It’s not exactly surprising that Joe Biden has decided to keep the U.S. Space Command in Colorado, overturning Donald Trump’s decision to move it to Alabama.  If you’ll remember, Trump had made the controversial decision in his last few days (so far) as president.

It wasn’t just that keeping the command in Colorado, where it has been stationed for years, was the right call for Biden from both a military and scientific perspective. I mean, how often does being right figure into your typical political decision?

And It wasn’t because Colorado would be favored to beat Alabama in most areas of competition that don’t involve, say, college football or, I don’t know, maybe a pecan pie bake-off.

It wasn’t even that Trump’s decision to transfer the command from Colorado Springs to Alabama in the first place couldn’t have been more nakedly political if he had sent Rudolph Giuliani to Huntsville, Alabama, to announce the change. To no one’s surprise, Trump made the move to reward certain Alabama politicians who had stood by him as he tried to subvert the Constitution to remain in office after losing the 2020 election.

Presumably, those same politicians, and most Republicans for that matter, continue to stand by him even now that special prosecutor Jack Smith has indicted Trump on four charges of attempting to overturn the results of that election. It’s Trump’s third indictment in the last four months, and yet he’s running away with the GOP nomination, and according to the latest polls, is basically tied in a general-election matchup against Biden.

No, what made it so unsurprising was that even if the decision had been a close call — and nearly every Colorado politician, with the exception of state GOP chair Dave Williams, who bizarrely had said he backed Trump on moving the command to Alabama, assures us it wasn’t —  Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s one-man war with Biden and the Pentagon over a Defense Department abortion rule had all but guaranteed a Colorado victory.

Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, along with the rest of the Colorado congressional delegation, had been lobbying Biden from his first day in office, and probably for weeks before, to undo the Trump decision. We should probably give them credit for convincing Biden to make the move.

In fact, Bennet told me that Tuberville’s months-long use of one of the Senate’s more obscure anti-democratic rules to single-handedly block all promotions of senior military officers played no role in Biden’s decision.

“The decision on the Space Command was made entirely on its merits,” Bennet said. “I personally do not believe Joe Biden’s decision had anything to do with Sen. Tuberville’s radical stance of denying every single flag officer in America a chance to be promoted and to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. All this because a guy who used to be a coach, magically, peculiarly, decided that leadership doesn’t matter. That generals don’t matter. That admirals don’t matter.”

For Tuberville, it all began when the Defense Department reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In response, the department announced a plan to reimburse service members who live in states like Alabama, where it is difficult and sometimes impossible to access abortions, for travel expenses they might need to get services. And also to provide paid leave.

In a state like Alabama — one of the benighted states of America — a doctor can go to prison for 99 years for performing an abortion. And so the military decided that a woman who is forced to serve there should get the same medical treatment as any other woman in the service.

Tuberville thinks that the policy is “woke” or maybe that’s what Ron DeSantis has told him. And because he can, Coach Tubes, whose career in the Senate followed one as the Auburn football coach, is protesting by blocking, among others, the commandant of the United States Marines. Yes, even the Marines aren’t safe from Tuberville.

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However you want to put it, Tuberville is not, even by right-wing political standards,  the sharpest guy around. This is the same senator who went on CNN recently to proclaim his support for white nationalists, saying they weren’t racist even though racism is sort of the whole point of white nationalism. 

“My opinion of a white nationalist, if someone wants to call them white nationalist, to me is an American,” Tuberville said before finally having to concede several days later that, after much consideration, he might have been wrong on that one. 

That induced Alabama columnist Kyle Whitmire, who won the Pulitzer for commentary this year, to write, “Of course, we didn’t need more proof that Tuberville says and does stupid stuff. He’s left a trail behind him the way pulpwood trucks belch smoke along backcountry roads.”

I don’t know if Biden gave Tuberville any thought when he made the Space Command decision. But I’d bet large money that whatever role it was, Biden must be enjoying hearing him scream in protest.

Tuberville is saying that Biden was playing politics with the decision, choosing a blue state over a red one, a progressive state over one not progressive at all and, mostly, a pro-choice state over one with maybe the nation’s strictest anti-abortion law.

Tuberville wasn’t the only Alabama politician upset. Rep. Mike Rogers, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, has launched a probe into the matter, saying he will “continue to hold the Biden administration accountable for their egregious political meddling in our national security.” 

Of course, the Republican-led House is investigating Biden on every imaginable front. What’s different about this one is that, as far as I know, Hunter Biden isn’t in any way involved.

In Colorado, even Lauren Boebert was praising the, uh, bipartisan decision, without, of course, mentioning Biden’s name. Meanwhile, Bennet’s major concern in helping to persuade Biden to change course and in getting military officials on board was that the decision to move to Alabama had already been made.

“Inertia always sets sin when a decision is made, for bad or good,” he said. “There is a tendency to ratify stuff even if it was done for the wrong reason. To change direction, you first have to admit that the decision was wrong.” 

The decision was wrong. And so it has been made right —  at least for now. But what about in 2024, when Trump might be president again. Of course, he also might be in prison by then. Or he might be both. And, wherever he is, Tommy Tuberville will probably be standing there by his side.

Mike Littwin has been a columnist for too many years to count. He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow. Sign up for Mike’s newsletter.

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