Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Tuberville About to Come Up Short... Again

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has essentially tied up his entire identity in being "the coach." He still calls himself by that title, and his official U.S. Senate photo has him tossing a football.

The thing is... he wasn't actually all that great a football coach. In 2004, he coached Auburn to a 13-0 record, an SEC championship, a win in the Sugar Bowl, and a #2 ranking in the final AP poll. That's very good, but missing a national championship by that much is also pretty much his whole résumé. In 21 years total, he won one other conference title (the 2014 AAC title, with Cincinnati), and he collected victories at a 61% clip. That's not terrible, but it's not getting you into the College Football Hall of Fame (at least, not without a ticket), and it's poor enough to get someone fired from a top-tier program like Auburn (which, indeed, was Tuberville's fate there).

We bring it up because Tuberville appears to officially be on a crash course with another loss. Parliamentary procedure is a strange and arcane thing, but it would seem the Democrats have finally figured out a way to kill Tuberville's military promotions blockade without having to fundamentally rewrite the rules of the Senate. Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted this out:

The Rules Committee acted on a resolution that would allow the Senate to quickly confirm the more than 350 military nominations being blocked by Sen. Tuberville.

I will bring it to the floor so we can swiftly confirm these highly qualified and dedicated military leaders.

The tweet also included a copy of a letter Schumer wrote to his colleagues, but the letter doesn't clarify, in any way, exactly what the plan is.

Luckily, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), who is chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and who was the driving force behind the workaround, was more thorough. He put out a press release that explains that the resolution in question will create a standing order, one that expires when this Congress does, that will allow military promotions (except for the Joint Chiefs) to be confirmed en masse, and with just 60 votes. So, instead of one person gumming up the works, it would take 40.

The resolution will require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, of course. And then 60 votes will again be required to confirm the various nominees. But Schumer clearly believes he has those votes, or he wouldn't be announcing that the end of the blockade is nigh. That said, the Senate has budgetary matters to deal with first, so this probably won't come up until mid-December. Still, by the time the end of Hanukkah, the winter solstice, Christmas, Festivus, Kwanzaa and Zartosht No-Diso roll around, the promotions should be a done deal. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates