The Left Have Stuck Their Claws Into Military — But House GOP Is Fighting Back

050520-N-0780F-003 Souda Bay, Crete, Greece (May 20, 2005) -- USS Taylor (FFG 50) is followed by other NATO nations' units while returning to port after the conclusion of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Military Committee (MC) SEA DAY Excercise. The exercise involved vessels from Greece, Turkey, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States that are currently assigned to Standing NATO Response Force Maritime Group Two (SNMG2). The event was held to provide an indication of the capabilities of these permanent naval assets that recently have been integrated into the NATO Response Force (NRF) and that form the core of the antiterrorist Operation Active Endeavour. U.S. Navy photo by Paul Farley

Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee just gave America a preview of what governance might look like under a second Trump administration.

On May 22, the committee took a hedge trimmer to the thicket of new leftist rules put in place by Biden’s Pentagon commissars. First in the wood chipper: diversity, equity and inclusion training, along with climate activism and promotions based on anything but merit.

You would be forgiven for thinking America’s left isn’t much interested in the Department of Defense. Don’t be fooled. The former War Department remains the final and biggest prize in our federal government.

Washington, D.C., is a town full of Democrats, where neighbors on Capitol Hill compete over how many Ukraine flags, “Ceasefire NOW!” signs and coexist stickers can be crammed into one yard. The city voted for Biden in 2020 by 92.15 percent, making the federal workforce in Washington as ideologically diverse as NPR’s newsroom.

Memos were written on IBM Selectrics when the left seized the departments of State, Energy, Education and Transportation. Republicans finally started to wake up to this permanent liberal takeover of the government in 2013, when it was revealed that the IRS deliberately targeted conservatives. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 showed just how far some staffers at formerly trusted institutions such as the FBI might go to stop conservatives. Flash forward to 2024: the FBI has labeled red-hat MAGA enthusiasts as extremists and its oversight organization, the U.S. Department of Justice, has shredded due process in the pursuit of the leading Republican candidate for president.

Until recently, many believed the last safe haven for conservatives in Washington was the Department of Defense, a lonely outpost in a sea of blue hair, pronouns and face masks.

With an annual funding tipping $850 billion and 2 million members, the Department of Defense remains the largest discretionary line item in the federal budget. Unfortunately, all that money made it target number one for the Biden team.

When acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and his deputy, Kash Patel, walked out of the Pentagon’s river entrance on January 20th, 2021, the Biden administration walked in with a dream sheet brimming with liberal priorities. In the first week, the services opened to transgender members. In times past, one could not join the Army with flat feet or fly a jet with less than 20/20 vision, but at Biden’s DoD, those in need of $30,000 “gender affirming surgery” are good to go.

Next up, on February 5, 2021, came Secretary Lloyd Austin’s force-wide stand down to root out “extremism” in the ranks. The “stand down” forced every single member of the department to get four hours of lectures that looked and sounded an awful lot like DEI training. Millions of wasted man-hours later, a report from the Institute of Defense Analysis concluded that there was “no evidence” to conclude there was a greater percentage of extremists in the DoD than the country as a whole.

The hits just kept coming. The Army was forced to pursue battery-powered vehicles (akin to the Obama administration’s crackpot idea of a “Great Green Fleet” bio-fueled Navy). The Air Force gave a thumbs up to air persons signing emails with their preferred pronouns. Diversity, equity and inclusion czars were brought in, like Kelisa Wing, a self-described “woke” DEI chief who is on record disparaging white “folx.” Lloyd Austin himself pledged the DoD would become an abortion travel agency, risking the promotions of hundreds of generals and flag officers to make sure that any service member (or dependent) could get an abortion on demand, for any reason and at any point in her pregnancy. Oh, and the taxpayer would pay for three weeks of her extra leave and related travel expenses.

Amid all this social engineering, the country’s military standing started to look shaky in the first six months. Biden’s Afghanistan disaster came in 2021. Putin invaded Ukraine in 2022. The Middle East erupted in 2023. And all along the way, military recruiting suffered as Americans looked on in shock and disbelief. Once the most revered institution in the nation, the military’s trust from the public hit a 20-year low in 2023, according to Gallup.

House Republicans are fighting to keep the military about breaking things and killing people, what they call a “focus on lethality.” Most of their efforts will likely get stripped out by the Democrats when the bill goes before the Senate. But with the upper chamber looking increasingly red in November’s election and Donald Trump leading in the polls, this year’s House bill may well be a harbinger of what to expect next spring.

Morgan Murphy is a former DoD press secretary, national security adviser in the U.S. Senate, a veteran of Afghanistan.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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