Friday, April 10, 2015

Is Sen. Tom Cotton...

 ...just the latest Republican kook du jour? (That's him on the left with former Rep. Allen West, the previous holder of the title.)

On Tuesday, the freshman senator from Arkansas opined that bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would only take a few days and not lead to anything resembling the Iraq War. From BuzzFeed (my emphasis):

Cotton said any military action against Iran would not be like the Iraq War and would instead be similar to 1999’s Operation Desert Fox, a four-day bombing campaign against Iraq ordered by President Bill Clinton.

“Even if military action were required — and we certainly should have kept the credible threat of military force on the table throughout which always improves diplomacy — the president is trying to make you think it would be 150,000 heavy mechanized troops on the ground in the Middle East again as we saw in Iraq and that’s simply not the case,” Cotton said.

Hoo, boy!

Cotton is the guy who, after only about three months in the United States Senate, wrote that controversial letter to Iran which he was able to get 46 of his Republican colleagues to sign. 

The youngest member of the Senate, the 37-year-old was elected after serving all of one term in the House of Representatives. Cotton is admittedly a smart guy -- if a little eccentric -- with undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, no less. A second lieutenant in the U. S. Army, he served one tour of duty each in Iraq and Afghanistan. On paper, Cotton is very impressive. On paper.

Allen West was another guy with a good resume. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, he also had a master's degree in political science from Kansas State University. The Florida Republican was a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who served in Kuwait in 1991 and Iraq in 2003, before getting elected to his lone term in Congress amid the tea party wave of 2010. See any similarities?

During the two short years he spent in Washington, West made a number of controversial statements.

For starters, he claimed he'd “heard” that up to 80 of his House Democratic colleagues were communists. West admonished them:

“Take your message of equality of achievement…You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.”


“If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.”

As for the president of the United States (his commander-in-chief), West told Fox News (who else?):

“I am sick and tired of this class warfare, this Marxist demagogic rhetoric that is coming from the president of the United States. Barack Hussein Obama is nothing more than a low-level socialist agitator.”

And the president's supporters?

“I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”

I could go on and on; I think you get the idea.

But Tom Cotton is being talked about for vice president. Now, as I said, he's obviously a very impressive guy. But do you remember the last time the GOP took a chance on someone new to the national stage with a penchant for speaking off the cuff?

It didn't go well.

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