The New York Times Sunday magazine added to freshman Sen. Tom Cotton’s scrapbook rise to celebrity with a full-page interview and tall photo of the young Arkansas Republican who fatuously wrote the letter to Iranians warning them of a bad outcome for the deal supported by the U.S.
The vital statistics of the man included his NBA dream team (which, alas, did not include LeBron James!) and his non-answer as to whether he is dreaming about more trivial matters as a vice presidential candidate on the GOP national ticket in 2016. He cryptically answered: “I am focussed on the work that the people of Arkansas sent me to do.”
As Seinfeld’s Kramer would blurt: “Oh,Mama!”
All of the commotion about the guy sent me back into the files to learn how he ended up in the Senate in the first place from the Razorback State.
Think: William Kristol, the big-time neocon who merged Sarah Palin onto John McCain’s ticket in 2008. Think of the same neocon whose New York Times op-ed columns were eliminated after the editors finally lost patience with his many factual errors. Think of the same neocon who seeks relevancy as editor of the right-wing Weekly Standard as well as the smarmy guest on TV shows. And think of the warrior neocon who was a major figure in calling for the Bush invasion of Iraq and who has now supports a re-invasion of the that country.
Now, think of the neocon as a board member of the Emergency Committee for Israel with considerable sway among other donor allies. Kristol sent upward of $800,000 to his newly bought and paid for Tom Cotton, another acquired alter ego (who happens to be a Methodist).
As I learned in so many years in the newspaper world, names make news. So when you see Cotton’s name, you need to know more about what the political world is now talking about, the man who wanted to imprison NY Times editor Bill Keller and two reporters over something the Times printed.
As a congressman in 2013 Cotton also proved he can be damned cruel. He wanted to insert an amendment in an Iran sanctions bill (amendment later withdrawn) that would have severely punished anyone who violated the sanctions. He even levied that on their families as a “corruption of blood” that automatically included “parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids.”
The guy is driven – but would you want to be a passenger?