Obama's Arkansas Fellow Traveler
Last week I emailed my congressman, Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, letting him know that like almost two-thirds of Americans, I am opposed to supporting Obama's foolish, face-saving gesture of an attack on Syria. I was taken aback when my congressman, an Army combat veteran of the Middle East wars, responded to me that he was prepared to vote in support of Barack's Folly, a meaningless shot across the bow of another Middle East brigand who will be defiantly and ineffectually undeterred by an attack which he knows to be nothing more than political theater and political cover for an incredibly weak and inept American president.
It is dismaying that Cotton is one of only two serving combat veteran congressmen from the Republican side of the aisle who have publicly announced, in the Washington Post, no less, their intention to support Barack's Folly. Trying to make their case, they readily acknowledge that it is the continual blundering of Barack Obama that has put us into this morass, yet they claim that it is America's reputation in the world that is at stake here, not that of our feckless leader. I have news for them: America's reputation in the world took the big hit when she reelected a demonstrated incompetent. Serious dissing of Obama by foreign leaders has been on a steady uptick since November.
The two congressmen further argue that an emboldened Iran will pose a serious nuclear threat to this country if we don't show Assad we mean business. I might be moved by that argument if we were talking about a more determined demonstration of our disapproval. Rather than debating the wisdom and effectiveness of firing a shot across Assad's bow, how about we discuss lobbing sufficient rounds directly into the bridge of the Syrian ship of state? More of us out here might get aboard, especially veterans who are now near universally opposed to the current proposal. No one more determinedly despises useless military gestures like Obama's shot across the bow than those whose lives may be forfeit to such puerile political posturing.
That a promising, young, up and coming congressman like Tom Cotton, who recently took the major political step up to declaring for the 2014 senate race against incumbent Democrat, Mark Pryor, can possibly be so tone deaf to the commonsense wisdom that pervades his electorate is disheartening. These folks here in Arkansas, the same as everywhere across the country, don't see that there is any necessity to use American military forces to support either side in a fight where the likelihood is that both sides are our enemies. Cotton's mistake is seriously compounded by the recent announcement of the incumbent Democrat, Pryor, usually an Obama water carrier, that he will not support an attack on Syria. Take time to read both accounts and see if you don't agree that the politically astute Pryor makes the more convincing argument.
Pryor is a cynically superior political chess player to Cotton, who appears to prefer checkers. Were Pryor not fearing an election challenge, you can bet he'd be toeing Harry Reid's Democrat hardline on the senate vote next week. But Pryor is cleverly positioning himself as the man of the people, representing the interests of Arkansas, doing his best to define himself as a Democrat who doesn't think in lockstep with Ultimate Leader and ruling liberal faction of the party.
And on the checker-playing side, we have the Republican challenger, Tom Cotton, telling those he wishes to represent, "I don't care if you're opposed, I know better than you and I will vote to support Obama's foolishness based on my superior, inside knowledge and not the wishes of my constituents." Cotton's argument is that he's served in combat and that informs his superior position. Well I have a news flash for young Tom Cotton: There are many of us out here who also have been in combat who also have a few decades of life experience on him that informs our opinions, and we think he's flat-out wrong. Congressman Cotton is wandering dangerously close to the McCain/Graham reservation where the operative reality is that which the senators feel to be politically beneficial, not necessarily what their constituents want. Has any aspirant to the senate ever begun a campaign with such a totally tin ear? It is readily apparent that Cotton has much to learn. Well, unless he's already planning to be the next McCain or Graham.
I have no specific information as to Barack Obama's current approval ratings in Arkansas, but considering these 2012 numbers, I'm betting they're probably somewhere in the twenties by now. What I will wager with some confidence is that no matter how low they are, come Election Day 2014, they'll be higher than Tom Cotton's if he insists on making himself Obama's Arkansas fellow traveler.