Finding himself in the news for non-sex-scandal-related matters on Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was left flustered and shaking his head when Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered a blistering retort to the MAGA congressman’s criticism that the military is too “woke.”
With the GOP currently engaged in an all-encompassing culture war against “critical race theory,” Gaetz and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) blasted Milley during a House Armed Services hearing about the teaching of CRT, an obscure academic concept revolving around systemic racism, to military leaders. Given an opportunity to respond by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Milley offered up a passionate defense.
“I do think it's important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. And it is important that we train and we understand,” he declared before referencing the Jan. 6 insurrection. “I want to understand white rage, and I’m white… What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?”
After saying he has read Mao Tse Tung, Karl Marx, and Vladimir Lenin and that “doesn’t make me a communist,” Milley added: “What is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, our non-commissioned officers of being ‘woke’ or something else because we are studying some theories that are out there!”
Gaetz, meanwhile, merely reacted with a bemused smile and a dramatic shake of the head.