No, Tuberville’s Holds Aren’t Affecting Our Military’s Response in Israel
There’s plenty of criticism being lobbed at Republicans this week by Democrats and the media (excuse the redundancy) that should stick. Overthrowing the House speaker at a time of global unrest seems like a particularly bad idea now that the Middle East is imploding. And while that decision by eight people to exact revenge on Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) does leave the world vulnerable, not everything conservatives have done is making the situation in Israel worse — including Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) hold on military promotions.
Since the beginning of the year, the Alabama senator has taken flak from both sides for protesting the Pentagon’s decision to fund abortions against the will of Congress. He hoped to force the Biden administration to rethink the policy by single-handedly stonewalling hundreds of high-profile military promotions. Now, as top graduates of Rahm Emanuel’s school of political opportunism, the Left is hoping Americans will be so outraged by the atrocities in Israel that they can leverage the crisis to demand Tuberville’s surrender. So far, no dice.
“The severity of the crisis in Israel underscores the foolishness of Senator Tuberville’s blockade,” Senate Armed Services Chair Jack Reed (D-R.I.) argued on Sunday. “The United States needs seamless military leadership in place to handle dangerous situations like this, and Senator Tuberville is denying it.”
As everyone should have learned in September, the coach is denying no such thing. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made that abundantly clear a few weeks ago when he cracked under pressure and brought three top military nominees to the floor for votes, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the heads of the Marine Corps and Army. After months of pretending the Senate was being held hostage by Tuberville, the jig was up. Schumer revealed what Republicans and other experts have been saying for months: Not only did Democrats have the power to fill these vacancies, but they’ve chosen — for the sake of political theater — not to.
Democrats are obviously hoping no one paid attention to Schumer’s capitulation, even going on network television to argue that one man is crippling America’s geopolitical response. “This is serious business,” Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) complained on Saturday. “If [Tuberville] wants to change healthcare policy at DOD, he can introduce a bill. But he cannot undermine our ability to help our allies and partners.”
Almost unbelievably, other top officials have gone so far as to call for the coach’s death. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, whose hatred of the coach is well-documented, suggested that Tuberville be removed from the “human race” over his stand that the military stop funding abortion on demand. When someone asked whether the senator should be “removed from his committee,” Hayden fired back, “How about the human race?”
When the fury over his comments started pouring in, the former intelligence chief stood by his remarks. “I was surprised to wake up this morning and discover that many MAGAnuts had lost their minds over my suggestion that “Coach” Tuberville not be considered a member of the human race. I stand by that view,” he posted. “I’m wishing you all a nice day even the intransigent Tommy Tuberville.”
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemmingway was just one of the appalled observers. “Former CIA Director Michael Hayden calls for the assassination of Sen. Tuberville because the senator is performing desperately needed oversight of the U.S. military.”
And that oversight, ironically, happens to be about protecting the human race. As Tuberville would tell you, the military is in the business of defending people — and that should include the unborn. This idea that Biden’s team can bypass Congress and force taxpayers to declare war on children in the womb is what’s “irresponsible,” not holding the line on life and law.
“The Pentagon clearly thinks forcing taxpayers to facilitate abortion is more important than confirming their top nominees without a vote. They could end this situation TODAY by dropping their illegal and immoral policy and get everyone confirmed rapidly, but they refuse,” Tuberville spokesman Steve Stafford told NBC News. “If the Biden administration wants their nominees confirmed, then Senate Democrats can do what [Tuberville] just did in September and file a cloture petition to force a vote.”
Meanwhile, the idea that this standoff will hurt our efforts in Israel or “limit the effectiveness of the U.S. on the ground” is baloney. Senate Republicans have been slow to come to Tuberville’s defense, but some — like Tim Scott (R-S.C.) — refuse to give credence to the lies the Left is spreading.
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Scott was asked if he would call on the coach to end his hold “given that Israel is now at war.” Unflinchingly, the South Carolina Republican fired back, “This hold has nothing to do with our ability to respond and protect — and frankly, work shoulder to shoulder with our ally.” Blitzer pushed back. “I’ve interviewed the Defense secretary and other senior officials over at the Pentagon. They say this hold on promotions is undermining U.S. national security.”
“I would just fundamentally disagree,” Scott insisted. “I spent some time on the Senate Armed Services Committee and had an opportunity to watch our men and women from a panoramic view. Our military needs a couple of things. Number one, they need the kind of generals who will focus on lethality and bringing our troops home safe[ly]. We need, number two, an elimination of any social experimentation, vaccine mandates, disruptions, and losing the focus on winning wars. ... And number three, if we continue to reinvest in our military, it is the strongest way to reduce violence across the world. I believe the Ronald Reagan doctrine of peace through strength has been missing. Getting back to it will not only keep our nation safe, but it will also create peace across the world.”
Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council’s executive vice president, had even harsher words for the Democrats pushing this scapegoat narrative. “Senator Tuberville is fighting against Democratic lawmakers who are openly admitting that they want to violate a federal statute, the Hyde Amendment. The idea that for some this is impeding readiness is a joke,” Boykin fumed.
“The people who are saying that Tuberville is hurting our military readiness should also recognize that this administration is destroying our military by forcing them to spend precious training time in a classroom learning how to use pronouns and the history of CRT. The fact of the matter is, if they’re saying these top generals and admirals are not up to the task of leading our military in combat then the question is: Why were they put into these positions? The only thing that is being interfered with is the personal plans of those who expect to retire so that they can get on big dollar boards for people coming out of the military. I am not opposed to these flag officers finding well-paying jobs when they come out of the military, but they need to remember that their retirement plans are less important than their sworn duty to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.