Tom Cotton Goes Godwin in First Senate Speech

In case you had some doubt that Sen. Tom Cotton was a major douchebag after he orchestrated that idiotic open letter to the Iranian government last week, those doubts can now be put to rest. In his very first speech on the Senate floor, he decided to go full-on Godwin.

“The world is growing ever more dangerous, and our defense spending is wholly inadequate to confront the danger,” Cotton said. “To be exact, during the last four or five years, the world has grown gravely darker. We have steadily disarmed, partly with a sincere desire to give a lead to other countries and partly due to the severe financial pressure of the time. But a change must now be made. We must not continue longer on a course in which we alone are growing weaker while every other nation is growing stronger.”

He continued: “I wish I could take credit for those eloquent but ominous words, but I cannot. Winston Churchill sounded that warning in 1933 as Adolf Hitler had taken power in Germany. Tragically, Great Britain and the West didn’t heed this warning, when they might have strangled that monster in his crib. Rather they let the locust continue to eat away at the common defense.”

This whole “we’re cutting our defense budget at the most dangerous time” argument is utterly ridiculous. It’s a lie in the service of demagoguery. We spend more on what we euphemistically call “defense” than the next ten countries combined, a full $450 billion a year more than the next biggest spender, China. Our spending has gone down since 2010, but that’s when spending on the Afghanistan war peaked after the promised surge in troops that Obama ran on. Now that we’ve drawn down our troops there, spending is going down as a result.

The United States nearly outspends every other country in the world on the military (we spend about 47% of all military spending in the world). The notion that we’re weakening ourselves with draconian cuts to defense is so wrong as to be nothing short of delusional.

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  • marcus

    It should be noted that the next fifteen countries after China and Russia are considered allies, ten of which are staunch and historic supporters. Not to mention the fact that the NATO members, for all defense intents and purposes, are essentially us as well, and adds another $280 to the defense pot.

  • marcus

    *$280 billion

  • caseloweraz

    I get the impression that young Mr. Cotton is being “played” by more senior people, used as a stalking horse fro this idea of preemptive war with Iran.

  • caseloweraz

    “for this idea”

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    This can’t be right. I’ve been told that the GOP has learned the lessons of the post-Clinton pre-Obama era, have a new isolationist (and fiscally conservative) spirit, has pushed out the neocons and is no longer the War Party, but from what I’ve seen of the GOP they’ve learned nothing, want to explode more nations (and pay for the explosions with tax cuts, block granting Medicaid, “premium support” for Medicare and repealing Obamacare, which is the same plan they’ve always had for everything) and the only neocon idea they’ve pushed out is rebuilding nations after we explode them.

  • colnago80

    Ah yes, Tom Cotton, graduate of Harvard Law School, which, based on examples like him and E. W. Jackson, appears significantly overrated.

  • cptdoom

    The world is growing ever more dangerous…

    And the way to counteract that is to deliberately attempt to undermine the delicate negotiations between our State Department and a potentially nuclear-weapon capable enemy. I’m glad I never applied to Harvard, they don’t seem to be doing well on the whole “educating” thing.

  • raven

    The GOP or parts of it are banging the drums for More War. Again.

    1. Right now we are still winding down Afghanistan and winding up Iraq, again with the ISIS battles.

    You would think that was enough war for the TV news and the people who find real life video games interesting.

    2. Iran seems to be their preferred target.

    This would be a big one. Iran has almost as many people as the UK at 80 million. It is 5 times larger than the UK and much is rugged territory. Many of that 80 million are Shiite fanatics who aren’t afraid to die for Allah and Iran.

    We also don’t have a staging area. They are surrounded by countries not too interested in helping us wage war.

    I’m guessing it would cost 4-5 trillion USD. We might just lose like we did in Vietnam after a decade. And even if we win, so what? We won the battles in Iraq and it was worse than useless.

    3. If the American people let all that happen again, there is no hope. Insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.

    I doubt the electorate will. But not enough to bet any money on it.

  • raven

    Tom Cotton is a war monger. One of many in the GOP. No surprise.

    1. OK, we are going to increase the defense budget. And cut taxes.

    2. After all, Bush did that and look how well it worked.

    3. We don’t have the money to raise the defense budget!!! Not without…raising taxes.

    Where is that money coming from? I suppose the plan is to cut food stamps for children, Medicare for old people, and a few dozen other worthwhile programs and move that money to the military.

    4. This is the magical thinking of the GOP. There isn’t enough tax money to finance the government but there is enough money to fund a super large military and start a huge war somewhere with it.

    What idiots vote for these guys and why?

  • D. C. Sessions

    I’m guessing it would cost 4-5 trillion USD. We might just lose like we did in Vietnam after a decade. And even if we win, so what? We won the battles in Iraq and it was worse than useless.

    You’re assuming that we don’t nuke them. After all, they are preparing the groundwork for developing nukes of their own and by the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive Defense, that justifies a first strike to preserve the peace.

  • John Pieret

    Well, at least we now know who is going to compete with Ted Cruz for the frothing-at-the-mouth idiot vote.

  • mistertwo

    My wife and I went with my brother and sister-in-law to see The Texas Tenors recently. Not really my idea of a good time, but we’d like to spend more time with them. Anyway, they’re a typical Branson, MO act, and as such always do some sort of tribute to military/retired military folks.

    Surprisingly, the first tribute they sang was “Galveston,” Jimmy Webb’s wonderful protest song! Something tells me that the significance was lost on them, as they later sang that awful Lee Greenwood song “God Bless the USA.” I hated that song when I was a Christian. The main message is the Southern (and now Midwestern) rallying cry “We’re ignorant and damn proud of it.” (“There ain’t no doubt I love this land…’). So, they ruined it.

    But it got me to thinking: We really, really need to bring back the protest song.

  • raven

    You’re assuming that we don’t nuke them.

    Yeah, I am. Not with any real reason though.

    That would be the beginning of the end of the USA for sure.

    No one would say anything. But the entire rest of the world would quietly start building nuclear weapons for their own safety, which are based on old and simple technology from the 1940’s. And one day, the USA would look at some country with vast and cool and unsympathetic eyes and they would panic and nuke us first.

  • wreck

    Only two months as a senator and he’s already mastered the art of being a flaming douchenozzle. I see a bright future in the GOP for this young man.

  • wscott

    The United States nearly outspends every other country in the world on the military

    We also outspend nearly every other country in the world on education. Yet our educational system is not exactly a shining example for the rest of the world. Price does not always equal quality.

    .

    I completely agree the defense cuts we’ve made are fairly minor, and I also happen to agree they’re justified what with the two (sorta) wars we just (kinda) ended. But equating military expenditure with actual military capability is overly simplistic nonsense. Sorry.

  • scienceavenger

    This whole “we’re cutting our defense budget at the most dangerous time” argument is utterly ridiculous.

    Oh yeah? Count up the battleships and compare to 100 years ago. Checkmate liberals!!!1!!1

  • naturalcynic

    @colnago:

    You missed Ted Cruz is your short list of Harvard Law failures. I suppose you could also add a certain BHO for his failures at Con Law.

    @wscott:

    We also outspend nearly every other country in the world on education. Yet our educational system is not exactly a shining example for the rest of the world. Price does not always equal quality.

    See also healthcare. Are we seeing a pattern??

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    naturalcynic “See also healthcare. Are we seeing a pattern??”

    Yeah. America is #1!

  • John Pieret

    wscott:

    But equating military expenditure with actual military capability is overly simplistic nonsense. Sorry.

    I have to disagree in a way. There is no question that the US has the most capable military in the world, in no small part because we spend so much money on it. The fault lies mostly in what we think are problems tractable to military solutions. Got a conventional army sitting in Kuwait? No problem … we can defeat them in detail in a few hours (while, for political reasons, we wanted a coalition, we could easily done it on our own if we wanted to).

    The problem is when it comes to ISIS or Boko Haram or Al-Qaeda. Then conventional military forces, no matter how much money you throw at them, may not be able to solve the problem.

  • Who Cares

    @Raven(#8):

    They don’t need to be fanatics to defend their country. Especially not against an enemy that would do a baseless invasion.

  • wscott

    @ naturalcynic 17: Well spotted.

    @ John Pieret 19: I completely agree. What and how you spend your defense dollars matters far more than just how much you’re spending.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    To be exact, during the last four or five years …

    To be exact, “the last four or five years” isn’t very exact.

    Churchill warned us about Hitler, Cotton is warning us about … how every other country on earth is Hitler? His point isn’t what he thinks it is.

  • tfkreference

    I wouldn’t denigrate Harvard Law School. On the contrary, Cotton knows what they like here in the heartland, and how to make it look gen-u-wine by quoting Churchill and citing the Constitution. It’s the political equivalent of pseudoscience.

  • Maureen Brian

    Dear Senator Cotton,

    Much of the danger in the world is the result, direct or indirect, of American military meddling and political ineptitude.

    Tell us, please, why Daesh is wandering about the disputed areas of both Syria and Iraq armed with the most up-to-date of US materiel and are the Iranians determined to maintain even a limited nuclear capacity because one country – just one – keeps threatening to nuke them and a nearby country with full nuclear weapons capability would probably join in?

  • Nick Gotts

    Iran has almost as many people as the UK at 80 million. – raven@8

    WTF can’t you be bothered to check simple facts, raven? The current UK population is estimated at just under 64 million.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    WTF can’t you be bothered to check simple facts, raven? The current UK population is estimated at just under 64 million.

    We Americans count non-whites as 3/5 persons. Check and mate.