Kyrsten Sinema Gives Big ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ Vibes at State of the Union Address

Does she think she's at the Grammys? The Met Gala? What is happening?

Kyrsten Sinema Gives Big ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ Vibes at State of the Union Address
Photo:Sarah Silbiger (Getty Images)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), who recently left the Democratic party because she opposes all progressive values, wore a very loud outfit to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night that suggests she remains extremely pleased with herself as she does things like literally thumbs down the minimum wage.

It feels petty to discuss a U.S. senator’s outfits at all, except that clothes in politics aren’t entirely irrelevant—and Sinema’s outfits, in particular, are clearly meant to be conversation pieces. So if you’re going to do things that fuck over tons of Americans while wearing shit like this, then you’re essentially a modern-day Marie Antoinette.

In October 2021, for instance, she presided over the Senate Floor wearing a denim vest that looked like it could’ve been worn by an early American Idol contestant. And tonight’s bright yellow, puffy-sleeved, Big Bird-style get-up (that certainly intended to be noticed) comes just a few weeks after she wore a huge, furry, sheep-like vest to high five Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in front of a bunch of billionaires at Davos for killing filibuster reform.

Sinema was clearly not trying to blend in at Biden’s first SOTU since the fall of Roe v. Wade:

Some of Sinema’s colleagues have tried to come to her defense when people criticize her sartorial choices, insisting that such criticism of a female senator is sexist. Not true. As Jezebel columnist Danielle Tcholakian astutely wrote:

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak.) wrote to The New York Times that they are galled by media commentary on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Az.) bold costume choices. “We cannot imagine The Times printing similar pieces on the fashion choices of any of our male colleagues,” the senators wrote, also inaccurately referring to Sinema as serious and hardworking. “Your repeated focus on how she dresses, rather than what she says and does, is demeaning, sexist and inappropriate.”
To be clear, Sinema’s outfits are costumes. For context, her fashion choices have included a t-shirt printed with the words “dangerous creature” and a ring that spelled out “fuck off”: actions that are about as “mysterious” or private as Melania Trump wearing a jacket with “I don’t really care, do u” painted on it to visit children being kept in cages at the U.S. border.
Sinema posts her outfits to Instagram and wears them vote on policies that shape the lives of all Americans—votes that she knows are televised and photographed. Nobody is commenting on what she wears to the grocery store (assuming she goes to the grocery store—I’ve noticed a trend where members of Congress are apparently unable to unwrap their own straws or mints, so who knows whether these people are capable of purchasing their own food). She is overtly engaging in performance as she works for the betterment of big business and to actively harm her actual constituents, and she chooses to portray herself as a rich person in The Hunger Games while doing so. That’s a choice, it’s inherently political, and it’s not sexist to acknowledge it.

A U.S. senator never chooses an outfit for a State of the Union address, or any other photographical moment, without considering what that fit will convey. And here, Sinema is clearly trying to convey, “I’m still here on a national stage, and I don’t give a fuck about any of you.”

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