In the fall of 1960, I became friends with a pair of All-American looking kids and their daily activities. Their names were Dick and Jane.
Dick had dark brown hair, wore a striped shirt and khaki colored pants. Jane was a sparkling blonde, who wore colorful and modest length skirts.
My first encounter with these kids and the random collection of the letters of the alphabet on every page, was, at first, a real mystery for me. But after weeks of relentless daily lessons, and by slow, deliberate measures and the Herculean efforts from a very dedicated but extremely poorly paid public school teacher, I began to get it. I could read – a very fundamental aspect to my very being today.
I wish more people could and would read about their politicians in these troubling times.
“Go slow and find out the story they are telling us,” my teacher would admonish the class, as her rhinestone encrusted, cat-eye style framed eyeglasses.
Going slow and reading the words Dick and Jane said, did help everyone to keep up with what was going on. Today, we have a different character to read about.
I wish the crowd whose lips-move-as-they-read in our state would not be fooled by the TV sound bites or wildly printed mass mail flyers and church pew Voter Guide recommendations as we move into the 2014 election cycle. So from memory lane we are going to go slow, to see what one candidate has been up to.
See Tom Cotton.
Tom Cotton is a Congressman.
Tom Cotton is a new Congressman.
Tom Cotton is a new Congressman from Arkansas.
See Tom vote.
See Tom vote on bills.
See Tom vote on bills in Congress.
Tom votes on bills every day in Congress.
That is what Congressmen do.
Tom can vote “Yes”
Tom can vote “No”
Tom always likes to vote.
Tom is a new Congressman.
Tom is a new Congressman from Arkansas.
Voting is what Congressmen do.
See Tom vote “No” in Congress.
See Tom vote “No” to food stamps.
See Tom vote “No” to hungry people.
See Tom vote “No” to storm help for others.
Tom likes to vote “No”
Tom talks about his “No” votes.
Tom likes to talk about his “No” votes on TV.
Tom likes to talk about voting “No” on CNN and FOX.
Tom sure likes to talk on TV.
Now Tom will talk about immigration.
Tom does not like immigration.
Tom does not like immigrants.
Tom does not like the DREAM Act.
“No” says Tom.
Tom likes to run.
Tom likes to run political races.
Tom likes to run political races for others.
Tom likes to run for others in far away places.
Places not in Arkansas.
“Run Tom run,” says the Club for Growth.
Look at the Club for Growth tell Tom to run.
Tom is running.
But will Tom win?
Enough of the reading lesson.
Should Congressman Tom Cotton, bolt after a one-term in the Congress for a U.S. Senate race against U.S. Senator Mark Pryor? Does the 4th Congressional District, our state’s largest land mass (and one of the poorest Congressional Districts) deserve better than a one-term congressman?
If Congressman Cotton does run for the U.S. Senate, he will be only the second congressman in modern Arkansas history to jump from his seat after his initial two-year term.
Who was the other Congressman?
Jim Guy Tucker of Little Rock.
Tucker left a safe 2nd District Congressional Seat to enter a four-way Democratic race for the U.S. Senate back in 1978. Tucker lost that race in a narrow run off with David Pryor.
Most Congressmen in our state stick around for a long time. Reaching back into Arkansas history, Wade Kitchens of Magnolia, was a one-term Congressman in 1941-1943. He did not seek re-election.
Lewis E. Sawyer of Hot Springs, holds the record for shortest tenure in the Congress representing Arkansas. Sawyer was elected in November 1922, and died May 5 1923, some 60 days from the start of the 1923-1925 term. He died before the session of Congress was organized.
The Club for Growth says Cotton is “their man” for the Senate race.
But what if he loses? No more Tom Cotton. No more “No” votes from issues such as storm aide for Super storm Sandy and immigration reform.
Run Tom run.