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OPINION

Sen. Tuberville Makes Dems Look Pro-Military

Sen. Tuberville Makes Dems Look Pro-Military
Sen. Tommy Tuberville at a hearing earlier this year. (Getty Images)

Debra J. Saunders By Friday, 11 August 2023 09:02 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

"Senator Tuberville, thank you for standing for life and against wokeness in the military," read highway billboards in the GOP senator's home state of Alabama.

Shame on the Heritage Foundation, which paid for the ad. For months, the first-term senator single-handedly has blocked the promotion of hundreds of Defense Department appointments and promotions to protest the Pentagon policy that grants paid military leave and expenses for service members who need to travel to get an abortion.

"The Republican Party used to always support the military," President Joe Biden observed, "but today they're undermining the military."

"By the fall, we may not have a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," the president warned.

With China and Russia looking on, top military jobs have been occupied by mere place-holders — for a gimmick.

On Monday, radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt pressed GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley to see if she supports a hold on more than 250 officers.

"We don't have a commandant of the Marine Corps. We do not have a chief of staff of the Army for a first time in 200 years," Hewitt noted, even as he voiced his belief the Pentagon's abortion policy violated the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions.

Haley responded, "I appreciate what Tuberville's trying to do. I do. Like it's totally wrong that the Department of Defense is doing this. But have we gotten so low that this is how we have to go about stopping it?"

Haley knows what it's like to have a spouse serving overseas. In June, her husband, Maj. Michael Haley, began a yearlong deployment in Africa.

Military men and women serving overseas shouldn't have to deal with added uncertainty and delays as top slots are frozen.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined Haley in opposing the Tuberville stunt.

Former President Donald Trump has not taken a stand on Tuberville's maneuver.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the only veteran among GOP big names, supports the blockade.

"They're funding abortion tourism, which is not an appropriate thing for the military to be doing," the presidential hopeful told Hewitt last month.

I respect those who argue that American taxpayers should not have to bankroll abortions. But they don't have a majority. Democrats control 51 seats to Republicans' 49 — and a number of GOP senators have come out against Tuberville's ploy.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, suggested that Tuberville save his holds for appointments for those who don't measure up.

Warning: Republicans always lose this type of gambit. To the base, this looks like a move to the right, when it's really a boon for the left.

The Senate is in recess until Sept. 5, but the 2024 race for the White House is not on pause. Hewitt seems determined to put all GOP hopefuls on the spot.

"I never expected it would last this long," Hewitt messaged me. He added, "Military people have families and those families' lives are also being pushed around like checkers on a board by Sen. Tuberville."

The Tuberville freeze is no way to say, "Thank you for your service."

Debra J. Saunders is a fellow with Discovery Institute's Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership. She has worked for more than 30 years covering politics on the ground. She has also covered politics in Washington, D.C., as well as American culture, the media, the criminal justice system, and dubious trends in our nation's public schools and universities. Read Debra J. Saunders' Reports — More Here.

© Creators Syndicate Inc.


DebraJSaunders
Warning: Republicans always lose this type of gambit. To the base, this looks like a move to the right, when it's really a boon for the left.
tommy tuberville, military
578
2023-02-11
Friday, 11 August 2023 09:02 AM
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