ACLU staffer on Sinema's emotional floor speech defending filibuster: 'We’re breaking her, keep going'

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  • Kyrsten Sinema
    Kyrsten Sinema
    United States Senator from Arizona

A senior strategist at the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday responded to a floor speech by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., encouraging Democrats to keep targeting her.

Sarah Michelsen, an ACLU senior campaign strategist and former state director of Sen. Bernie Sanders' failed presidential campaign in 2020, took to Twitter after Sinema's emotional floor speech saying she will not vote to weaken the Senate's 60-vote filibuster in order to help Democrats pass voting rights.

Sinema "sounds like she’s going to cry" Michelsen said, encouraging Democrats to "keep going" with the attacks because they are "breaking her."

After this piece was published, Michelsen made her Twitter account private and deleted her title and employer from her Twitter bio.


Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Washington Oct. 19, 2021. <span class="copyright"> Mandel Ngan/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images</span>
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Washington Oct. 19, 2021. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Progressives and supporters of the voting rights bill who support eliminating the filibuster, attacked Sinema's floor speech. MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan tweeted, "SHOCKER: Sinema will continue to support the filibuster and won't budge. She says she supports the voting rights bills but won't do anything to ensure that they pass. Shame on her."

"Sinema delivers the Senate’s stupidest speech by a Democrat in an edge of tears voice to give childish words a melodramatic effect," MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell tweeted.

The House of Representatives passed a bill earlier Thursday combining both of those original pieces of legislation: The John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. However, it won't get 60 votes in the Senate, which is split 50-50 on party lines.

"There's no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. There's no need for me to restate its role in protecting our country from wild reversals of federal policy," Sinema said on the Senate floor. "This week's harried discussions about Senate rules are but a poor substitute for what I believe could have and should have been a thoughtful public debate at any time over the past year.

"But what is the legislative filibuster, other than a tool that requires new federal policy to be broadly supported by senators, representing the broader cross-section of Americans … Demands to eliminate this threshold from whichever party holds the fleeting majority amount to a group of people separated on two sides of a canyon, shouting that solution to their colleagues."

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who also opposes eliminating the filibuster, praised Sinema's floor speech, saying she did a "great job," adding that the Senate needs "rules changes" but "not getting rid of the filibuster."

During a recent interview with NBC's Craig Melvin, Vice President Harris said she will "not absolve the 50 Republicans in the United States Senate from responsibility for upholding one of the most basic and important tenets of our democracy, which is free and fair elections and access to the ballot for all eligible voters."

When pressed about Sinema and Manchin, she said, "I don’t think anyone should be absolved from the responsibility of preserving and protecting our democracy."

The ACLU and Sinema's office did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

Fox News' Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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