‘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."

Comments

  1. timothyjames says

    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.

  2. Perry says

    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

  3. AG says

    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.

  4. anon says

    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.

  5. Rich says

    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.

  6. Palmer says

    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.

  7. Mike Ryan says

    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!

  8. Robert says

    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.

  9. anon says

    @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.

  10. theo says

    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.

  11. Derrick from Philly says

    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.

  12. anon says

    @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.

  13. Keppler says

    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.

  14. Rick says

    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.

  15. DC Insider says

    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.

  16. KT says

    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.

  17. jjose712 says

    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

  18. Dave says

    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.

  19. MiddleoftheRoader says

    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.

  20. Canadian Observer says

    The French had the right idea, off with their heads. That they are functionally LGBorT makes no difference to me – I have no time for reactionaries.

  21. Derrick from Philly says

    MIDDLEOFTHEROADER,

    I appreciate what you’re saying. I have always accepted the fact that there are “Blue Dog” Democrats who do not go along with the party or president 100%. But the Affordable Care Act is not just any piece of legislation. It is a continuation of FDR’s promise. And the modern Democratic Party is built on that promise–that government has a responsibility to safeguard the basic needs of the people.

    As I said, if the congresswoman’s continued presence in the House means a better of Democrats regaining control next year–then let her stay. But she, along with a few other Democrats…well, they’re a problem. (I was gonna’ say, can’t be trusted. But that’s kind of harsh)

  22. Ken says

    Sound policy and a commitment to working for the American people rather than their own interests is far more important than whether a politician is “one of us.” I’d much rather have heterosexual person committed to their platform than an LGBT politician who is a Republican in disguise. Shame on Sinema and Maloney for joining with the House GOP in trying to hold the country hostage to their childish demands. The people have spoken and the GOP lost. They lost the presidency, they lost the Senate, and Obamacare is a done deal. It’s LAW. it PASSED. Get over it go try to think of something you can do that actually helps Americans.

  23. GreatLakeSailor says

    Posted by: anon | Oct 4, 2013 3:04:08 PM
    Posted by: theo | Oct 4, 2013 3:04:31 PM
    Well explained; spot-on.

    There is treachery about, to be sure, but it ain’t Queer treachery. It is right wing democrats fleecing progressives for their money.

  24. Jerry says

    I’m not at all saying that the AHA legislation is perfect; it’s off by a longshot. I can’t say that I feel good about these particular legislators, though.

  25. Mark says

    Disagreement would not be a problem but, in this case, to vote against to shutdown the government in an attempt to defund Obamacare **directly affects Gay and Lesbian Americans** – i.e., people living with HIV/AIDS.

    I met Sinema at a Victory Fund fundraiser. Didn’t trust her then, don’t trust her now.

  26. Will says

    Federal workers do not receive employer subsidies for insurance any different than any other job that offers insurance. What a load of crap.

    Now Sean Patrick Maloney’s insurance is 100% paid by the Government

  27. JohnAGJ says

    Meh. So being gay means sticking to a Signorile-approved template on political views? Yeah, I don’t think so and he can piss off. Anyone who thinks that being a “progressive” or “convervative” means adherence to a particular viewpoint on every issue is frankly an idiot. Neither of these politicos are my reps so I’ll leave it up to their constituents what to make of their views. If they are not acceptable, kick them out. I really don’t care but spare me the BS that I have to think a certain way in order to be a “proper” gay man. Again, piss off Signorile.

  28. The Milkman says

    I second the YES to Derrick in Philly. His commentary is consistently insightful, cogent, informed, and sassy. I appreciate his continued presence on what has become a rather contentious, trollish comments section.

    We as Americans… wait… we as human beings… are ethically and morally compelled to provide for the common good. We must, when we determine the financial priorities of our nation, consider what will become of our fellow man. It is our duty. While this legislation isn’t perfect, it’s a good start.

    He ain’t heavy, honey. He’s my brother.

  29. says

    March of the thought police. Damn, all those gays who refuse to be cannon fodder for the Democratic Party. Damn all those LGBT people who dare hold opinions contrary to those mandated by the Pink Politburo. God, I hate how certain self-proclaimed “gay leaders” demand absolute conformity to their agenda.

  30. Lee says

    Screw off you flaming queen not all of us gays but into y’all’s bull crap socialist utopia fantesy and y’all are just going to have to get that thro ur tick skulls

  31. Brian says

    How many gays will die without Affordable Care? How many will go bankrupt because they get sick? Do these 2 really think the Republicans will be more reasonable and work to improve the law after a year’s delay….or will they use the time to gin up more propaganda against health care reform? Obamacare may not be perfect, but it is the only game in town Republicans have no plan.

  32. Arthur says

    It is indeed about the country overall – which is why they deserve to have primary challengers. Voting right on a few gay rights votes doesn’t erase the damage their votes have on economic policy.

  33. Lee says

    Arthur you go for them in a primary then you can kiss those seats goodbye fact is they were very lucky to win those seats for the dems and they jews to play to their consiuants not some liberal pie in the sky socialist BS. Politics is nasty, perverse, and cruel if you are not these things then it will eat you alive just watch house of cards if you don’t believe me.

  34. Signorile says

    To James Peron (whose work I respect) and others with a similar point: You criticisms are very unfair. The article does not call for ideological conformity of LGBTs (though it’s clearly what my views are and why I think the two politicians’ views are wrong no matter their orientation). It simply is exposing them as having promoted themselves one way — using being LGBT — and turning out to be quite different. I actually think it’s important to be in both parties and am glad there are gay Republicans, for example. We need to be in both party’s to change minds. But whatever your party is, don’t present yourself one way — in this case using being gay to show you’re to the left — when that’s not the case. I all for diverse opinions, and if these two individuals want to have different views, so be it. And I have now brought those to the surface. They have every right to stay the way they are, but now we know.

  35. Robert says

    Yes, gay and lesbian politicians can and will display a wide range of political opinions, including those, sadly, that are self-sabotaging and full of good old fashioned self-loathing. Let’s be clear here. These politicians campaigned as Democrats and most directly appealed to Liberals and Progressives for money, groups that are more likely to be receptive to LGBT candidates and issues. That voter base and money propelled them into office. They then betrayed that base by voting with Republicans on far too many of the important issues of our time. We all understand there are gay Republicans, even gay Republican politicians, but few are willing to come out of the closet for obvious reasons. If politicians like Sinema and Maloney want to vote with Republicans then let them join the Republican Party. I’m sure it will welcome them with open arms.

  36. says

    @ Robert. Perhaps you don’t know anyone who’s HIV+. I do. Their meds have been covered for quite a long time now. Obamacare will endanger that coverage. Forcing millions more on the public dole will force government to reevaluate the amount of money spent on a minority disease. You can believe that won’t affect you to your own peril. Gay Democrats who attach being gay to everything the party wants are in effect answering to their heterosexual masters. That would be a better description of “self-sabotaging and full of good old fashioned self-loathing.”

  37. Paul O'Dwyer says

    The issue here is not Obamacare, it is that these two campaigned for money and votes from the LGBT progressive community – and not from the Log Cabin republicans – in order to get elected, and now they have thrown their lot in with the Tea Party because it’s politically expedient.

  38. EdA says

    Sorry, guys, as Paul O’Dwyer wrote, these people campaigned for cash from progressive Americans, not from Log Cabin Republicans or GOProud. I read the “explanations” from a few of those to whom I contributed, and the idea that they voted to shut down the government because they think that screwing their staff is a good idea or because they think that it is a good idea to deprive people with no or worthless health insurance for a year or because they don’t like one minor part is disgusting.

    How stupid do they think we are? (This is not a rhetorical question.) 10%? 30%? 80%?

    People like these are among the reasons that I almost never give to national campaign committees.

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