Rachel Maddow started her show last night with a great segment on Herman Cain and his woefully inappropriate response to sexual-harassment allegations — the segment even included some theatrics — but it wasn’t the part of the show that stood out for me.

That came soon after, in a segment highlighting Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) vote on the tax incentives to encourage hiring of veterans.

We talked earlier about the Senate moving on this fairly small component of the American Jobs Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. But it’s worth clarifying that there were actually two separate votes — one on the 3% withholding rule, which passed unanimously, and another on encouraging jobs for veterans, which passed 94 to 1.

The sole opponent was Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the Senate’s most right-wing member. He knew the bill would pass, but voted against it anyway, just on principle. As DeMint sees it, this was an example of officials “picking favorites” in the economy, which the senator finds offensive — even if the “favorites” are men and women who put their lives on the line for their country in war.

And if you missed Rachel’s segment on this, it’s well worth watching.

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“Happy Veterans’ Day, Sen. DeMint,” she said. “I would salute you, but the way I want to is not something that’s allowed on television.” Hear, hear.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.