Meet Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Tehran), Your Legislative Sh*tmuffin For 2015
Looks like he needs a straw, almost...
The weighty task of selecting the 2015 recipient of Wonkette's coveted Legislative Shitmuffin of the Year Award was not easy, mostly because our perennial winner, Ted Cruz, was too busy running for president to do too much damage in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body in the past year. Don't worry, Ted, we still think you're every bit as terrible as ever! We have every confidence you'll be on the muck-covered dais again.
But First, Second Place Is Still First Loser.
Our Runner-Up for the award goes to the deserving Rep. Trey Gowdy, who managed to spend twelve hours of Benghazi Hearing time badgering Hillary Clinton -- at times with actual badgers -- only to produce no new information about the 2012 attacks in Libya. Gowdy's "nonpartisan" credentials were undercut a week before the hearings, when he leaked an email (from Clinton's private GrannyPanties@Clinton.com server) that included the classified identity of a CIA source, then forwarded it to her colleagues. This supposedly proved that Clinton had lied, lied, lied when she said no classified information had ever crossed her private email, and so obviously she endangered national security, outed a secret agent, and didn't Remember The Maine.
It would have been pretty damning if true, except for how Elijah Cummings sent Gowdy a letter in which he explained he'd asked the CIA whether the name was actually classified, and they said, "No mang, it's cool." Turns out that when Gowdy released the email, he'd "redacted" the supposedly classified name with his very own magic marker, to make it look secret. On top of all that, if the CIA guy's name had been classified, Gowdy conveniently revealed it in the subject line of his angry reply to Elijah Cummings. Oopsies.
All in all, compared to her inquisitors, Clinton came out looking pretty good! So while he is a total smegbag, Gowdy doesn't really deserve a prize. We are only slightly unnerved to know that Donald Trump agrees with us in our assessment of Gowdy.
Tom Cotton Winned! Yay!
Ah, but Sen. Tom Cotton, the Arkansas Republican who decided in April that the proper job for a United States Senator is to pursue his very own foreign policy with the government of Iran: Here is a shitmuffin indeed.
[contextly_sidebar id="DvYJsBn7psupnJmhUVYVprGSJqlcAp1o"]Clearly taking a cue from Ted Cruz, who also appointed himself President of the United States in his freshman year as a senator, Cotton led a group of 47 Republican senators in sending a letter to Iranian leaders informing them that they shouldn't even bother signing a nuclear arms deal with the United States, since Barack Obama won't always be president (and might not even hold office legally right now, if you know what they mean, wink-wink). It's not that the Republicans were trying to undermine the president's constitutional authority to conduct foreign policy, no, not at all. They were trying to utterly destroy it, which is a completely different matter altogether. Let's see, what was that word that Fox News always used whenever Democrats disagreed with George W. Bush on Iraq? Started with a "t"...
Funny thing, though -- Cotton and the Gang of 47's mash note to the mullahs didn't go over so well. Not with the administration, of course, as if Cotton would care, but Old Handsome Joe Biden said -- at length -- that he had just about had it with the shenanigans coming out of his beloved Senate, calling the love letter to Iran "beneath the dignity of the institution I revere." You do not want to make Old Handsome Joe angry.
Worse, the letter fell flat with the people it was supposed to impress: The Iranians. Rather than being all scared by the senators' manly resolve, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the letter indicated just how untrustworthy the Great Satan is, and called the letter
“a sign of the decay of political ethics in the American system”, and he described as risible long-standing U.S. accusations of Iranian involvement in terrorism.
Risible, do you hear? The Iranian foreign minister took it a step further and went all "Well, actually" back at Cotton et al, explaining the U.S. Constitution to a bunch of moron U.S. senators:
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he was astonished that “some members of the U.S. Congress find it appropriate to write to leaders of another country against their own president and administration.” He said the 47 senators who signed the letter “not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy.”
Within days of sending the letter, Republicans were backpedaling like crazy. Some claimed the letter had only been a "lighthearted attempt to signal to Iran and the public that Congress should have a role in the ongoing nuclear discussions." Just a little joshing around, hinting to foreign leaders that they shouldn't take some ol' "president of the United States" too seriously. Oh, heck, they left out the smiley-face emoji. That must explain why so many people took it too seriously.
A week after the letter had made him an international joke, Cotton went on the Sunday chat shows to explain that he was too a serious alternative to the elected president, and that America simply can't sit still in the face of Iran's aggressive expansionist policies:
Moreover, we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran. Increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad, and now Sanaa as well.
Damn, he's good: The Iranians somehow snuck into Tehran and took over their own capital. Sneaky bastards, aren't they?
[contextly_sidebar id="YrIDUEOFfw2hl5aL5DyDgclMWAKMJbFe"]By May, Cotton was reduced to having Twitter fights with the Iranian foreign minister -- and losing them. After trying to bait Javad Zarif into a "debate" on "Iran's record of tyranny, treachery, and terror," Cotton received only a single dismissive reply from Zarif, saying that "serious diplomacy" would be considerably more productive than a bunch of yelling on Twitter. Then he congratulated Cotton on the birth of his new son and bade him good day, sir.
Cotton spent much of the summer trying, and failing, badly, to derail the nuclear deal, but then the U.S., Iran, and a coalition of European nations reached an agreement to mothball Iran's nuclear program anyway. And Tom Cotton, the pinch-faced Gomer who nobody liked, didn't get anything he wanted at all.
At least now he has Wonkette's coveted Legislative Shitmuffin award for 2015. It's not quite the same as making up your own foreign policy behind the back of the president, but it does come with an impressive certificate, suitable for framing. All Cotton has to do is send us $28.95 for processing and we'll get that right out to him.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.