By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on August 19, 2023
An Editorial Opinion
There are five military bases in Alabama. They are: Maxwell-Gunter AFB (in Montgomery), Anniston Army Depot (in Bynum), Fort Rucker (in Dale), Redstone Arsenal (in Madison), and Aviation Training Center (in Mobile).
President Joe Biden should close all of them immediately and relocate their military assets and uniform military personnel to bases in other regions of the country.
Alabama was never a strategic location for these five military bases. They were placed in the state because of the seniority and political clout of the state’s Democratic and Republican U.S. Senators who preceded U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) in office.
Tuberville, who is Alabama’s senior Senator, has no political clout in Washington. He has only delivered $94 million in earmarked funding for projects in the state, according to a press release issued by his office on August 16, 2023. Over 70% of this money was contained in Congressional appropriation bills that Tuberville opposed.
In contrast to Tuberville’s lackluster performance in Congress, retired U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) delivered $1.2 billion in funding for projects in Alabama during the 117th Session of Congress, including $664 million in state earmarks for fiscal year 2023.
Tuberville’s Blockade of Pentagon Promotions
Today, Tuberville is single-handedly blocking more than 300 senior members of the military from getting their earned promotions. Tuberville’s blockage is his way of protesting the Pentagon’s abortion policies.
Appearing on the podcast "The Kimberly Guilfoyle Show" on Thursday, Tuberville doubled down on his promise to block all promotions because the White House and Pentagon have refused to change the policy.
"I don't care if they promote anybody to be honest with you," Tuberville said.
This is the same man who praised white nationalists as true Americans in a radio interview last May with WBHM. “I look at a white nationalist as a Trump Republican. That’s what we’re called all the time. A MAGA person,” said Tuberville.
Tuberville repeated his praise of white nationalists in an interview with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins in July.
Tuberville's brother, Charles Tuberville, distanced himself from the Senator and his racist comments.
Alabama’s Unreasonable, Obdurate Obstinacy to Progress in America
Tuberville is crippling our military. Furthermore, Tuberville represents a growing trend among many Alabama statewide officials who disregard federal laws and undermine our national interests.
Remember, Alabama was home to the First White House of the Confederacy. The state has long promoted itself as the “Cradle of the Confederacy” and “Heart of Dixie.”
Tom Parker, the Confederate-flag waiving Chief Justice of the all-white Alabama Supreme Court (in a state that is 26% black), issued a concurring opinion in a case last year where he stated that the state's Supreme Court was not bound by the provisions of the U.S. Constitution or the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In July, the Alabama legislature decided that it was not bound by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Mulligan v. Allen (June 8, 2023) that mandated the creation of a second majority black Congressional district in the state's redistricting plan.
Tuberville’s blockage of Pentagon promotions is the latest act of defiance to national authority. It also evidences the state’s unreasonable, obdurate obstinacy to progress in America.
Tuberville’s blockage is celebrated by Alabama's growing, proud, and loud MAGA crowd. After all, Tuberville is Alabama's designated leader of the national movement for the resurgence of state's rights and white supremacy.
This state is wallowing in a love fest with former President Donald Trump, who is facing four separate trial on a total of 91 felony charges for his efforts to overturn the certified results of the 2020 presidential election.
Succession from the Union, Civil War, open defiance of federal authority, and massive resistance to the protection of constitutional and civil rights of blacks, women, and LBTGQ people are cherished ideals of the Old and New South.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson threatened Governor George C. Wallace with the relocation of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center from Huntsville to Houston if Wallace acted a fool and brought his segregationist crusade to the Huntsville-metro area. Wallace backed down.
Biden should respond to Tommy Tuberville’s and the state of Alabama’s unreasonable, obdurate obstinacy by closing all five of the military bases in Alabama, immediately.
Biden should let Tommy Tuberville and Governor Kay Ivey (R-Alabama) find replacement jobs for the civilian employees who will lose their jobs when these bases are closed.
The nation would be better served by divesting its military assets from the grip of small-minded, proudly racist, statewide public officials in Alabama.
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