Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s attempt to pressure the White House into nominating only minority or LGBTQ candidates for top posts in the administration appears to have gone the way of the record player.
On Tuesday, the Democrat told reporters, “I am a no vote on the floor, on all non-diversity nominees. You know, I will vote for racial minorities and I will vote for LGBTQ, but anybody else I’m not voting for.”
“I am not going to be voting for any nominee from the White House, other than diversity nominees, probably a no on everyone until they figure this out. Hopefully they figure it out, but I’m a no on everything other than the diversity candidates,” Duckworth insisted.
According to Roll Call, she added that “she informed the White House of her decision Tuesday morning.”
Fellow Democrat, Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, quickly threw her support behind Duckworth. Hirono said, “I’m joining her in that, which means that we would like to have a commitment from the White House that there’ll be more diversity representation in the Cabinet, and in senior White House positions. And until that happens, I will join her in voting no on non-diversity nominees. We’re not just calling for AAPIs. This is not about pitting one diversity group against another. So I’m happy to vote for a Hispanic, a Black person, an LGBTQ person, an AAPI person. I’d just like to see more diversity represented.”
Both Duckworth and Hirono are Asian Americans.
Considering the slim majority Democrats hold in the Senate, this was a worrisome development. So far, Biden’s nominees have received significant support from Republican senators. However, “no” votes from Duckworth and Hirono could present a problem in a close vote.
Majority Whip and fellow Illinois Democrat Richard J. Durbin told Roll Call, “In a 50-50 Senate, every senator has the power to complicate.”
Call me crazy, but do these senators understand that choosing a nominee based on the color of their skin is the very definition of racism?
Imagine if two Republican senators refused to consider voting for a non-white nominee or an LGBTQ candidate. There would be outrage, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. The calls for their immediate resignation would be deafening.
It’s not only wrong because it’s racist, but their constituents elected them to make decisions on their behalf. Rather than carefully weighing a nominee’s experience and qualifications to select the most suitable individual for a job, these women planned to base their votes on the superficial, emotional factors of race and/or sexual orientation. It wouldn’t matter to them if an individual was unqualified for a job, as long as they were black and gay.
This represents a dereliction of duty.
Apparently, their attempt to hold the Biden Administration hostage didn’t last too long.
By Tuesday night, following “productive conversations with the White House,” both senators had backed off of their incredibly ignorant, sanctimonious and just plain racist positions.
Based on the private conversation we had, I will continue voting to confirm the historic and highly qualified nominees President Biden has appointed to serve in his administration.
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) March 24, 2021