So many “public servants” who are anything but….
I had never heard of Tom Cotton until he authored that treasonous letter during the Administration’s negotiations with Iran–the one sent to the Iranian government by 47 Republican Senators in a deliberate attempt to sabotage an effort aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It was later reported that he received a million-dollar campaign contribution from Israel–but I’m sure there was no quid pro quo.(If you believe that, I have some swampland to sell you….)
Not that I would have had high expectations of a newly-elected Republican Senator from Arkansas, but his sheer arrogance, his willingness to ignore the longstanding bipartisan patriotism that used to stop policy disputes at the water’s edge, was astonishing and disheartening.
It was clear then that something was very wrong with this guy, and recently, more evidence has emerged of what can only be described as significant moral defects.
Cotton has been one of the Republican Senators refusing to act on judicial vacancies–from the Supreme Court down to the District Court level–simply because Obama is President.
It’s bad enough that the federal courts are so understaffed that Americans are being denied access to justice. But according to several news reports, Cotton isn’t just participating in the GOP’s willingness to indulge partisan spite at the expense of the common good. He’s twisting the knife.
Consider, for example, the New York Times’ Frank Bruni’s report on Cassandra Butts’ nomination to serve as the United States ambassador to the Bahamas.
After “decades of government and nonprofit work that reflected a passion for public service,” Butts received a nomination from President Obama to a diplomatic post for which she was well qualified. Her confirmation should’ve been easy, but the Senate kept putting her nomination on the back-burner – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for example, blocked her as part of a tantrum against the Iran nuclear deal.
And then there’s Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who blocked Butts and the nominees for the ambassadorships to Sweden and Norway.
Cotton eventually released the two other holds, but not the one on Butts. She told me that she once went to see him about it, and he explained that he knew that she was a close friend of Obama’s – the two first encountered each other on a line for financial-aid forms at Harvard Law School, where they were classmates – and that blocking her was a way to inflict special pain on the president.
Bruni’s report added that Cotton’s spokesperson “did not dispute Butts’s characterization of that meeting.”
Butts died recently at age 50 of acute leukemia, which she didn’t know she had until her life was nearly over. She waited 835 days for the Senate to vote on her nomination, but the vote never came.