On Wednesday, President Donald Trump went on a toot about Confederate generals. The spark for his anger was the renewed push to rename the 10 United States military bases named after Confederate officers—that is, people who took up arms against the United States to preserve slavery. According to the president, those bases are part of a tradition of “Winning, Victory, and Freedom.” According to his spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany, renaming the bases would be “a complete disrespect to the men and women, who the last bit of American land they saw before they went overseas and lost their lives were these forts.” You never want to do “a complete disrespect.”
Seriously failed presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, just introduced an Amendment on the renaming of many of our legendary Military Bases from which we trained to WIN two World Wars. Hopefully our great Republican Senators won’t fall for this!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
Trump sees all problems as nails that can be fixed with his handy racism hammer, but on this issue, at least, that impulse has left him on an island apart from others in his own party. Although he expressed his optimism that Republicans “won’t fall for this,” the idea quickly picked up steam. On Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) signaled he’d be open to renaming the bases, and a number of Senate Republicans endorsed an amendment authored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) mandating that the bases be renamed within three years. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D) told Talking Points Memo he didn’t see the point of naming a base after a “traitor.” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) noted that Braxton Bragg, for whom Fort Bragg is named, “was probably the worst commanding general in the Confederate army.” The Republican-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee approved Warren’s amendment by voice vote.
Fort Tubman here we come.