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.