top of page
Search

Has Tommy Tuberville Decided To Play The Role Of Jefferson Davis?

This Time We Should Let Them Go-- And Trade Wyoming & The Dakotas For Austin, Atlanta, Houston...

Tommy Tuberville avoided military service

Alabama and the other MAGA states caused tremendous damage to America when they rebelled in the 1860s— over 600,000 deaths and casualties and at least $200 billion in today’s money in damages to infrastructure, property and lost economic productivity. After they lost, the rebel states were coddled, not punished and their leaders were pardoned. In fact, in the sordid presidential election of 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to withdraw northern troops— and, in effect, sell out the former slaves and begin the Jim Crow regime that lasted for a century— in return for being declared the winner (by Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina) over Democrat Samuel Tilden. The Compromise of 1877 was one of the most shameful moments in American history and it’s emblematic of how the MAGA states have been allowed to get away with murder.


This past weekend, the Alabama GOP— as disloyal to America as they were on January 11, 1861 when they became the fourth state to secede— passed a resolution condemning President Biden and supporting MAGAt Senator Tommy Tuberville in Tuberville’s ongoing fight to undermine the U.S. military, ostensibly because he disagrees with their abortion policy. Yesterday, Craig Monger wrote that “For months, Tuberville has used his position on the Senate Armed Services Committee, responsible for voting on Department of Defense (DOD) nominees, to halt the DOD appointments. The blocking began after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin sent a memo decrying the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court decision of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Austin also sent a memo saying the DOD would allow pregnant servicewomen to take leave to travel out of state for an abortion if they cannot legally have the procedure in the state where they are stationed. The DOD policy gives women up to three weeks of administrative leave and transportation allowances to receive abortions in different states. Tuberville and others have speculated that the policy directly flies in the face of the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funds from being used to fund abortions. His blockade drew the ire of federal lawmakers and Biden himself.”


“Today’s Republican Party,” wrote David Lurie yesterday, “could learn a lot from ‘Tailgunner’ Joe McCarthy’s disastrous effort 70 years ago to treat the military as a right-wing political plaything. During the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower prevented McCarthy, then a Republican senator from Wisconsin, from running the Republican Party over a political cliff by engulfing the Army in his reckless red baiting. Unfortunately, however, Joe’s namesake, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, along with several other GOP leaders, now seems determined to throw his party over the ledge. In recent months, the far right— after spending years relentlessly attacking local school boards, public health agencies, and even Bud Light and Disney— has begun to direct its culture warring at the nation’s military, and particularly Black, women, and LGBTQ service members. Apart from both being dangerous to national security and morally abhorrent, history teaches that such a political attack on the military could backfire on the GOP, big time.”


Obviously, Lurie started with Tuberville, who he referred to as “the most embarrassing member of the Senate GOP caucus,” noting that he “was among the first Republicans to declare culture war on the nation’s military… [responding] to reports that some fascist groups have made inroads in the military by asserting that the armed forces should welcome white supremacists. According to Tuberville, ‘a white nationalist is simply ‘an American.’”



So far Tuberville— with the support of the MAGA secessionists in Alabama— has smugly blocked the confirmation of more than 260 nomination, “including the new commandant of the Marines, causing what Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently described as a ‘cascade’ of damage to the military that is rippling throughout the ‘entire chain of command,’ harming officers and their families alike. Austin has further stated that Tuberville’s blockade is making the nation’s adversaries happy, and has created a risk to national security. In the face of this fiasco, one would expect savvy Republican leaders to distance themselves from Tuberville and his tactics, particularly given that the GOP has for decades devoted great effort to identifying the party with the nation’s military, and to seeking the votes of service members, their families, and veterans.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did just that, and has publicly criticized Tuberville’s tactics. But Speaker McCarthy chose the opposite course, and decided to double down on the Tuberville strategy by declaring a full blown cultural assault on the nation’s military and those who serve in it.”


McCarthy is holding the military budget hostage to every GOP culture war wishlist they could think of short of prohibiting Bud Lite on bases. McCarthy allowed his craziest MAGAt members to pass amendments to bolster Tuberville’s demands and to mirror “policies advocated by Florida’s Ron DeSantis and other extremist governors, the bill would eviscerate diversity and inclusion programs in military services that increasingly rely upon recruiting and retaining non-white and female individuals. It would also bar service academies from engaging in affirmative action in admissions. Notably, even the Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority expressly refused to take this step in its recent affirmative action decision, recognizing the ‘distinct interests that military academies may present.’ Additionally, the amendments were littered with gratuitous anti-LGBTQ provisions. Apart from barring coverage for gender affirming care, the GOP even included a ban on the flying of rainbow flags at military installations. Taking another page from the DeSantis playbook, the GOP’s amendments also attempt to censor the libraries of military-run schools, banning so-called ‘radical gender ideology books’ In sum, the GOP rewrote the carefully negotiated NDAA in a manner patently designed to antagonize, and express antipathy, if not outright bigotry, toward virtually every non-white, non-straight, and non-male member of the armed forces. But history teaches that such attacks do not end well.”


Kevin McCarthy, who was willing to endure the embarrassment of 15 ballots (and reportedly made secret deals) to secure his position as speaker, is known far more for his tolerance for self-abnegation than for his skill as a political strategist.
Like Joe, Kevin McCarthy has achieved his long-sought position of power by pandering to, and exploiting, a wave of increasing extremism, paranoia, and outright bigotry in his party. But also like Joe, Kevin may find himself (and possibly his slender House majority) undone by his own decision to extend his party’s culture war into an assault on the nation’s military.

Early MAGAts Joe McCarthy & Trump mentor Roy Cohn

Treating the military as a political plaything, much as DeSantis has done to Disney and as House Republicans have with the FBI, risks angering a wide swath of Americans, many of them otherwise supportive of the GOP. This is particularly true given that the composition of the military services is in a process of change at least as significant as that which occurred during Joe McCarthy’s time.
Nearly half of today’s military is non-white, 16 percent of service members are women, and roughly 79,000 are members of the LGBTQ community. And the GOP’s legislation is, at its core, also an institutional attack on the entirety of the armed forces — a conclusion underlined by the damage Tuberville is doing to military readiness every day. The GOP’s bet that it can get away with attacking large swaths of the military, much as it has attacked teachers and cartoon characters, may be a bad one.
Far from defending the military as Eisenhower did, Kevin McCarthy has taken the opposite approach, embracing extremist attacks on those who serve and demanding that nearly every GOP House member taint themselves by voting for a culture-warring bill that’s targeted like a weapon at large cohorts of the nation’s service members, many of whom are the daughters, sons, and spouses of GOP voters.
South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, herself a victim of sexual violence while attending a military academy, said she was “pissed” at members of her party for being “assholes” toward women, but went ahead and voted for the bill anyway. Other members of her caucus who were critical of the bill did the same, some (publicly or privately) declaring that their votes did not matter, because much of the bigoted and misogynistic measures will almost certainly be stripped out of the bill by a House/Senate conference committee. But these legislators miss the point entirely, as the message the GOP has been sending has been received, loud and clear.
This is all the more certain given that DeSantis— a rapidly failing, but still prominent, GOP presidential candidate— chose last month to incorporate the most deliberately antagonistic elements of the GOP’s NDAA bill into his campaign.
Indeed, DeSantis chose to up the ante, baselessly declaring that the military services are advancing unqualified (“woke,” as he puts it) candidates for promotion, calling women service members forced to travel to obtain reproductive health services “abortion tourists” and suggesting that— if he wins the election— he will attempt to wholly ban transgender Americans from serving in the military. DeSantis’s declarations will, inevitably, pressure other Republican candidates to make the new culture war on the military part of their campaign platforms as well. DeSantis has also expressly endorsed Tuberville’s stonewalling of military promotions.
President Biden has, unsurprisingly, recognized the political hole the GOP is digging for itself by attacking the military, observing: “Tens of thousands of America’s daughters and sons are deployed around the world tonight keeping us safe from immense national security challenges. But the senator from Alabama [Tuberville] is not.” Yet, as explained, the GOP House caucus has, effectively, joined DeSantis in endorsing Tuberville’s nihilistic and politically irrational gambit.
For Joe McCarthy, uncovering actual communists was never the point; terrorizing the innocent and creating a culture of fear was. The same is true of the GOP’s culture warring. And when voters see their most treasured institutions, and even members of their own families, on the receiving end of such attacks, they won’t soon forget


bottom of page