The White House put Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) in the hot seat Tuesday over his ongoing blockade against military promotions.
Tuberville is singlehandedly preventing more than 250 stalled military promotions in response to the Department of Defense permitting paid leave for personnel to obtain an abortion, demanding Congress vote on the legitimacy of the policy.
Tuberville is unfazed by the divisions he has caused within the Republican Party, with some GOP lawmakers voicing their opposition to the blockade.
“I don’t represent the conference, I represent the people of Alabama,” he told Politico. The blockade, which seems likely to stretch on for more than six months, has previously come under criticism from the White House.
“A cascading effect of delayed promotions threatens to brain-drain from the military,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said two weeks ago. “And military families do not know where they will live, where spouses will work, where children will go to school.”
And President Joe Biden himself has spoken out against Tuberville’s actions.
“The Republican Party used to always support the military, but today they’re undermining the military,” Biden said in July, calling the blockade “dangerous” and “outrageous.”
The Pentagon also canceled an order to move the United States Space Command headquarters to Alabama amid the feud, prompting outcry from Tuberville, who pledged to “continue to fight this as long as it takes to bring Space Command where it would be best served” in Alabama.
On Tuesday, the feud escalated on Twitter after the senator countered Biden’s remark that Tuberville’s blockade was preventing some military personnel from “fully serv[ing] our country.”
“All of these jobs are being done. My holds are NOT affecting national security,” Tuberville responded.
The White House then hit back, writing, “This you?” along with screenshots of four headlines detailing the effects of Tuberville’s blockade.
“Tuberville’s hold leaves marines leaderless for first time in 164 years,” read one of the headlines.
“Army, Navy Will Be Latest Services Without Chiefs as Senator Maintains Block on Confirmations,” read another.
The White House’s retort has racked up more than 350,000 views in the last two hours, with some voicing their support for “Dark Brandon,” a meme representing Biden’s darker alter ego that has been embraced by his supporters.
But regardless of how well Twitter users think the White House has roasted Tuberville, it is unlikely that their online feud will cause the senator to waver until there is a vote on the Pentagon’s abortion policy.
“We need a vote on this policy on the floor,” he said in July. “I don’t know whether it would pass. It may. I don’t care. I just want the American people to have a say-so in this, not the Pentagon.”