Tuberville shows how far the GOP will go to impose unpopular policies
What happened to supporting the troops?
Is it good for the US military to recruit white nationalists? Most people of whatever partisan affiliation would say, “no.” Tommy Tuberville, though, has a different perspective. Earlier this year in an interview with an Alabama radio station, the Alabama senator said it was only an “opinion” that white nationalists are racists, and added that while some call them white nationalists, “I call them Americans.”
Tuberville defended these comments Monday in a disastrous CNN interview with Kaitlan Collins. The ensuing backlash has certainly been justified. It’s also somewhat drowned out Tuberville’s other ugly contributions to defense policy. He's been single-handedly working to undermine military preparedness and harm military families for more than half a year. (You can watch the entirety of Tuberville’s CNN spot below.)
In February, months after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision revoked reproductive rights nationwide, Tuberville declared he was going to put a hold on all military promotions. Senate tradition allows any senator to put a hold on any executive branch nominee for any reason. Tuberville is upset that the Department of Defense pays for service members' travel if they are seeking abortions; he believes it’s a violation of the Hyde Amendment which presents federal spending on them. Or, as he colorfully put it, the government is turning "the Pentagon into a five-sided faculty lounge whose purpose is left-wing social engineering."
Tuberville has justified himself with a blizzard of bluster, insisting that the military has too many generals and admirals anyway and claiming that (contra numerous experts, and plain common sense) he's not actually harming preparedness. His key rationale, though, as he told Collins, is that the Republican Party is in the minority, and as a member of the minority, "the only power we have is to put a hold on something.”
Republicans don’t control the Senate or White House. So the only option is to endanger national security until they get what they want.
If you can’t win elections …
Tuberville's hold, entering its sixth month, has become more and more damaging.
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