Wednesday, April 06, 2022

No Mere Maggot

This is a glimpse into what ails the Democratic Party. Democratic National Committee chairperson Jaime Harrison noted on Wednesday's Morning Joe that Tom Cotton of Arkansas blocked Senate approval of Cassandra Butts, President Barack Obama's nominee for ambassador to the Bahamas in 2014. Butts, who was suffering from leukemia, died before any vote in the chamber took place.

Only last week, Cotton absurdly interrogated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson about Guantanamo Bay detainees, whose as a federal public defender she was assigned to defend . So Butts asserted

It shows you who this little maggot-infested man is. He does not deserve to have that pen. He doesn’t deserve to be in the United States Senate representing the good people of Arkansas…He put his hand on the Bible, took an Oath of Office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and he use it as a play toy. That is the Republican party we see today. It is a party built on fraud, fear, and fascism. They don’t deserve to be in power. Not because Democrats should, but because they don’t deserve to be in power of this great nation.

It turns out that Harrison's "maggot-infested" attack was not launched on the spur of the moment, given his remark of the night before:

The problem is not the ad hominem condemnation of "maggot-infested" which, though literally inaccurate, may be an understatement. When in 2015 the Obama Administration was conducting negotiations with Iran in over Riyadh's nuclear weapons program, Senator Cotton 46 other Republican senators strove to undermine USA foreign policy. In the "Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran,"  coordinated by Cotton, they vowed "we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei" which could be revoked by the "next President" or modified by any Congress.

Tom Cotton was the ringleader of a gang trying to sabotage the nation's President and subvert American foreign policy. As Michael Gerson wrote at the time, "if Republican senators want to make the point that an Iran deal requires a treaty, they should make that case to the American people, not to the Iranians. Congress simply has no business conducting foreign policy with a foreign government, especially an adversarial one." 

Seven years later, nuclear war, spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, presents its greatest threat in decades. The chairperson of the Democratic Party recognizes the smarmy nature of the Arkansas senator, who put United States national security at risk by going behind the President's back to run his own foreign policy.  Then the chairperson calls him a maggot for..... refusing to understand the importance of defending terrorists.

Under the American system of justice, the alleged terrorists deserved legal representation, few of them ever have been convicted, Ketanji Brown Jackson was merely executing her responsibilities, and only two of 780 ever apprehended have been convicted. To which most voters probably would say: so what?

Nevertheless, this is what the current head of the Democratic Party condemns Senator Cotton for. Yet whatever the facts of the matter, voters have little sympathy for accused and suspected terrorists.  When Democratic Party officials pounce on an irresponsible Republican, they should focus on words or actions which pose a threat to the American people. Insults of the magnitude and quality of "maggot-infested man" should not be wasted.



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