Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia took to the Senate floor Thursday to speak for the “364 nominations for military appointments who have been pending for months and months and months on the floor of the United States Senate.” Those military promotions have been blocked by Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who has decided to stage his “liberals are too woke” political theater production at the expense of hard-working military personnel who have absolutely nothing to do with the Pentagon policy that Tuberville is ostensibly objecting to.
With Veterans Day upon us, Kaine began by pointing out that Nov. 9 had been deemed “Military Day” in Alabama by Republican Gov Kay Ivey. He also pointed out the number of military leaders and organizations pleading for Tuberville to drop the one-man blockade and shared an excerpt from a letter written by Daniel Seehafer, the national commander of the American Legion:
It is imperative that leadership vacancies within our military are filled now. Our allies and adversaries are watching closely. Inaction risks innumerable consequences. The personal toll of confirmation purgatory extends far beyond uniform candidates with uncertain promotions. U.S. service members may pay the ultimate price if the perception of chaos continues to create opportunity for adversaries.
The excerpt above comes at around 8:30 in Kaine’s opening speech.
With Sen. Cory Booker presiding, Kaine began naming all 364 outstanding military promotion nominations, forcing Tuberville to object to each and every one. About 10 minutes into the process, Tuberville spoke and attempted to blame the Democratic Party for somehow forcing him to block these military promotions, weaken our national defense, and punish our military members and their families—because he doesn’t like the Pentagon’s reproductive health care policies.
Kaine took a break to remind the country that Tuberville’s blockade is not only disingenuous but cowardly, because he didn’t even attempt to argue for his desired policy changes on the Senate floor—where he faced certain defeat.
Sen. John Fetterman took over for Booker at a certain point, and Kaine continued offering up one deserving candidate after another to the objections of Tommy Tuberville, a former college football coach representing the state of Alabama. Fetterman couldn’t help but laugh.
Just one word explains why Democrats had such a massive election night on Tuesday: abortion. On the newest episode of The Downballot, co-hosts David Nir and David Beard recap all the top races through the lens of reproductive rights, which continue to motivate Democrats and even win over a key swath of Republican voters. Nowhere was that more evident than in Ohio, which voted to enshrine the right to an abortion into the state constitution by a double-digit margin, despite countless GOP attempts to derail the effort.