Senators returned to a steamy Washington, D.C., this week with temperatures nearing 100 degrees. As warm as it was outside, things were also heated inside the Senate.
For six months, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has infuriated his Democratic colleagues by preventing the Senate from rubber-stamping the promotions of high-ranking military officers. The number is now about 300, including a growing list of “woke” officers who support divisive concepts such as critical race theory or who favor restrictive COVID-19 policies.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., used an MSNBC appearance Thursday to urge her colleagues “to turn up the heat on that, and for all of the Democrats to be involved.”
“He deserves every ugly term that gets thrown at him,” Warren said of Tuberville.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., who chairs the Armed Services Committee, spent 15 minutes on the Senate floor Wednesday repeatedly attacking Tuberville and warning that he was jeopardizing national security. Three examples (emphasis added):
- “For more than six months, the senior senator from Alabama has blocked every senior military promotion, now totaling nearly 300 officers, in his bid to extort the Pentagon to overturn reproductive health care policy.”
- “For the senator from Alabama to deny these officers their merit-based promotion for his own political gain is simply disgraceful. After six months, it seems that neither reason nor any other factor will sway him.”
- “At this point, one has to wonder if the senator actually wants to achieve his demands or if he just wants to stay in the spotlight.”
In recent years, Republicans invoked the rule to silence Warren, who in February 2017 attacked then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., while awaiting confirmation as attorney general.
The rule states that “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”
It’s rarely enforced, and it won’t be against Reed. But it’s illustrative of state of affairs in the Senate, where Democrats have resorted to political rhetoric rather than taking the time to individually vote on military promotions.
Tuberville is opposed to “unanimous consent,” the expedited Senate process for approving a bloc of promotions without a recorded vote.
Outside of the Senate, President Joe Biden’s military appointees entered the fray this week as well. Cuban-born Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro accused Tuberville of “aiding and abetting communists”—a statement the Pentagon refused to walk back.
“For someone who was born in a communist country, I would have never imagined that actually one of our own senators would actually be aiding and abetting communists and other autocratic regimes around the world,” Del Toro said during a CNN interview.
Del Toro’s appearance followed a Washington Post op-ed Monday condemning Tuberville, co-authored by Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth. Politico put it bluntly: “DOD goes on offense against Coach.” (Tuberville was a college football coach before being elected to the Senate in 2020.)
The irony of Del Toro’s “communist” critique is rich. It’s only because of Tuberville’s actions that we know that some of the military’s own officers are implementing radical Marxist ideas within the Defense Department’s vast bureaucracy.
Last month, The Daily Signal documented Col. Ben Jonsson’s?embrace of critical race theory and promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Air Force. Jonsson is currently awaiting promotion to brigadier general.
Three years ago, Jonsson accused his fellow “white colonels” of being the “biggest barriers” to addressing “racial injustice” in the military and being “blind to institutional racism.” He also promoted Robin DiAngelo’s controversial book, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.”
He’s not alone.
The American Accountability Foundation this week posted new information on military officers awaiting promotion—and it doesn’t stop with “wokeness.” Several of the military officers strongly favor COVID-19 restrictions.
For his part, Tuberville appears unmoved by the criticism—and firm in his position. He maintains the Pentagon’s taxpayer-funded abortion policy is illegal, and he won’t relent until Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin revokes it.
“I am not holding up nominations, because they can do them one at a time,” Tuberville told “The Daily Signal Podcast” in an interview published Thursday. “I’m holding up the opportunity for them to just say, ‘Listen, we want to do 300 at a time.’ That’s not going to happen unless they change this policy back and then send it over to be voted on by the senators.”
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The post The Unbecoming Behavior of Elizabeth Warren and Jack Reed appeared first on The Daily Signal.
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