the gate, Maloney, who took a lot of Wall Street money, voted with the GOP on the debt ceiling early this year, and actually co-sponsored a bill that would roll back reforms of the very Wall Street practices that led to the economic collapse. He even voted with the GOP to take authority over the Keystone XL project from the president. Like Sinema, he also voted to jeopardize Obamacare or shut down the government. And he too was supported in his election campaign by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the Human Rights Campaign, and other gay and progressive groups, touted as a progressive.

Think about this: On what is arguably the most important debate in Congress, two of nine Democrats who voted with the tea party-led blackmailers are openly gay or bisexual. Two of only five openly gay or bisexual members of the House voted with the extreme far right to undermine the president. Veteran recording industry executive Howie Klein, the founder of the progressive Blue America PAC and an openly gay man himself, has been criticizing both of them for their votes for months. He told me that Sinema had been calling him throughout last year's campaign, looking for money. He'd known her and liked her, having served with her on the board of People for the American Way, but he told me that when he had her fully vetted, he was "horrified" by her record. Blue America is now actively recruiting a candidate to run in the Democratic primary against Sinema.

Some say it's better to have Democrats like Sinema and Maloney than to possibly have a Republican in the seat. If it means they have to vote with the GOP, especially if the vote isn't pivotal, then so be it, the thinking goes. But that breeds the most cynical kind of politics and drives people away from participating when we need to bring them in.

The Blade adds:

Sinema and Maloney have been active on LGBT-specific issues since their election to Congress. They voted for an LGBT-inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and signed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Dana Beyer, a Chevy Chase, Md.,-based transgender activist, said the LGBT community shouldn’t judge Sinema and Maloney too harshly for their votes because “these late night political machinations are generally theater” and don’t say anything about the lawmakers’ overall voting records.

“This issue isn’t about the LGBT community; it’s about America,” Beyer said. “They should be judged on a much broader set of criteria and values than this one vote, and I hope people take the context into account.”

What do you think?

How should Sinema and Maloney be judged by this vote? Should we let it slide and be thankful there's no Republican in their seats, or are they, as blogger Mike Rogers told the Blade, "DINOs (Democrats in Name Only)" and "sellouts" who Signorile suggested in a tweet should "meet the fate of Christine Quinn."

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Comments

  1. Vote the buggers out at the next opportunity!

    Posted by: dumbnhung | Oct 4, 2013 2:40:21 PM


  2. I agree with Maloney no subsidies for government workers that is fair. Sorry Signor is wrong gay men and women can disagree with certain aspects of the law and not be called traitors. I think I will send each a contribution.

    Posted by: timothyjames | Oct 4, 2013 2:43:09 PM


  3. Queer demands are infinite. Obamacare is flawed. The real gay agenda is all about politics. F--- the Huntington Post.

    Posted by: Good | Oct 4, 2013 2:48:45 PM


  4. Didn't these two lawmakers get the memo that says that when you are gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender, etc... that you MUST think and vote one way only? lol

    Posted by: Perry | Oct 4, 2013 2:50:13 PM


  5. Isn't it outrageous? They are gay but dared to disagree with progs on something. Who do they think they are to think for themselves? If you're gay, you can only think in lockstep with the progtard faction of the DNC.

    Posted by: AG | Oct 4, 2013 2:54:13 PM


  6. You are missing the point, they campaigned and trolled for money within the LGBT community by promoting themselves as "progressive" and once elected have been voting on many issues as conservatives instead of progressives.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 4, 2013 2:56:31 PM


  7. I vote for whomever my anti-gay family wants me to vote for. Look what a strong gay I am!

    Posted by: AG | Oct 4, 2013 2:57:46 PM


  8. For the last 40 years, progressives have been supporting the myth that all LGBT folk support the progressive economic agenda. Thanks to those Congresscritters for busting that myth.

    Posted by: Rich | Oct 4, 2013 2:58:06 PM


  9. I am thrown off by Andy's "[s]hould we let it slide" comment with regard to whether we gays should overlook Sinema and Maloney's vote on shuttering the U.S. government. Not all of us gays, such as myself, support the Affordable Care Act, so from my perspective, there is nothing I need to allow them to "slide" on. I fully support any attempt to repeal this legislation and believing that all his readers support the Affordable Care Act is presumptuous.

    Posted by: Palmer | Oct 4, 2013 3:00:22 PM


  10. What JERKS! Yes! Vote them out of office! We certainly don't need any gay person siding/voting with the GOP. My God - they have to be complete idiots!

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Oct 4, 2013 3:03:47 PM


  11. Being a gay legislator does NOT mean you should be forced to vote in a certain way. It is ridiculous and offensive that these Representatives are being targeted for criticism simply because they are gay.

    Posted by: Robert | Oct 4, 2013 3:03:56 PM


  12. @TIMOTHYJAMES.... Government workers should be treated the same way as all other Americans. Government workers currently receive employer subsidies for their insurance the same way that most regular Americans receive subsidies for their insurance at work. And, since they do, they should NOT BE PUT INTO OBAMACARE

    What happened here is that the Republicans amended Obamacare to say that members of congress and their staffers (only them, not all government workers) would be required to buy their insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. Even though because they currently receive their insurance through their employer (the government) they don't qualify for Obamacare. So, they in effect have taken away the congress staffer's job benefits of subsidized healthcare and are forcing them to buy through Obamacare with an increase in pay to make up for the subsidy benefit they took away.

    This is treating congressional staffers differently than all other government employees and differently than all other regular Americans who currently receive their insurance through their employer.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 4, 2013 3:04:08 PM


  13. I have no problem with them "thinking for themselves," AG, but in this case, they haven't thought at all.

    There is no "special treatment" afforded Congressional staff. In fact, what Maloney and Sinema voted for was to PENALIZE staffers, by severely cutting their compensation.

    Due to a republican amendment to the ACA, Congressional staffers are forced to forego the insurance plans offered by the federal government and must buy their insurance on the exchanges. But what this "fairness" ruse proposes takes away the employer funding of the purchase of health care, something ALL OTHER government employees (and ALL OTHER large business employees) receive. The OPM judgment dicatates that the total compensation of Congressional staffers would not change.

    The GOP reframed this into some bizarre "special subsidy" which is false. What the GOP proposed would slash those staffers' compensation by thousands of dollars... and Sinema/Maloney and tons of Democrats have fallen for the ruse.

    If either of these phonies actually wanted to fix this, they would sponsor a repeal of Grassley's amendment. Note: neither have.

    Posted by: theo | Oct 4, 2013 3:04:31 PM


  14. What do Republicans do when their elected officials in Congress betray the party's philosophy? If the Democrats believe they can still win these districts after removing these traitors then go for it. May as well primary them. They're the type who would change parties at anytime.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 4, 2013 3:06:34 PM


  15. @ROBERT...You're right, being a gay legislator doesn't mean you should have to vote a certain way. But, you should vote the way you campaigned. You shouldn't use being gay to promote yourself as progressive and then vote a different way after election.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 4, 2013 3:07:31 PM


  16. I guess Signorile didn't really understand the lesson of Christine Quinn. The sexuality of these two has nothing to do with their votes in favor of the shutdown. The fact that they don't cleave to the gay party line (if there is one) is irrelevant. The fact that they voted to support the economic terrorism that is the shutdown is why they need to be defeated.

    Posted by: Keppler | Oct 4, 2013 3:11:36 PM


  17. The Far Left automatons simply cannot bear the fact that gay people--even including some gay Democrats--are not all ideological clones; they simply cannot bear the fact that some of us think for ourselves and do not feel compelled to enslave ourselves to the entire Far Left agenda.

    Too bad.

    Sexual orientation and gay rights have NOTHING AT ALL to do with "economic justive" issues and there is no reason any thinking gay person should behave as though there were.

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 4, 2013 3:12:07 PM


  18. They may have a D after their names, but their voting records make it clear that they are, in fact, Republicans.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Oct 4, 2013 3:13:40 PM


  19. I don;t think very gay and lesbian needs to agree on every issue. But the point is that both of these folks held themselves out as progressive, knowing they could trade on their sexual orientation for dollars. That's hypocrisy and needs to be called out.

    Posted by: DC Insider | Oct 4, 2013 3:13:50 PM


  20. If they hadn't had campaigned on being Progressive, I wouldn't care. But they did and accepted money from Progressives (as did Obama but that's another story for another day) and now that they are in DC their record isn't even close to what they campaigned on. They just wanted to get into office anyway they saw how.

    Posted by: KT | Oct 4, 2013 3:13:53 PM


  21. Queer people can be just as mercenary, lying, crazy and moronic as non-queer people -- who knew?

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Oct 4, 2013 3:19:59 PM


  22. What members of Congress have behaved more like "ideological clones" over the last 20 years? Democrats or Republicans?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 4, 2013 3:20:24 PM


  23. Rick: Sorry, i know you are the official troll, but your post is hilarious. Calling obamacare far left is the most stupid thing i've heard in a while.
    No party in the USA is even near of far left, in fact, the democrats are near the center-right european partys, republicans will be consider far right in all europe.
    ONly small factions of the democrats are really on the left


    Keppler: I totally agree with you on this. It's not their oppinions about Obamacare but the fact they were irresponsible enough to vote for the shutdown what makes them not suitable for democrat votes

    Posted by: jjose712 | Oct 4, 2013 3:33:44 PM


  24. I completely disagree with their vote and they should be condemned for that. But it is appalling that a gay man and a bisexual woman are described as "queer" when they themselves do not use that word to identify themselves.

    "Queer" is being used here as a slur. It is not being used to describe someone who is "transgressive" or "marginal" because we are talking here about 2 very powerful people who are members of the US Congress. Nor is this a case of attempting to "reclaim" the word, since neither individual wants to be called queer and the word is being used in the context of an attack.

    The only conclusion is that Andy Towle now thinks that it is OK to use anti-gay slurs to attack gay people he doesn't like. I see that he puts the slur in quotes, but he doesn't say where it came from. The responsibility therefore lies with Andy Towle.

    Posted by: Dave | Oct 4, 2013 3:42:54 PM


  25. Wow, what naivete by their critics!

    As to Sinema, she is actually "lucky" to be in Congress. Her Arizona district has an almost equal number of Dems and Reps, and a lot of independents; and in Arizona, independents are generally NOT pro-government. She worked hard to win her seat. In order to get re-elected, she must vote on some matters in a way that isn't considered progressive. Having had a number of conversations with her, it's fair to say she's a moderate Democrat -- progressive on a lot of social issues, more moderate (or possibly conservative) on some economic issues. But the fact remains: would you rather have her in Congress, or some RepubliWacko like some of the other Arizona Representatives?

    If you want progressive purity from Sinema (and others in her position), you might as well accept the reality that there's a good chance she won't get (re)elected from her district and you'll have an even crazier Republican Congress.

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Oct 4, 2013 3:46:58 PM


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