Flouting urgent demands by anti-war groups, environmentalists, and LGBTQ rights organizations to reject Mike Pompeo over his lengthy record of warmongering and bigotry, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) on Thursday became the first Democrat to declare her support for President Donald Trump’s secretary of state pick.
The announcement virtually ensures that Pompeo will become America’s top diplomat—as he likely only needs one Democratic vote to make it through the Senate—and immediately drew criticism from progressives who have been pressuring Democrats to block his confirmation.
“Democrats like Heitkamp think that voting for Trump picks will give them cred as far as winning over Trump voters. It won’t. It will gain you no political capital.”
“This is a vote she will not be proud of when she looks back on her career,” Stephen Miles, director of Win Without War, told Common Dreams in response to Heitkamp’s statement in support of Pompeo. “Sen. Heitkamp may want to look past his record of extremism and that he will enable Donald Trump and John Bolton’s worst instincts, but history won’t.”
Thanks to one Republican defection and the likely absence of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Senate Democrats had the power to block Pompeo’s nomination. The question in recent days has been whether they would come together and use it.
Heitkamp’s support for Pompeo answers this question and all but kills the possibility of a united Democratic coalition. (And there are some indications that other so-called moderate Democrats could follow her lead.)
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT