Senate Centrist Evaporation Continues As Sinema, Manchin, Romney Refuse To Run For Re-election

( – It’s not unusual for members of Congress to resign as an election approaches. However, as the country becomes more partisan, lawmakers have also become more extreme. Three recent retirement announcements are a demonstration of that fact.

On March 5, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) announced she was retiring from Congress. The lawmaker’s demise was not surprising to anyone who paid attention to politics. The lawmaker was elected to Arizona in 2018 as a Democrat. She ticked several boxes on the left, being the first openly bisexual member of Congress, as well as winning a seat that had been occupied by Republicans for decades. She soon showed the Democratic Party that she wasn’t going to toe the line. The moderate lawmaker eventually switched parties and became an independent; now she’s leaving Capitol Hill altogether.

Sinema isn’t alone. At the end of 2023, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (WV) announced he was retiring from the Senate. Like his colleague in Arizona, he’s a thorn in the side of his Democratic colleagues. Sinema and Manchin both refused to kill the filibuster to allow the Senate to become more partisan. They weren’t alone.

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) also announced his retirement last year. Like Sinema and Manchin, he was largely thought of as a moderate. Ironically, he was the GOP nominee for president in 2012 and was painted as an extremist by Democrats. As the party moved to the right, Romney moved more to the center. His disdain for former President Donald Trump became his downfall in the GOP caucus.

When Sinema, Romney, and Manchin leave, there will be fewer centrists in the Senate. However, the man who will likely replace Manchin, Governor Jim Justice, was once a Democrat but switched to the Republican Party. Still, the Senate was once regarded as the chamber of adults. They were often able to move beyond partisanship, but it appears those days might be gone for good.

Manchin once summed up what that would mean for America: “You lose the center […] You really are screwed.”

Copyright 2024,