Pete Riehm
Finally, a Republican with backbone
By Pete Riehm
September 27, 2023

Somewhat pessimistic and demoralized by routine Republican timidity, conservatives are sadly accustomed to Democrats skunking Republicans even when Republicans are in the majority, so they never expect any wins when Democrats are in control. Discarding Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s playbook of conceding yards before the hike, Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville has been making a tremendous solo goal line stand for over six months. Exercising a Senator’s prerogative to put a hold on any routine business, Tuberville has a hold on military promotions for general and flag officers from being confirmed by the Senate in protest of the Department of Defense’s policy to facilitate abortions contrary to federal law.

During the half century, a federal decree allowed abortions across the country. The Hyde Amendment was enforced to preclude paying for abortions with federal tax dollars. After Roe versus Wade was overturned last year returning the issue of abortion to the states, the DOD implemented a policy of granting extra leave and paying transportation for service members to travel to blue states to get abortions. Senator Tuberville rightly saw that cynical policy as contrary to federal statute and demanded DOD cease. Joe Biden and the DOD ignored him and persisted, but Tuberville stood his ground and stopped mass military promotion confirmations.

Coming under withering fire from the Democrat Media Complex, Senator Tuberville was erroneously accused of aiding our enemies and maligned for hurting military readiness. Albeit silly, these were serious allegations, but Tuberville’s principled opposition is vitally important for several reasons and must be understood against the relentless misinformation and smears.

Despite ridiculous leftist euphemisms like “reproductive healthcare,” abortion is still infanticide. It’s simply murder of the innocent and a horrid bloody stain on this nation. Each state must decide for themselves whether to support mass murder, and those that choose slaughter will suffer the inevitable consequences of societal decay, but it’s unconscionable that the supposedly venerable military institution that’s charged with protecting life and liberty would circumvent the law of the land to snuff out the most vulnerable American lives.

Recognizing the latent danger of an independent unchecked military, our founders wisely put the military under civilian control. The Biden Administration obviously supports any policy advancing abortion, but the executive branch including the military are subject to Congressional oversight. The administration may chafe and resist, but it’s quite troubling when military officers join the political fight. Theirs is not to determine what and why, but only how. Tuberville is quite right to tamp down ambitious admirals and generals.

Certainly, DOD did not come to this policy unilaterally. They are following the orders of the Commander-in Chief, but following orders is not an excuse for violating the law. Military officers are taught that they cannot and should not obey an “unlawful” order per the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This code is in place to prevent a rogue generals or president from breaking the law and thwarting Congressional and Judicial oversight. Tuberville is upholding this fundamental tenet.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer blamed Tuberville for months for the logjam of military promotions, but Tuberville asserted the solution was simple – end the DOD policy of essentially providing abortions or they could take each military promotion individually. Schumer rejected both and insisted Tuberville must relent; he did not. Last week, Tuberville was vindicated when Schumer finally confirmed a few generals individually. The DOD abortion policy still stands, but taking each military promotion individually is time consuming and will slow down Democrats from pursuing other debilitating nonsense. Tuberville won.

Unlike most Republican leadership, Senator Tuberville has demonstrated courage, gumption, and integrity in the face of unrelenting scathing opposition and only tepid support from his own party. He has provided the audacious leadership Americans crave, so we can only hope other Republicans will learn from his example. A creature of the putrid Potomac swamp, McConnell cannot and will not. It’s past time for him to go and usher in a new generation of brave principled Republican leadership.

Thank you, Senator Tuberville, for providing conviction and integrity in leadership and a ray of hope that righteousness and Constitutional principles can prevail.

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them” (Proverbs 11:3).

Pete Riehm is a conservative activist and columnist in south Alabama. Email him at or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm


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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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