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The Breakup: Sen. Tommy Tuberville
Patricia Hewitt
Patricia Hewitt

Patricia Hewitt

Local columnist

Let’s talk about support of our military, truth-telling, and Senator Tommy Tuberville. Yes, these three things have come together, so let’s see how.

As a quick refresher, Senator Tuberville (R-AL), has been single-handedly holding up hundreds of military promotions in order to force the Pentagon to reverse its rule that female military personnel will be reimbursed for travel out of state in order to receive reproductive healthcare, namely abortions. He is experiencing a moment of absolute power over the lives of military personnel and the security of our country. He is a former coach after all, accustomed to going for the win.

One interesting fact: Mr. Tuberville has never served in the military. But he did promise during his 2021 campaign, that “I’m going to give my salary, a check, to a veteran or a wife that has lost her husband, or their kids to go to school. I’m not taking one dime, and I’m giving it to the veterans.” There’s no evidence of him actually doing this.

Yet, I digress. Let’s take a look at the reasons he’s given for his current actions against the military: First one, the Pentagon’s travel policy is illegal. Not being a lawyer himself, he does have the right to sue the Pentagon if he believes he can back this opinion up in court.

Second reason, he’s claimed that his position isn’t about abortion. Let’s just stop there because I respect the intelligence of my readers.

Third reason, he believes his actions are blocking the Biden Administration from implementing socialism. Not sure how military women’s rights to healthcare morphed into socialism, but this justification neatly offers two talking points in one. Otherwise, I’m at a loss to explain.

Fourth reason, it’s no big deal because his actions are inconsequential to the military. A number of high-ranking military officers have privately and publicly offered many reasons why this is not true.

Finally, there is a fifth reason in which he refines his opinion by claiming the blockade only affects a few hundred high-ranking officers. Apparently, he’s forgotten that the military needs officers to oversee our defense and make decisions about their soldiers. And, see reason four.

It’s not difficult to detect a pattern in all this which consists of vague truthiness, moral grandstanding, and a disregard of the well-being of our military. Further, his blockade is spawning new versions of itself, such as holding back President Bush’s HIV/AIDS program funding because of beneficiary’s support of abortion rights. Apparently, there are some legislators that believe their morality exists for the good of all people around the world, who have no right to life-saving medicines and self-determination unless they adopt their position on abortion.

Dear reader, this is a U.S. Senator we’re talking about. Just for comparison purposes, our Georgia U.S. Senators have reduced the cost of insulin for millions of senior citizens and ensured that our municipalities are able to take full advantage of the Infrastructure Act’s funding to improve services to our residents. The people of Alabama may be fine with their Senator using his time in office to degrade our military readiness in support of oppressing military women, but I can’t make sense of it. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, and I respect all opinions, we must have a strong military. These men and women whose promotions are being held up have faithfully served our country, they have earned our support, and especially the support of our elected officials.

However, there is one remedy that perhaps he hasn’t considered yet and I offer it freely. Simply ban women capable of becoming pregnant from serving in the military. That would neatly take care of it. You’re welcome.

Patricia Hewitt is a local writer.

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