Tim Kaine, Virginia senator and Hillary Clinton’s former vice presidential nominee, is very upset about the process through which the Biden administration is transferring arms to Israel. Curiously, he and others lodging this complaint aren’t bothered by that same process when it is used to arm Ukraine.

Which suggests that their problem isn’t actually with the process. It’s with Israel.

At the end of December, the State Department conducted an emergency arms transfer to Israel. Kaine protested: “Just as Congress has a crucial role to play in all matters of war and peace, Congress should have full visibility over the weapons we transfer to any other nation. Unnecessarily bypassing Congress means keeping the American people in the dark.”

Then this week, the Biden administration moved toward having Congress renew that emergency-transfer authority as part of its request for funds for U.S. allies. Kaine is against it, and will be joined by a dozen fellow Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren, Chris Murphy, and Dick Durbin, in attempting to block the provision. Kaine said: “I have strongly supported U.S. aid necessary for Israel’s defense, but all nations should be subject to the same standard.”

Kaine’s single-standard argument sounds reasonable, but first he’ll have to convince Tim Kaine.

In April 2022, the State Department used the same funding bypass for Ukraine aid. On April 21, Kaine tweeted: “We must keep linking arms with our allies to support Ukraine and hold Putin accountable.” Three days later, Congress was notified about the congressional bypass. It was announced on April 25. On May 1, Kaine went on MSNBC not to complain about lack of oversight but to enthuse over Biden’s willingness to arm Ukraine:

“When a war criminal engages in an illegal invasion, the world’s got to stand up to it—not just the U.S. but our allies. And they are. And that’s what we need to keep doing. And not just for Russia’s sake: Other authoritarians around the globe have to see that democracies will unite to defeat war criminals who want to wage illegal wars.”

No statements on process were forthcoming, though Kaine did soon move to document Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

I agree with Kaine that authoritarians around the world are testing our support for our allies under fire, and that they should be held to a single standard. Unfortunately Kaine, having already showed openness to conditioning aid to Israel in response to Democratic complaints of Israel’s defensive war in Gaza, has pretty clearly indicated that he’s simply trying any lever he can to slow or reduce military aid to our ally at war.

Other “process” arguments have been even more transparent. Joining Kaine in objecting to the late-December arms transfer to Israel was the former official responsible for arms transfers at the State Department, a man who resigned to protest Biden’s sending weapons to Israel. “This is shameful, craven, and should frankly turn the stomach of any decent human being,” the former official, Josh Paul, told the Washington Post. And it certainly isn’t only about process, as the Post exchange revealed: “As Israel contemplates escalating the conflict against Hezbollah in Lebanon, a move U.S. officials say they oppose, the transfer means Israeli officials do not have to make ‘hard choices about its defense requirements,’ Paul added.”

Ah. The real problem was not congressional oversight but the fact that Biden was enabling Israel to defend itself on two fronts instead of forcing the Jewish state to choose which of its citizens to throw to the wolves.

I won’t equate Tim Kaine with Josh Paul, whose ignorance and dishonesty I covered here. But if he continues down this path, he’ll soon end up at the same place. Kaine wants honesty, transparency, and a single standard. I hope he starts to display them himself.

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