Dems Crack Under Pressure, Handing Tuberville a Massive Military Win
The man who said the pressure of politics is nothing compared to the heat of SEC football has proven it.
More than a few people scratched their heads when one of the most successful college football coaches in history took a run at the U.S. Senate. Two years later, Democrats are struggling to understand something else: how to shut the Auburn icon down.
On Wednesday, deep into his seven-month goal-line stand, the Left learned a lesson that most of Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) opponents already have. This coach doesn’t quit. The man who said the pressure of politics is nothing compared to the heat of SEC football has proven it, singlehandedly holding up hundreds of military promotions until the president’s team rolls back their rule allowing taxpayer-funded abortions in our armed forces.
Democrats have hemmed and hawed, blaming Tuberville for everything from bad recruitment to China’s possible invasion of Taiwan. Even a handful of Republicans lobbed grenades, urging the longtime coach to get back on the sidelines and let the nominations run their course. Tuberville refused, reminding both parties that there were plenty of ways to end this standoff: the Biden administration could withdraw its unconstitutional policy or Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) could force the chamber to do its job and vote.
There was, after all, no real reason to keep the officers waiting. As several pundits have pointed out, it’s well within the Senate’s power to confirm each of the 300 officers individually. But Schumer preferred the political theater, savaging Tuberville when the answer was well within reach. Realizing the Alabamian was in it for the long haul, Democrats waved the first white flag this week — announcing they would finally hold votes on three key vacancies: the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the heads of the Marine Corps and Army.
Worried about the appearance of caving to Tuberville, Schumer tried to message the change of heart as a victory against his Republican foe. “These three honorable men will finally be able to assume their positions,” Schumer said before the vote on Brown. “And the abortion policy that Senator Tuberville abhors will remain in place. Senator Tuberville will have accomplished nothing.”
For all of the Democrat’s creativity, most observers see the move for what it was — not a masterful thwarting of Tuberville’s blockade, but good old-fashioned surrender. The Alabama senator himself chuckled at the idea that he had “accomplished nothing,” telling Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that, for starters, he had “forced [Schumer’s] hand.” “And we’re going to do two more tomorrow, which will be good. But still, I have my holds on, and they’re going to have to change this policy, or we’re going to go through a long, drawn-out process.”
As for what his stand has accomplished, Tuberville fired back, “… Number one, I showed people what we’re doing. They can do [these votes] one at a time, and we taught Schumer how to go back to the floor and actually bring somebody to the floor so we could vote and confirm them.”
“It’s about time,” he emphasized on the Senate floor. “I’ve called for individual votes on these nominees for almost six months. Instead of voting, Democrats have spent months complaining about having to vote.” But, Tuberville went on, “I didn’t come up here just to outsource my job to the Pentagon or the White House, yet that’s exactly what Democrats want to do. That is the current position of Senate Democrats. The Constitution says we make the laws here in the Congress, not at the Pentagon, and not in the White House. So this is not about me: It’s about the Senate and the Constitution. This is a win today for the legislative branch of government.”
Across the Capitol, Republicans cheered the conservative’s hard-earned win. “Thank God for Tommy Tuberville,” Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch.” “I mean, he stood his ground, and he showed that Schumer was just playing politics with these military nominations.” At the end of the day, Scott insisted, Tuberville “is standing up for the law in this country and America. We don’t pay for … abortion [with your tax dollars]. And the secretary of Defense and the Biden administration just changed the policy without coming to Congress, [without a] vote — nothing. So Senator Tuberville did the right thing. And it showed today that this was all politics by the Democrats. They thought it was great politics for them. … And they don’t care one iota that they’re violating the law.”
At FRC, Quena Gonzalez, senior director for Government Affairs, had nothing but praise for the unconventional senator. “For Americans tired of dysfunctional government, Senator Tuberville is delivering a masterclass on separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. For far too long, Congress has cheerfully ceded difficult policy questions to the president and to the courts, abdicating its responsibility to legislate — first by passing intentionally vague laws that agencies and courts have to parse out and implement, and second by declining to specify what its intent was when some laws are stretched beyond credulity by activist bureaucrats and judges. It took a football coach from Auburn running for the Senate to get people’s attention and remind us how the federal government is supposed to work.”
The irony, Gonzalez went on, is that “some people worried that a college football coach wouldn’t have what it takes to represent Alabama in the Senate. Coach Tuberville is a refreshing reminder that the American founders didn’t design a government by, for, and of the experts, but by, for, and of the people. To paraphrase President Truman, it’s amazing what you can get done in Washington if you don’t care about being popular inside the Beltway. Americans who love the Constitution owe a debt of gratitude to a college coach who is refusing to follow the playbook of unaccountable government.”
Congressman Mark Alford (R-Mo.), who was just named to the conference committee that will hash out the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), shook his head at the Democrats’ priorities. “They are desperate for taxpayers to fund abortion for our military,” he told Perkins. It goes against everything that we stand for. It goes against the Hyde Amendment. It is basically illegal. And yet this has been going on since October of last year.“
Alford and others will have their work cut out for them in conference. In the House version of the NDAA, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) successfully inserted an amendment banning taxpayer-funded abortion in the military — language that Senate Democrats will be frantically trying to remove behind closed doors.
"We know that the Senate — the liberal Senate ruled by Chuck Schumer — is not going to go along with our stripping of the woke ideology. You know, they want those drag queens trying to recruit others into the military. They want the language, they want the diversity, equity, inclusion to divide our nation rather than unite us about what we have in common in this great nation. So we know the fight we’re going to be up against, but we’re going to stand strong on the House side, and we will fight as hard as we can to make sure that we get those policies out of the U.S. military and return pride and patriotism to America.”
In the meantime, Tommy Tuberville can serve as their inspiration to hold the line. As Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin told the crowd at the Pray Vote Stand Summit, “They keep telling us Tommy Tuberville is hurting readiness. And I am telling you, no, he’s actually a role model for some of these young soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who are at some point they’re going to have to stand up for what they believe in. And what they see is Tommy Tuberville standing up for what he believes in. And I tell you what, when this is all said and done, I hope that he surfaces as the hero that he really is. And I hope people recognize it.”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.
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