Favorite

Tom Cotton: too extreme for Arkansas? 

The shadow race for U.S. Senate continues.

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, so far officially unchallenged, has drawn a high-dollar TV campaign from Michael Bloomberg's gun control lobby for siding with the NRA.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, a former Arkansan who came back to the state two years ago to rent a house and run for 4th District Congress to represent the Club for Growth, is widely expected to be Pryor's likely Republican opponent. He's been grabbing the spotlight, in sometimes wacky ways.

PAIN IS GOOD: Soon after taking office, Cotton was sanguine about a debt default — and the resulting market crash and pain. He figured it might be a good thing if it led to massive reductions in federal benefit spending.

SELECTIVE MEMORY: Cotton politicized the Boston terror bombings by asserting that there'd been several terror attacks on Obama's watch, but none (he formed a big theatrical zero with his hand) on the watch of George W. Bush. He overlooked several incidents during the Bush reign and said you couldn't count that little incident when planes flew into a couple of New York skyscrapers.

HEARTLESS IN THE HEARTLAND: Cotton joined a rump minority of teabaggers in opposing storm relief legislation for Hurricane Sandy victims unless someone else paid. Will he exhibit such budget rigor on the next Arkansas tornado?

PRESUMPTION OF GUILT: Last week, Cotton drew objections even from the Republican committee chair for his idea to automatically expand financial penalties against Iranians who violate U.S. sanctions to anyone related to those Iranians in the third-degree. This would include great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

Cotton caught so much grief that his office endeavored to alibi. He had not proposed "legislation," the office said, merely an "amendment." It was aimed only at Iranians, not American citizens. The language of the amendment was not clear on the citizenship point, but was un-American all the same. We have a Constitution that presumes innocence. Courts have ruled that the Fifth Amendment's due process applies to non-citizens. The Constitution also explicitly rejects "corruption of blood," or guilt based on kinship.

Cotton's mindset — that citizens of other countries are children of lesser gods — is precisely the sort of thinking that brings U.S. military prison scandals, torture and a decline in worldwide respect.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pounced on Cotton's latest.

"To call Tom Cotton an extreme ideologue is not overstating anything," said a spokesman for the committee.

No, it is plain fact. Add to his bill of particulars support for prosecution of reporters who write stories about U.S. foreign intrigue as well as extremism on guns, abortion and Obamacare (which many of his Republican legislative supporters in Arkansas just voted to implement).

Is being an extremist bad? Republicans are running hard against Pryor's mushiness, as exhibited by occasional wobbles — at least by comparison with Republican rigidity — on guns, abortion, organized labor, taxes and more.

I think the average Arkansan wobbles a bit, too. The polls indicate Arkansans don't like abortion much, for example. But no poll yet has said the state is ready to make it illegal. The polls also indicate that Arkansans join the rest of the country in accepting some regulation of guns, despite the gun inerrancy of most politicians.

So the apparent choice for 2014: An extreme D.C. carpetbagger who abandoned Arkansas until opportunity presented itself? Or a mushy centrist, but a known quantity with a warm and fuzzy name?

I'm not yet convinced extremism is a winning theme for Democrats. But we DO have three defeated legislative stooges — Mauch, Fuqua and Hubbard — to lend at least a little support to the theory that Tom Cotton could be made the Shemp of 2014.

Favorite

Speaking of Tom Cotton, Mark Pryor

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

People who saved…

Readers also liked…

  • Supremely discredited

    Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Rhonda Wood and her allies continue to discredit the state's highest court.
    • Jul 30, 2015
  • Hutchinson pulls Faubus move

    I don't know what if anything might arise or be planned in the future relative to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's order to end Medicaid reimbursement for medical services (not abortion) provided by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Neighborliness, in Little Rock and beyond

    I had a parochial topic in mind this week — a surprise plan by Mayor Mark Stodola to address the Arkansas Arts Center's many needs.
    • Nov 19, 2015

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
    • Jan 19, 2017
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More on LRSD tax

    When the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and a Walton Foundation-paid lobbyist, long devoted critics of the Little Rock School District, lead the messaging for a quarter-billion dollars in new tax debt for the district, it is cause for caution.
    • Jan 5, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Really? That's your argument? The Russians and the Soviets are two different things? That's pretty…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Tony Galati- You are the one that needs to learn history. They had been invaded…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Better dust off your history books, Runner. The Soviets invaded Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Yugoslavia,…

    • on January 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation