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Republican elected to Senate doesn't know the 3 branches of government

Tommy Tuberville apparently doesn’t know what World War II was fought over either.

By Emily Singer - November 13, 2020
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Tommy Tuberville

Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) seems to have a very poor grasp of basic American civics and world history, as he incorrectly identified the three branches of government and got wrong what World War II was fought over in an interview with a local media outlet.

When asked whether lawmakers will have to work across the aisle to get things done come January, Tuberville, a former college football coach, replied: “Yeah and that’s how our government was set up. You know, our government wasn’t set up for one group to have all three of branches of government. It wasn’t set up that way, our three branches, the House, the Senate and executive.”

The House of Representatives and the Senate are not separate branches of government. The three branches are the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. Tuberville completely forgot the judicial branch, whereas he ran for the Senate on a vow to “work with President Trump to add more conservative judges with backbone to the Supreme Court.”

It’s not the first time a Republican elected official incorrectly identified the three branches of government.

In 2015, then-Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin did so as she defended her state after the Supreme Court struck down Oklahoma’s decision to put a Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the state capitol.

“You know, there are three branches of our government. You have the Supreme Court, the legislative branch and the people, the people and their ability to vote,” Fallin said. “So I’m hoping that we can address this issue in the legislative session and let the people of Oklahoma decide.”

Tuberville also incorrectly said that World War II was fought over socialism: “As I tell people, my dad fought 76 years ago in Europe to free Europe of Socialism. Today, you look at this election, we have half this country that made some kind of movement, now they might not believe in it 100 percent, but they made some kind of movement toward socialism. So we’re fighting it right here on our own soil.”

World War II was not fought over socialism, but rather to defeat the fascist forces of the Axis powers, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The Communist Soviet Union was an ally of the United States in the war.

Tuberville was elected to the Senate earlier this month in his race against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. Jones had won a special election in Alabama in 2017 to replace Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, whom Donald Trump had chosen as his attorney general. Jones won that year by the narrowest of margins against a severely damaged GOP opponent, Roy Moore, who had been accused of child molestation.

In 2020, Sessions sought the GOP nomination for his old Senate seat; Tuberville beat him in a primary during which he emphasized his fealty to Trump. And Trump campaigned against Sessions, whom he blames for recusing himself and not protecting Trump during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In the 2020 election, Jones was unable to sway Alabama’s deep-red majority of voters. Trump carried the state with 62.1% to President-elect Joe Biden’s 36.5%.

Tuberville underperformed Trump’s numbers with 60.1% of the vote, while Jones overperformed Biden’s with 39.7%.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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