Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said earlier this week that they’d refuse to vote for any of President Joe Biden’s nominees who aren’t racial minorities after going public with their anger that the cabinet lacks Asian Americans. The Senators added that they would only vote for a white nominee if the nominee is LGBTQ.
White and straight is a no-go.
JUST IN: Democrats Senators Tammy Duckworth (IL) and Mazie Hirono (HI) say they will vote against all Biden nominees who are not "racial minorities"
They say they will only vote for a white nominee if the nominee is LGBTQ
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 24, 2021
Duckworth and Hirono have backed off after a tense exchange between Duckworth and a top Biden aide earlier in the week. In response, the White House agreed to add a senior Asian American and Pacific Islander liaison. So the threat may have been less of a warning for now, but moving forward, the two senators will cite racism and cause chaos among the party if the Biden administration doesn’t follow their requests. If Democratic senators have pledged once to vote against all white candidates, they will do it again. And eventually, they will follow through with it.
In a 50-50 Senate, Duckworth and Hirono’s support is crucial. Any Democrat opposition puts executive branch and judicial picks in jeopardy.
Now, a lack of Asian American representation in the new administration is a valid argument, though opting to vote against all future white candidates, no matter what, is quite the reaction. By the way, the options are not simply white or Asian American, there are other races in consideration.
“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 representation,” Hirono said.
I’m not exactly sure how adding more Hispanic, black, and LGBTQ candidates help get more Asian Americans involved, but there you have it.
Duckworth’s mindset was similar, letting the Biden administration know that she is not messing around, that every candidate should be viewed by their race.
“I am a ‘no’ vote, on the floor, on all non-diversity nominees. … I will vote for racial minorities and LGBTQ but anybody else, I’m not voting for,” Duckworth said.
Got that? “Anybody else” is not getting her vote. Per Tammy Duckworth, race and sexual orientation could soon decide your political future.
President Joe Biden didn’t seem to agree, saying “we have a lot of Asian Americans that are in the cabinet and in sub-cabinet levels.”
For those placing bets on whether this threat will be revisited moving forward in every political conversation, here’s Hirono’s response when asked if she is satisfied with the White House’s response: