Senator Tommy Tuberville thinks the U.S. military is the “weakest” it’s been in history, but he conveniently blames it on “wokeness” instead of something that has recently become a far more damaging problem for our armed forces: his own blockade on military promotions.
Tuberville has blocked nearly 400 military promotions since March as a part of a one-man protest against the Defense Department’s policy of reimbursing travel costs for service members who have to travel out of state for an abortion. The Pentagon has repeatedly warned that his actions harm military readiness, but Tuberville refuses to budge.
Instead, the Alabama Republican trotted out a familiar Republican scapegoat Monday night. “$114 million on diversity training, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Tuberville said on Newsmax. “We’ve got the weakest military that we’ve had in probably your or my lifetime.”
“Now we’ve got a lot of good military people, but infiltrating our military is all this wokeness. And it’s coming from the top.”
This isn’t the first time Tuberville has blamed military shortcomings on wokeness. In September, he said the Navy was headed “downhill” because “we’ve got people doing poems on aircraft carriers over the loudspeaker.”
Tuberville does think, though, that diverse ideologies should be allowed in the military—specifically white nationalists, who he believes should be allowed to serve. The lawmaker has repeatedly refused to accept that white nationalists are racist, despite this being, for all intents and purposes, the defining characteristic of white nationalism.
If anything is weakening the military, it’s Tuberville’s stunt. The Pentagon has warned repeatedly that the lawmaker’s blockade is doing ongoing harm to military readiness, with the secretary of the Navy accusing Tuberville of “aiding and abetting” Communist regimes by holding up promotions.
Tuberville’s crusade has led to multiple high-level positions remaining unfilled, leaving different military branches scrambling whenever something goes wrong. In early November, General Eric Smith, the commandant of the Marine Corps, was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack. There is no indication that Smith’s workload—which was double its normal size thanks to Tuberville—contributed to his heart attack, but it likely didn’t help.
Even Tuberville’s fellow Republicans have grown sick of his shenanigans. One of the most scathing rebukes the Alabama lawmaker has received came from Senator Dan Sullivan, who called Tuberville’s belief that he wasn’t damaging military readiness “ridiculous” and “patently absurd.”
“How dumb can we be, man?” Sullivan demanded. Pretty dumb, apparently!