Check out the following video and highlights of Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07) speaking with Steve Schmidt (a former Republican political operative who’s now a diehard anti-Trumper) about the tremendous damage Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is doing to our country’s military and national security by his “outrageous…shameful…ridiculous” blockade on military promotions. Rep. Spanberger and Schmidt also try to imagine what would be happening right now if this were a *Democratic* Senator, and also talk about how the Democratic Party is being “too nice” and needs to be POUNDING Tuberville and Republicans mercilessly over this.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07): “We have more than 300 positions that are unfilled, including the commandant of the Marine Corps, including leadership roles at military installations at home and abroad, that are unfilled because of one Senator… It is outrageous, it is shameful, it is ridiculous…it is impacting our readiness….when service secretaries have to write a joint op-ed as some sort of call to you know, please understand how difficult and how bad this is, like that’s a ridiculous state of affairs…they should be focused on the job that they have at hand, but instead they’re having to raise the alarm because apparently not enough people are listening about what it is Tuberville’s’s doing and the detriment to our military readiness.”
Rep. Spanberger: “It’s unbelievable the disdain that Tommy Tuberville is demonstrating for the people who give themselves to our military, as well as his overall disdain for our national security. And he keeps coming back with, ‘it’s not a threat to national security’. Well, literally, when service secretaries are writing op-eds to make the argument about how it is a threat to our national security, believe them! And what the hell does HE know?”
Rep. Spanberger: “What happens to that 40 to 45 year old who’s hit their 20 [years], who can easily pivot out, can go frankly make a lot more money…can have a lot more home life stability in the private sector…is going to be head hunted as soon as they come out with their military credentials and their incredible experience of leadership and all that you know their resume would would contain. And yet what what are we, the United States of America demonstrating as our commitment…Those same folks are watching the people who made the commitment to stay or are making the commitment to stay…they’re watching spouses lose out on jobs, they’re watching kids get screwed with in their ability to move between schools …they’re watching that happen and they’re watching it at some performative level of just who knows what is his actual goal and intention of one random Senator. They’re watching all of that is happening because of one Senator and, frankly, who are the Republican Senators who are railing on him or Republican House members who are saying cut it out, you are hurting people, you are hurting our military, you are hurting our readiness and the impact of this will be felt years into the future? So no one is speaking up for them…[as] one man’s kind of culture war drama impact the entirety of the United States military.”
Steve Schmidt: “I spent a long stretch of my career working in
Republican politics. If it was a Democratic senator who was doing this, the senator and the entire party would have been crucified and would have broken very very quickly. It would have been a bloodletting. What is wrong with the Democratic Party politically that the institution…Why can’t the party organize, target, attack and destroy on an issue like this, which I would argue is a skill that’s going to be necessary to deploy in 2024?”
Rep. Spanberger: “If this were a Democratic senator…you’d have to wait in line to assail to assail that person. There would be teams of Democrats saying we will fund your primary opponent, we will campaign against you, you do not deserve to be in the United States Senate, this is disgraceful, this is terrible, we are taking you out. So for starters, I would say there’s an entire problem, and I’ll get to the Democratic Party in a minute…We would turn on our own and punch them in the face over this...and I can see my colleagues in my mind who would be right there…you’d have to use like a wide-shot camera because everybody would be ready to just say we’re done, this is ridiculous, you’re out, like change your position…And then there’d be all the peer pressure behind the scenes that Democrats are really good at. And if there were ever a Democrat doing this, it would crumble really quickly. And so that’s a question of like why are they not doing that on the Republican side of the aisle? Why are they not coming to him and saying, ‘listen you’re a United States Senator, you’re not a football coach anymore, you are hurting national security, you fix this, you stop this or we will one by one start denouncing you, we will one by one start pummeling you, we will find a primary opponent, we will fund him and you are out. So first question is why are the Republicans not doing that?”
Schmidt: “Let me answer that one. Because they’re bad.”
Rep. Spanberger: “And they don’t have to because they have
this mantle, people think they’re good on military issues. They don’t vote for the PACT act…I think that what continues to be a problem is Democrats are too nice. And I say that as, I’m a very kind, eminently nice person, at least I try to be. But where we could be in this circumstance, just ringing the alarm bells, just pounding in a coordinated message…And you see organizations doing it, VoteVets…What we’re not seeing is a coordinated effort, certainly within the United States Senate where I think it would be most appropriate, to just pound on this every single day. Because you’re right, if this were a Democratic senator, I mean you’d get run over on the way for all of the Republicans who would want to be speaking to a microphone about how awful this is…Democrats like are just not taking that aggressive stance…I’m ringing the alarm bells, I’m railing on this issue, I welcome anybody and everyone who wants to join me.”
UPDATE 11:45 am Sunday – See below for the full video of Rep. Spanberger’s interview, including some pointed comments abuot Elon Musk at the very end….
Steve Schmidt: “When you read about Elon Musk disabling an attack by the Ukrainian military on the Russian fleet through his Starlink service and the primacy of his position regarding America’s space program, its reliance on him, the erratic behavior the overt anti-Semitism, do we have a problem?”
Rep. Abigail Spanberger: “I think we have an absolutely significant problem. I think that there’s discussions related to privatization. And then there are discussions about privatization that are also then wholly dependent on one company one person. It’s one thing to bring in a variety of bids. It’s one thing to say, okay, you know, the express lanes from DC to Fredericksburg, where can we where can we work with private industry to build those out. That’s VERY different from, are we going to be able to help our Ukrainian partners, or will the whims and pro-Russia kind of position of one man impede that? When we’re talking about are we going to be able to get our researchers and items up into space and it’s dependent on one man and the whims that he may choose to take his company in a particular direction or another, there is literally the example of we’ve put all of our eggs in one basket. And I honestly think there’s something very interesting about if you look back about all of the articles about Elon Musk, all of these effusive, look at this interesting genius, it was almost like the makings of a Marvel movie, the way that he was viewed as this person who was doing all these things…The reality of the way that…the United States tries to cut costs or streamline things or bring in corporate partners or unite business with government priorities, there was a very significant gap I think in the way that, in this particular case, with Elon Musk between his engagement in space and his engagement with Starlink and now Twitter…he’s proven himself to be a highly unreliable partner. And there’s one thing for there to be public-private partnerships, it’s quite another when it’s public one-man partnerships. And so I do think that there are significant national security implications. Because you know, what’s next for him? What does he choose to do or not do next?”