Republican lawmakers spent the entirety of the Donald Trump administration hunting for and condemning government whistleblowers. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Rand Paul, Reps. Nunes and Takeyourpick—they all sternly warned of the threat posed by anonymous government figures coming forward with a new possible crime Trump or his team seemed to be committing. But that was then, and this is now, and if you're talking about whistleblowers willing to squeal about Secret Scary Wokeness hopping through government hallways or putting up sinister new motivational posters, that's different. That's the sort of stuff Fox News talklumps live for.
Continuing the Republican tradition of pretending at maximum manly toughness while thumping through life with shows of oddly weaponized gutlessness, it's Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton leading a new charge against Rampant Theoretical Wokeness in our nation's tough manly military. Crenshaw announced it on Twitter with suitable turgidity: "We won't let our military fall to woke ideology," he puffed. The Crenshaw-Cotton response is a new "whistleblower webpage" where you can "submit your story" of being, um, exposed to Wokeness. He promises to expose the "spineless military commanders" who have failed to oppose "progressive Pentagon staffers" who "have been calling the shots."
This feels a tiny bit like Biff and Taller Biff demanding the military oppose civilian control and "call the shots" themselves, but we're probably imagining that. Both Republicans have shown a truly stellar understanding of our military's structure and enforced limitations in the past, which is why most of America knows their names despite neither Biff showing much success in any government sphere that does not involve self-promotional shitposting.
Crenshaw and Cotton's push here is part of a larger Republican attack on the military for perceived anti-conservatism, and immediately follows a Sen. Ted Cruz bit of buffoonery in which he compared the turgid manliness of Russia's military recruitment posters, under Vlad Putin, to the "woke, emasculated military" of the United States.
It's an organized Republican campaign to portray the military as "weak" so that conservative-minded changes can be made. Crenshaw and Cotton's quasi-populist, more-quasi-fascist goal is to ignite partisan battles within the military command itself—the promise to "expose" commanders that do not oppose Crenshaw-identified "woke" policies makes that clear enough—so that the military can be purged of conservatism's enemies in the same manner that Trump's allies purged whistleblowers, watchdogs, and perceived critics from civilian government agencies.
With Crenshaw's crude attempt, however, it was evident what was going to happen next. First, Crenshaw was going to start collecting some painfully butthurt stories from conservative soldiers upset that their new commander is a womanfolk or whatever, and after months of sorting through all the ones too obviously racist or sexist or ridiculous to put his name to will come up with some that Tucker Carlson can print out and roll around in on live television.
Second, it was a certainty that Crenshaw's little form was going to be absolutely overrun by Americans trolling Crenshaw with frightening incidents of "wokeness" that may or may not have been culled from movies, television shows, or their own imaginations. Americans do not like dullminded fascists pursuing their own pet purges, and giving them an easy public opening to make that point clear will always, always result in what you think it will result in.
The Washington Post has a rundown of just a small bit of the resulting chaos, but a shorter version still would be that everyone can blame lawyer-commenter Ken White, aka @Popehat, for this one. It's all his fault.
Settle in, we’re gonna be here a while.
Now, this is Rep. Dan Crenshaw we are talking about, and Rep. Dan Crenshaw does not appear to have surrounded himself with Trumpian acolytes any more competent than the ones Trump himself surrounded himself with. There is a chance, and possibly a good chance, that we're going to see something extremely similar to these complaints show up in the actual whistleblower complaints Crenshaw decides to go public with.
That still doesn't mean Crenshaw and Cotton can't do some serious damage in their attempt to incite open partisan warfare in as many military bases as they can muster, but it doesn't look like the rest of America will be making it easy for them. And good on America for it. Think of it as doing Crenshaw a favor, in fact: The only way to keep a snowflake happy is to dump snow on it, right? Wouldn't want one of these weirdos to melt away during a Fox News appearance.