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Tim Kaine dunks on Coach Tommy Tuberville over failed military promotions fiasco

Chris Graham
tommy tuberville
(© lev radin – Shutterstock)

Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, for nearly 10 months, held up hundreds of U.S. military promotions, not because he had a problem with the promotions, but because he wanted to pose as an anti-abortion culture warrior.

Tuberville, whose name is known to sports fans as that associated with his repeated failures as a college football coach, made it seem like he was protesting a Department of Defense policy to reimburse women who would have to travel out of state to be able to get abortions because they happened to be stationed in states that had either outlawed or at the least placed onerous restrictions on reproductive freedoms.

The way to do what Tuberville supposedly wanted to do would be to try to pass legislation, which he did try, but being Tuberville, the effort failed to gain support in the Senate.

So, he held up promotions for most of the calendar year 2023.

It’s not like there’s anything going on anywhere in the world that might require the U.S. military to be at a top level of readiness or anything.

tim kaine
(© George Sheldon – Shutterstock)

“The good news is, he got nothing out of it, precisely nothing. He had to completely capitulate and cave,” said U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., in a conference call with reporters last week, ahead of the Christmas holiday.

Kaine has been an outspoken critic of Tuberville’s one-man fake fight against the DoD on the reimbursement policy.

Kaine had a personal stake in the political issue: his son, Nathaniel, served in the Marines and is now a Marines reserve officer.

Kaine, thus, knows firsthand, as a military parent, the challenges faced by military families.

“Imagine you’re in the military, and maybe you’re an officer, and you’ve been in, you know, eight, ten years, and you’re trying to decide whether you’re going to make a full career out of it, or whether you’re going to transition out do something else. If you think, wow, even if I earn a promotion, I’ve done everything right, one senator, because they’re mad about a policy that I had nothing to do with, can block a promotion that I’ve earned, keep my family from being able to move, and when we move, make it uncertain where my kids are going to go to school next year, render my spouse’s employment kind of up in the air, and in jeopardy because of uncertainty about where we will go, those kinds of things factor into folks’ thinking as they’re trying to decide whether to join the military or whether to stay in the military,” Kaine said.

“In recent years, just recently, we’ve had recruiting challenges. The Army’s had recruiting, had trouble meeting that recruiting goals last two years, and then in the last year, both the Navy and Air Force have as well. So, I think this is very, very damaging, has been very damaging, and damaging, at a time when we’re already seeing recruiting challenges getting people into the nation’s all-volunteer military,” Kaine said.

But Tuberville failed, miserably, in his months-long effort to use military promotions to score political points with the MAGA far right.

That’s the something good that will come from this.

“Had he gotten something out of it, that might have encouraged others to do the same thing,” Kaine said. “Instead, the fact that he got nothing, and in my view was sort of humiliated by it, I hope that will deter others from the kind of stuff that we unfortunately had to go through for the last many months.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].