Editor’s note: This essay has been edited to reflect that Sen. Cotton did indeed address the media following his lone “No” vote, and that Sen. Cotton called out the other Senators in an address prior to the 98-1 vote on the Iran treaty issue. The City Wire sincerely regrets and apologizes for the errors. The author’s overall point of the essay, as noted in the final paragraph, stands.
Arkansas’ Junior U.S. Senator, Mr. Tom Cotton of Dardanelle, had a bad week in the storied upper chamber of our nation’s capital.
We never have doubted Mr. Cotton’s propensity to vote “No” and loudly do so. We are not sure where the frustration came in. Was it the new baby boy at home not sleeping well or was it mounting frustration with the complex treaties with Iran have finally gotten to the affable Mr. Cotton?
He cast the lone “No” vote in a 98-1 decision on the Iran Treaty.
Speaking prior to the vote, Cotton was frustrated over some of the many amendments added to the treaty bill, plus these amendments were some complex procedural moves being made to push forward parts of the bill that certain sponsors wanted up front in the debate. Cotton, the Harvard educated, Iran and Afghanistan veteran, and fresh face from Arkansas, was having none of that. No sir. Not one bit. On the historic floor of the U.S. Senate, where great words spoken by greater men and women have been spoken, Mr. Cotton had something to say as well. He took to the floor of the U.S. Senate, and criticized Senate members unwilling to take a clear stand on the issue.
“It’s fine if you want to vote no,” said Mr. Cotton. “But we need to vote.”
“If you (Mr. and Mrs. U.S. Senator) don’t want to vote, you shouldn’t have come to the Senate.”
He exhaled here for a nano second before delivering the real crux of his message to the 98 others who call themselves U.S. Senators.
“If you are in the Senate, and you don’t want to vote, you should leave.”
Cotton was calling out his fellow U.S. Senators and saying they should leave the U.S. Senate.
It must be time to call upon Boozman, who less than a year ago, called out U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas from Texas for some of his antics to halt the workings of the government. Or maybe Mr. Cotton should take a page from Boozman’s manual on decorum and diplomacy. Or maybe Boozman should meet with Cotton and go over that page on decorum and diplomacy.
No doubt Boozman learned team work at the University of Arkansas while being a member of the football Razorbacks. Boozman said this of the vote that frustrated Cotton: “While I understand my colleagues desire to strengthen the bill, and was supportive of some of their efforts, Congress cannot simply walk away without having a say in this vital national security matter than has been negotiated behind closed doors.”
Boozman then drove home the point as a counterpoint to Cotton’s efforts.
“Without this bill, there will be no review of the Iran deal.”
Cotton, who as far as I can tell, is not into teamwork in Washington. But it may be a new skill the rebel-rouser needs to learn. Being the lone “No” vote while the other 98 members of the U.S. Senate vote the other way is not always a good thing.
His inability to make better political decisions and reach not only across the aisle but within his own party could put Cotton in such a disadvantage one has to wonder if he is helping Arkansas and the Nation.