A question for Sen. Tom Cotton | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A question for Sen. Tom Cotton

Posted By on Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 8:57 AM



Tom Cotton
spoke at the Political Animals Club in Little Rock yesterday and once again affirmed his allegiance to Donald Trump (don't miss Tom Coulter's great report). 

As I mentioned yesterday, Cotton is no shrinking violet when it comes to political rhetoric. A few examples from just last May: Cotton said that the White House Deputy National Security Advisor was a "chump" who wasn't "man enough to put on the uniform and pick up the rifle." He decried the "cancerous leadership" of the Senate Minority Leader, saying "I can't ignore... [his] bitter, vulgar, incoherent ramblings."

Yet when it comes to Trump, Cotton is ever so delicate. From Coulter's report: 

He also said that Trump should apologize for criticizing the parents of Humayun Khan, a Muslim American soldier who died while serving in Iraq. "I think the best point of action is to express regret for what he said ... and move forward on the real issues," Cotton said.
It's almost like his main beef with the "vulgar, incoherent ramblings" and "chumps...not man enough to put on the uniform" wasn't about principles but about sounding off for his partisan team. One thing that's been clarifying about Trump is to cull the scattering of politicians who believe in something greater than the letter by someone's name, and those who don't. 

More from Coulter: 

Cotton did voice his disagreement with Trump's recent comments regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Agreement. "I strongly disagree that our solution is not to honor our commitments to those countries," Cotton said. "If anyone thinks that not honoring our obligations under NATO would make war less likely, they're exactly wrong. It would make war more likely because it would embolden our adversaries." However, he then quickly restated the importance of getting Trump elected to repeal Obamacare and pass conservative legislation. 
Good to know his priorities. Trump's stated plan would make war more likely but let's elect a Republican and try to repeal Obamacare. 

Cotton, of course, has previously peddled the fanciful notion that Trump will change at some later date. This idea becomes more laughable by the day. Trump is Trump. He is who we thought he was. He will continue to engage in wretched and erratic behavior. He will continue to make uninformed and unhinged statements on the topics that Cotton claims to care most deeply about. Is there anything Trump could do that would, um, trump Cotton's fealty to party? 

I thought of Cotton when watching this Chris Hayes interview with Sen. Jeff Flake yesterday afternoon (see above). Flake, to his credit, decided enough was enough some time ago and will not support Trump. 

Hayes asked whether there was anything that Trump could do that would be too far for those Republicans backing him: 
Is there a breaking point for your colleagues at which point they feel they can no longer abide this. 
Flake responded that he didn't  want to speak for any of his colleagues but said, "some of us need to push back on these statements by Donald Trump, for the good of the party, for the good of the country, we need to. Because somebody making these kinds of statements shouldn't be president." 

Hayes pressed him:

As a general principle here, it does seem to me that perhaps one’s duty to one’s party and some moral commitments that a politician might have seem to be in conflict… There are certain things that, say, a nominee of the party you support would say or support that would be out past what you could in good conscience continue to support? What is that line? If it has not been crossed yet, what could conceivably be the line that could cross that?
Flake repeated that he didn't want to speak for anyone else but said the line had long been crossed, over and over again, for him.

But Flake said that he respects other Republican lawmakers "who say we support the nominee  and hope he changes." 

Hayes responded: "We've been observing him for over a year. ... We know who this individual is. Isn't that people just lying to themselves when they say they hope he changes?"

Good question for Sen. Tom Cotton. 

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