Next week, Sen. Tommy Tuberville is planning to ease off after months of blocking military promotions in hopes of restoring sanity at the Department of Defense.
For most of this year, the senior senator from Alabama has been blocking virtually all confirmations to positions in the upper echelons of DoD, including generals, admirals, and senior civilians—leaving almost 400 slots in total without Senate-confirmed occupants. Now, Tuberville tells CNN he will pivot to protesting only those nominees who are “woke” in and of themselves.
That’s fine. Any officer who abuses his command to push radical social reform among his troops is unworthy not just of authority but of the uniform, and ought to be dealt with accordingly.
This is vital not just for the sake of the services themselves but for the sake of the nation at large. Every revolutionary knows that the military is one of the most important and effective tools of social engineering. If you need a habit or perspective to infect the broader population, you could hardly find a better place to start than among a massive group of citizens who are both universally respected and heavily conditioned to obey authority. The usual hang-ups about civil liberties and individual choice are left hanging at the door of MEPS, so any new unpleasantness can be imposed on service members with far less objection than on the average citizen. And once that unpleasantness has been ground into the troops, it is far easier to roll it out among the general public. Think Covid-19 vaccines, transgenderism (and homosexuality), and college attendance by the former working class; on the more positive side, recall how sweeping the downstream effects of racial integration in World War II and Vietnam.
But it was one radical policy in particular that inspired Senator Tuberville’s stand; we cannot forget that, nor should he.
Since February, the Department of Defense, at the direction of Secretary Lloyd Austin—and, presumably, whoever is actually running things in the White House—has effectively been acting as an interstate abortion facilitator. When some states took modest steps to protect the right to life of their vulnerable citizens after Dobbs overturned the national abortion mandate, Secretary Austin took it upon himself to rewrite DoD policy on two key points. First, service members were to be granted the privilege of “administrative absence” of up to 21 days to travel across state lines and commit abortion. Second, the costs incurred during that travel will be covered by American taxpayers through the DoD.
There is absolutely no defense to be made of this policy change. The latter provision is especially objectionable, given that it effectively skirts the Hyde Amendment in forcing every American to fund abortion, albeit indirectly. But the whole thing is rotten from top to bottom. It is an abomination in itself, a policy by which the United States military enables the murder of its citizens. It is a practical act of war in the spiritual, moral, and cultural conflict ongoing between the two Americas.
Why would the one senator who seems to give a damn now back down from that fight? Tuberville has done nothing wrong, and he should certainly not be cowed by whining about “precedent” from either side of the aisle. If a hold on promotions is going to stall Lloyd Austin’s abortion agenda, then a hold on promotions is a moral imperative. We cannot indulge the cowardly Republicans who preach that political priorities must be set aside in the interest of keeping the lights on at the Pentagon. If there is a decision to be made between national security and the sacrament of infanticide, then let Lloyd Austin and Joe Biden make it.
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Granted, the decision is not entirely Senator Tuberville’s. Even assuming the senator’s perseverance, Chuck Schumer would only need nine Republicans to join in a cloture vote and ram the appointees through. There are at least as many members of our party in the Senate who care more about powering the Pentagon machine than about the sanctity of life. Plenty have already signaled that they will join the Democrats.
Let them. Make them. At the very least, for Tuberville to stand strong here would force Republicans to plant their flags on one side or the other.
The alternative is a reversion to the status quo, and a near-guarantee that DoD will continue even further down the current course: warfighting reduced to a secondary concern, barely a pretense of congressional oversight, the fervent prosecution of a radical agenda; and sooner or later, the instruments of death—whether scalpels or guns—turned inward.