Jan 17, 2022
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema set off a flurry of furious condemnation Monday with a tweet to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day just days after she helped sink Democratic Party hopes to pass voting rights legislation.
The tweet by the corporate Democrat from Arizona, stating that "today we remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," came as progressive lawmakers urged against remembrances of Dr. King that gloss over or ignore his radical legacy and vision.
Sinema, along with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have faced sustained rebuke over their opposition to reforming the Senate filibuster in order to pass the most significant voting rights legislation since the Civil Rights Era.
Working Families Party responded with archival video footage of the assassinated civil rights leader denouncing the filibuster.
"I think the tragedy is that we have a Congress with a Senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority of people from even voting," King said at a July 5, 1963 press conference.
That same quote was shared in a tweet Friday by Bernice King, MLK's daughter, in which she tagged Sinema as well as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A day earlier, Sinema reiterated her opposition to changing the rules of the filibuster, including for a carve-out to pass a pair of bills strengthening voting rights.
Voting rights defenders including members of King's family, who led an MLK Day march in the nation's capital Monday, have told lawmakers there should be "no celebration without legislation."
"Today," Martin Luther King III tweeted Monday, "we honor my father and the #MLKLegacy by turning out in Washington, D.C. to call on @POTUS & the Senate to eliminate the filibuster & pass the voting rights legislation our democracy needs."
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