You could be forgiven for confusing National Journal, nominally an independent news source, with National Review, the conservative journal, given the flow of laudatory words written in National Journal about Beltway Boy Tom Cotton,
the D.C. consultant who rented a room in Arkansas to begin a Club for Greed-propelled run for U.S. Senate.
Here's another piece
, attempting to explain how a man hoping to be a farm state senator could vote against the farm bill,
as Cotton did, alone among Arkansas's Republicans and Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.
(Editor's note — I've said before and I'll say again that farm legislation is important to a tiny and dwindling number of people in Arkansas, as wealthy and important as that dwindling number may be. Most people just don't care.)
The article lists many of Cotton's extreme votes — against the Violence Against Women act, for example. But Cotton's supporters sell it as all about principle. (National Journal's photo chosen to illustrate this piece is of the profile-in-courage school.) In other words: "He may be crazy, but you gotta admire somebody brave enough to be crazy." This is the money observation:
In private, Cotton backers might concede that his votes aren't perfect politically, but that they won't matter, because President Obama's diminished standing and Arkansas's growing conservatism already make the congressman a strong favorite. They might be right. But for now, Pryor's biggest hopes for victory might come directly from Cotton's own voting record.
This is the entire Republican Party platform in Arkansas, from dogcatcher to U.S. Senator. We hate the black man in the White House. Nothing else — votes against the interests of the majority of Arkansas, women, minorities, farmers, whatever — matters.