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Republicans: F*ck You For Your Service
It's your Sunday show rundown!
New week, new platform, same stupidity out of the Sunday shows. But if you thought your trusty Wonkette wouldn’t still watch them, so YOU didn’t have to, you underestimated our
tolerance for punishment kindness! So, let’s jump right in and see what we got!
Equal Suffering For All!
We begin with former Army Ranger Tab earner (not actual Ranger) and current Republican Senator, Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Cotton defended House Republicans taking a bipartisan National Defense Authorization Appropriation (NDAA) that passed committee and turning it into a partisan bill that is all but “dead on arrival” in the Democratic-controlled Senate. After host Shannon Bream played clips of Democratic House members and senators calling out Republicans for using the troops as hostages again, Cotton responded with his usual brand of bullshit.
Bream asked what should women who are serving their country do when stuck by orders in a regressive state regarding reproductive rights, and Cotton just basically told them to eat shit and figure it out.
COTTON: […] Again, the military should not be paying for abortion tourism
BREAM: So what should women who are in uniform in a place where they cannot access an abortion because they are there on orders, what should they do?
COTTON: If they want to take that step, they have 30 days of annual leave. It shouldn’t be taxpayer funds giving them three weeks of paid, uncharged leave and then also pay for travel and lodging and meals — something we don’t even do for our troops when a parent dies, or sibling dies, or beloved grandparent die.
Cotton, like many conservatives, tries to convince people to look down for the source of their problems than look up. Rather than saying,“We should extend these benefits for military members suffering through grief and loss,” they declare, “We fuck over grieving troops, so YOU TOO should enjoy some of that insensitive hardship.” It never enters conservatives’ minds to improve everyone’s lives rather than simply ensure everyone suffers equally.
Have Abortions On YOUR Time, Harlots!
Over on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” Republican Rep. Michael McCaul was asked a similar question as Cotton but was unable to articulate an answer when given minimal pushback.
BRENNAN: […] The Defense Secretary [Lloyd Austin] said one in five troops are now female. And that what he put this policy in to be able to do is for them to travel to get things that aren’t covered in the states they are living in. Shouldn't all troops, regardless of where they're stationed, get the same treatment? Why penalize them for living in Texas?
MCCAUL: They're free to travel to another state …
BRENNAN : They'd be penalized. They'd have to take time off.
MCCAUL: … to have an abortion, just not at taxpayer expense
BRENNAN: The’d have to take the time off and the like and that would impact their ability to do their jobs arguably …
MCAUL: [stares silently]
BRENNAN: … right, if they have to go on leave …
MCCAUL: [continues sitting silently]
Brennan then chose to move on knowing she would never get an answer from the House Foreign Affairs Committee chair on how making this harder on the military improves readiness.
But Cotton and McCaul are also lying by omission about leave and what the military does pay/cover.
While all troops do receive 30 days of annual leave, there is also parental leave that’s granted that is not included and not available to everyone. According to the Department Of Defense (DOD) in March 2023:
The Defense Department issued a new policy to provide 12 weeks of paid, non-chargeable parental leave to service members who have a child through birth, adoption or a long-term foster care placement of at least 24 months. […] These 12 weeks of parental leave, which became effective Dec. 27, come in addition to authorized convalescent leave for service members who give birth.
Furthermore, Army Regulation manual 40–501 (Standards of Medical Fitness) states the physical restrictions and accommodations when a soldier is pregnant:
The military already makes exceptions by giving extra leave and paying for time before, during, and after pregnancy for military members that’s not available to everyone. But, unlike conservatives, progressives actually want to extend these benefits to include those who choose not to have a children.
But this is all common sense stuff if you aren’t a racist or theocratic zealot. The Pentagon made a cost benefit analysis on troop readiness accounting the time given to have an abortion and be ready for full-duty versus a full-term pregnancy, wanted or unwanted. Hence the policy they recommended that Republicans now want to jeopardize our national defense over. This is all without even bringing up the possible inability to get leave approved to have an abortion by the same commanders who might have caused or are protecting those that caused the unwanted pregnancy in the case of sexual assault in the first place.
So, when Republicans send out their hollow “thank you for your service” tweets every Veterans, Memorial, and Independence Day, remember how little they actually care when it comes to demonstrating thanks through action. A hollow sentiment is worthless when you are holding up military promotions (and pay) or defending white nationalists or restricting their family planning for political gain.
Have a week.