Ace of Clubs: U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (AL)

Letters from an America, Heather Cox Richardson.

July 12, 2024

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/

[Excerpt:]

In Alabama, Senator Tommy Tuberville boasted about a bridge project funded by a $550 million Department of Transportation grant, writing: “Since I took office, I have been working to secure funding for the Mobile bridge and get this project underway.” But as Representative Terri Sewell, an Alabama Democrat, pointed out, Tuberville voted against the bill that provided the money.

Like Governor Lee and Senator Blackburn, Tuberville knows such government policies are enormously popular and so takes credit for them, even while voting against them. [Boldface added]

 

Coach’ Tommy Tuberville is the worst senator in the country

His career record against the Crimson Tide isn’t enough to make up for his petty, anti-American stances in CongressJulie DiCaro

Feb. 13, 2024

https://deadspin.com/tommy-tuberville-us-senate-marines-alabama-crimson-tide-1851256631

Allow me to address your concerns right off the bat. Yes, saying that Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville is the worst Senator in America feels subjective at best, and like hyperbole for the sake of clicks at worst. But hear me out. I am confident you’ll come to share my opinion, even in the day of other strong contenders for “worst” senator, like Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, and Marsha Blackburn. Give me a chance to make my case.

When last we left the college-football-coach-turned-senator, he was single-handedly holding up the appointments to hundreds of military promotions, a full-on white man temper tantrum over the Pentagon ensuring reproductive freedom to service members. Tuberville finally gave up his one-man blockade in December, freeing up more than 400 military service members to move into their promoted roles.

But Tuberville kept up his conniption fit for 10 months, during which time hundreds of military positions remained empty, including “hundreds of one-, two- and three- star generals and admirals . . . the Pentagon’s top leaders” and left the Marines “without a confirmed leader for the first time in a century.” Again, all of this was over Tuberville’s objection to those serving having access to abortion care.

Further proving what happens when you elect someone to the Senate based on their popularity as a football coach without regard to their actual intelligence, Tuberville has demonstrated to America that he can’t name the three branches of government despite serving in one of them. He tried to play coy with a reporter, and wound up saying that white supremacists are getting a bad rap. He equated being Black with being a criminal. 

I could go on and on, but that would leave us less time to discuss Tuberville’s latest antics, which include hyping up Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and complaining about America’s crumbling infrastructure and border security, despite voting against bills that would have addressed those very issues. The worst part about Tommy Tuberville is not just that he’s undeniably stupid, it’s that he believes you’re more stupid than he is. There’s really no other explanation for the things that come out of his mouth, things that are easily verifiable (as being completely false) by anyone within earshot and the ability to Google.

I’m not sure when part of America pivoted from cheering against Ivan Drago (RIP. Carl Weathers) to rooting for Putin, but that’s where we find ourselves. Because Tuberville, as I said, believes you stupider than he is, he insisted on a radio interview this week that the US “forced” Putin into war with Ukraine, claiming that Putin, who you will recall invaded a sovereign nation and is directly responsible for the deaths of nearly 500,000 people, was open to peace negotiations. Putin likely is open to peace negotiations, as long as that peace means he winds up with a big chunk of the former Ukraine. Sort of like Hitler was “open” to a peace that ended up with him controlling all of Europe.

Tuberville, of course, is proud to tell the world that he hasn’t voted for a single dime in aid to Ukraine, and put out a statement as to why:

If you can’t get past the fact that a sitting United States Senator still has “Coach” in his X.com handle, you aren’t alone. To be fair, falling back on his inexplicable appeal to college football fans is really Tuberville’s only play. It’s not like he’s going to dazzle anyone with his quick wit. Better to keep reminding people you somehow went 7-3 against Alabama than chance it by trying to use your superior brain power.

Siding with a murderous dictator who likely interfered with the 2016 presidential election is bad enough on its own, but Tuberville wasn’t close to done. He then went on Twitter and began complaining about the state of America’s infrastructure. It turns out that Tuberville has a second X account, and his latest tweet there was a doozy.

It bears repeating that Tuberville believes himself to be smarter than all the rest of us, as evidenced by the fact that he didn’t believe that anyone would take the time to actually look up how Tuberville voted on bills that would have gone a long way towards addressing his concerns, like the 2021 Infrastructure Bill, which will invest $1 trillion in things like, (checks notes), America’s roads and bridges. Tuberville voted against the bill, despite 19 of his Republican colleagues voting in favor of the bill which, incidentally, includes $11 billion to shore up roads.

Of course, Tuberville is far from alone in saying that America should invest more in its own security than in a war in Eastern Europe, so I’m sure he’s doing everything he can back home to strengthen our borders. Right?

Tuberville had the chance to do just that last week when the Senate unveiled a $118 billion bipartisan border security bill, which would “ implement strict limits along the US southern border that have not been previously enshrined into law and would, in effect, severely curtail asylum at the US southern border, a break from decades-long protocol.” The bill also granted “new emergency authority to restrict border crossings if daily average migrant encounters reach 4,000 over a one-week span. If that metric is reached, the Homeland Security secretary could decide to largely bar migrants from seeking asylum if they crossed the border unlawfully.” Those sure sound like things someone who’s as concerned about border security as Tuberville is would like!

“I’m an immovable NO,” Tuberville said of his opposition to the bill. Because, see, you can’t use the border to hit your political opponents over the head with if the issue is largely fixed or, at the very least, mitigated. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Tommy Tuberville, it’s that he’ll never let what’s good for Americans, including his constituents, stand in the way of what’s good for him and his political party.

I’d love to say Alabama deserves better, but a majority of the state elected an ex-college football coach with little to no understanding of government based on name recognition and positive vibes, to the United States Senate, so I’m not sure that’s true. I am confident in saying that there are a lot of people in Alabama who deserve better, and who are being irreparably harmed by Tuberville’s desire to play spoiler for every bill that comes along that might benefit Americans in some way, all because he doesn’t want his fellow citizens to get a “win” with a Democrat in the White House.

Tuberville may be ignorant, craven, and transparent, but he’s also cruel. Let’s see your least favorite senator top that.

Behind the border mess: Open GOP rebellion against McConnell

The Republican leader told POLITICO that his critics “had their shot” already. But conservatives are not done whacking him over the immigration-for-Ukraine aid implosion.

https://www.politico.com/news/2024/02/07/mcconnell-gop-rebellion-border-deal-00139972

[Excerpts:]

Conservative hardliners once celebrated Mitch McConnell for wrestling the federal judiciary to the right and thwarting progressive hopes.

Now the reality is that Trump, the likely nominee, doesn’t want a deal that Republicans set out to secure four months ago. Deal-making without Trump’s blessing appears impossible, and that’s a challenging dynamic for the longtime GOP leader.

“This wasn’t good for him. This wasn’t good for any of us,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) of McConnell, whom he backed in 2022. “And I’m not gonna say he’s the total cause of it, but we got to have a better plan. This didn’t work out for us.”

[Boldface added]

Tommy Tuberville ends blockade of 400 military promotions

Cameron Joseph and agency

Dec. 5, 2023

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/05/tommy-tuberville-end-military-promotions-blockade

The Senate in a single stroke on Tuesday approved about 425 military promotions after the senator Tommy Tuberville ended a monthlong blockade of nominations over his opposition to a Pentagon abortion policy.

The move cleared the way for numerous generals and admirals to take new roles after a nearly 10-month protest over the military’s abortion policy.

More than 400 military nominations had been in limbo due to Tuberville’s blanket hold on confirmations and promotions for senior military officers. It is a stance that has left key national security positions unfilled and military families with an uncertain path forward.

Tuberville had little choice but to back down. Senate Democrats had introduced a proposal that would let the Senate make a one-time exception to its rules to confirm the military appointees, and it had garnered enough Republican support that it was going to pass if Tuberville did not shift his position.

He allowed the Senate to vote to confirm almost all of the top-ranked military positions, but will keep his hold on four-star generals, blocking 10 or so of the most senior military promotions.

The Associated Press contributed 

“At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was las week in Selma Alabama”.

— President Lyndon B. Johnson, March 15, 1965, addressing a joint session of Congress advocating for passage the Voting Rights Act of 1965.