An old white man (Tuberville) gives an exaggerated frown.

Tommy Tuberville Finally Drops His Anti-Abortion Military Nomination Blockade Nonsense

Many of us had probably never taken much notice of Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville until he decided to singlehandedly grind the U.S. military to a halt over his ludicrous one-man war on abortion. His 10-month crusade, which left many confused and angry at his narcissism, is now finally over.

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Tuberville spent nearly a year blocking all military promotions over what he deemed the armed forces’ “woke” policies. His issue was with the Pentagon’s policy of reimbursing servicemembers who have to travel out of state to obtain an abortion after the fall of Roe v. Wade. It’s a ridiculous and actively harmful—not to mention totally ineffective—method of protest to block all military promotions and nominations, especially as the United States is getting involved in multiple wars overseas, all to maintain control over women.

Tuberville’s senate colleagues had been forming a plan to change the rules and allow all nominees to be approved en masse. So finally, on Tuesday, Tuberville admitted that his pointless, overwrought plan was not working and he agreed to drop (most of) the blockade.

Why is Tuberville able to block nominations in the first place?

The Senate is responsible for confirming thousands of these sorts of nominations every year. To speed up the process, they vote by “unanimous consent” rather than a full roll call vote. Basically, this means that the House Majority Leader or whoever is calling for the vote can ask the entire voting body if they have everyone’s OK to approve the nominee or a bloc of nominees. If anyone objects, the consent is not unanimous, and that nomination is placed on hold.

That’s what Tuberville has been doing since February.

The Senate quickly confirmed 425 pending promotions in the hours after Tuberville’s concession.

But first, some well-earned public shaming

On the news of Tuberville’s forfeit, President Joe Biden issued a statement dragging his efforts.

“In the end, this was all pointless. Senator Tuberville, and the Republicans who stood with him, needlessly hurt hundreds of servicemembers and military families and threatened our national security – all to push a partisan agenda. I hope no one forgets what he did,” his statement reads, adding, “Those who serve this nation deserve better.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a similar sentiment, saying from the House floor, “Let this incident be a warning. No one—no one—should attempt this in the Senate again. The senior senator from Alabama has nothing to show for his 10 months of delay. No law is changing in any way.”

Congrats to Tuberville on being such an embarrassment that he’ll be pointed to for generations to come as an example of how not to behave in politics and life in general.

(featured image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.