Tommy Tuberville, the amazing alliterative Alabama senator who doesn’t appear to live in Alabama and doesn’t know what the three branches of government are, has been waging a one-man crusade against the U.S. military on behalf of his dear friends in the blastocyst community.
For months now, the former college football coach has been unilaterally blocking hundreds of military nominations and promotions in an effort to force a vote on the Pentagon’s current abortion policy, which Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued last October to guarantee our service members’ access to reproductive health care services.
Tuberville doesn’t like that policy, so he’s riding the recent GOP hostage-taking craze into a hell of our own making, sacrificing our military’s readiness in exchange for a love coupon guaranteeing a free hug from Jesus, redeemable upon death by natural causes, North Korean dinghy invasion, or spontaneous Russian bayonet face-stabbing.
RELATED STORY: Sweet Home Alabama? Not for Sen. Tommy Tuberville, apparently
As nearly everyone else in the federal government has pushed Tuberville to relent, he’s stood firm, claiming that if his fellow senators don’t like it they can take up the nominations individually instead of confirming them by a unanimous consent as has been traditionally done. The only problem? According to a new memo from the Congressional Research Service, voting on the nominees one by one would take approximately 700 hours of floor time—approximately as long as it takes Tuberville to help the leprechaun get through the maze on the back of the Lucky Charms box.
Tuberville has repeatedly responded to criticism of his hold by saying that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could theoretically bring each nominee to the floor, one-by-one, and confirm them.
While technically true, doing so “would take the Senate approximately 689 hours and 20 minutes of floor consideration, plus two days of session at the start of the process for cloture to mature on all 273 nominations,” the Congressional Research Service concluded in its memo.
“This total represents approximately 30 days and 17 hours to process all 273 military nominations, assuming the Senate worked 24 hours a day without break or interruption by other business. Alternatively, based on the above assumptions, if the Senate exclusively processed these nominations during eight-hour session days, it would take approximately 89 days to confirm all 273 nominees,” the memo stated.
In other words, considering these nominations individually would be a big fucking waste of time—much like Tuberville himself. But he doesn’t care, because Jesus. And Jesus will always protect us, because He loves America the most.
At least that’s the theory. Unfortunately for Tuberville and all those frozen embryos champing at the bit to be born, our military isn’t buying it.
RELATED STORY: Watch Tuberville fumble basic facts about his one-man military blockade
A July 14 Associated Press story noted that Pentagon officials were already sweating Tuberville’s reckless windmill-tilting two months ago.
In addition to hundreds of one-, two- and three-star generals and admirals, the holds delay the confirmation of the Pentagon’s top leaders — who make up the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including the chairman.
Already, the U.S. Marine Corps is without a confirmed leader for the first time in a century. And by law, the current Joint Chiefs chairman, Army Gen. Mark Milley, will step down at the end of September, and the current Army chief will leave his post in early August. The nominees to succeed them have had hearings, but no votes.
The Pentagon and lawmakers opposed to Tuberville’s actions say the holds create a trickle-down effect that is hurting military readiness, preventing scores of officers from moving to new jobs, either as nominees or staff members. They argue that less experienced leaders are being forced to step in.
Meanwhile, Republicans not named Tommy Tuberville—who are probably worried that Americans will eventually discover that they don’t actually support the military or our troops, despite their continual attempts to dry-hump the flag into humiliated nylon ribbons—appear fed up with Tuberville as well.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who practically invented Republican obstruction, appears increasingly worried about Tuberville’s gambit.
“I think holding these non-policymaking career military [officials] who can’t be involved in politics at all is a mistake, and we continue to work on that and I hope at some point we can get it clear,” he recently told reporters.
And Susan Collins, vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is of course “concerned.” Perhaps even more so than usual!
“I’m very concerned about it and hope that Sen. Tuberville will reconsider and narrow his focus to only those individuals who have policy responsibilities,” she said.
Oh, my God! That’s Concern Level Midnight! At least!
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul was even more pointed, saying Tuberville’s feckless fetus fluffing is “paralyzing the Department of Defense.”
“The idea that one man in the Senate can hold this up for months—I understand maybe promotions, but nominations,” McCaul said. “I think that is a national security problem and a national security issue. And I really wish he would reconsider this.”
Meanwhile, the logjam in Congress—and Tuberville’s head—over these nominations and promotions shows few signs of unjamming. And Tuberville shows even fewer signs that he understands how the government works.
“To vote on 300 non-controversial nominations, with Senator Tuberville demanding maximum time on each, could take us to the end of the year,” Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Armed Services Committee, told CNN. “The other offer someone said is, why don’t you pick some of the top people like the service chiefs and vote on them and then just let Sen. Tuberville punish those down the ranks? That is not the way the military operates. Officers say,’ officers eat last.’ You don’t punish the people down the ranks to advantage people up the ranks.”
No, you don’t. Unless you’re Sen. “Coach,” and Jesus said you won’t get a daily extra scoop of ice cream in heaven unless you do what He says.
RELATED STORY: A majority of Alabama voters want Tuberville to end his blockade of military promotions
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.