Would you take financial advice from a homeless man? Lessons in humility from Simon Cowell? Follow Kirstie Alley's diet regimen? Look for WMD's with a map drawn by Dick Cheney? Or take an anger management class taught by Russell Crowe?
Then why in tarnation would you read a book about "winning" written by one of the current leaders of the state Democratic Party -- the biggest bunch of losers in Arizona?
Such is the dilemma, if you can call it that, offered by state Representative Kyrsten Sinema's new book Unite and Conquer: How to Build Coalitions That Win and Last. You might recall Sinema as the unapologetically liberal legislator, from an enviably liberal district, who talks like she's channeling Thurston J. Howell, III.
Someone recently sent me a link to the Amazon.com page for Sinema's tome, which you can currently pre-order for the low-low price of $11.53 ($9.99 for the Kindle version). But recalling the fact that Sinema currently holds a position as the Assistant Leader of the House minority, you may want to wait for the free library version to run your digits through its pages, for all the good its advice will do you.
I reckon losing can be as much of a learning experience as winning, but Sinema's book isn't about gaining such critical insight, to judge from the blurb Amazon offers.
"Divide-and-conquer tactics stolen from conservatives do not work," reads the description, "especially in the long term, to further progressive causes. There is no logic or power in trying to use bad strategies to get to a good place. In Unite and Conquer, legislator Krysten Sinema shows how the future of the progressive movement is to be found in unity, alignment and partnership. Sinemas no-nonsense, concrete approach shows readers that we are all really more alike than different, and that we can get work together successfully for change when we let go of specific outcomes and focus on our shared values."
This is great advice for the Dems if they want to remain in the minority indefinitely. Indeed, I'm sure Arizona Republicans would love for them to continue the mistakes of the 2008 election, where the state party bucked a national trend and left the legislature firmly in Republican hands.
On the county level, Sith Lords Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio retained their positions as Maricopa County Attorney and Sheriff, respectively. And Prop 102, the anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution, made mincemeat of the statewide campaign against it, led by -- you guessed it -- Kyrsten Sinema.
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"I think the country was like, `Look, you get Obama, call it a day and go home,'" Sinema told a New York Times reporter of the losses for the pro-gay marriage side. "And frankly, I'll take it."
Let's face it, Dems like Sinema don't mind losing locally. In the minority, such Ds get to be the kings and queens of the donkey sandbox, while state GOPers rule the adult world. Dems do need to learn a few tricks from the Republicans, actually. Like how to fight. How to engage the enemy. And how to leave them in the dust begging for quarter.
For those who want to fight the good fight, I'd remind them that the good fight is the one you win. Yeah, Sinema's won a few in her life, but too few to take a book like this seriously. And I don't think the foreword from Janet Napolitano helps much, seeing that she jumped ship for a federal post, leaving this state at the mercy of the local GOP. The Napster's legacy is one of putting careerism above conscience. But perhaps that's a legacy Sinema hopes to emulate.