Sen. Kyrsten Sinema keeps doing irritatingly good work to thwart Tommy Tuberville

Before I say something complimentary about Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and a bunch of you (metaphorically) hammer me with a big fat batch of (justified) whataboutisms involving her stubbornness about not ending the Senate filibuster rule and how that thwarted attempts to protect abortion rights and voting rights, I would first like to share something with you that was said by the novelist Elmore Leonard, perhaps our greatest contemporary writer of crime fiction.

Leonard said, “Bad guys are not bad guys twenty-four hours a day.”

The same thing is true of politicians.

Including Sinema.

On Tuesday it was reported that the Senate Rules Committee had voted to change a rule that Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville has used to single-handedly block hundreds of military nominations and promotions since February.

Sinema could break Tuberville’s lock

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

One of the people behind the plan to end Tuberville’s stranglehold on military promotions is Sinema.

An article in Politico reported that “Sinema’s focus on relationships with the GOP, as much as it confounds some Democrats who see her as an impediment to progressive priorities, will end up proving critical to corralling 60 votes for a break-glass emergency plan to unravel Tuberville’s 300-plus holds on military promotions. She’s quietly worked for four months on that plan … .”

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst called the plan Sinema’s “brainchild.”

Risky move: Sinema is counting on the GOP to win

There was not much love for Sinema — or me — expressed when I first wrote about this a little while back.

More than a few of the comments put forward the kind of profane suggestions that were neither morally nor physiologically possible.

She could get Republicans to sign on

Under the proposal being put forth by Sinema and a few others, the Senate would temporarily allow itself to approve promotions as a group with a simple majority vote.

In order for that to happen, it needs 60 votes, meaning at least nine Republicans.

Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly supports the effort as well, issuing a statement on Tuesday saying in part, “We’re one step closer to ending Senator Tuberville’s harmful blockade on the promotion of hundreds of admirals and generals, a goal several of my colleagues and I have been working towards for months.”

If the plan works and the proposal passes I’d guess that Sinema will receive (and deserve) a lot of credit for having accomplished a very good thing.

Just remember what Elmore Leonard said: “Bad guys are not bad guys twenty-four hours a day.”

Because the same thing is true of politicians.

And newspaper columnists.

Reach Montini at

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Sen. Sinema keeps doing good work to stop Tuberville’s military lock

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