A number of folks have pointed out that Charles Pierce at Esquire also took note of Sen. Tom Cotton
's attempts to derail bipartisan criminal justice reform. Here's Piece
Remember how something called "criminal justice reform" was going to be the thing that saved bipartisan government from being torn apart by the wild beasts of the two parties and their respective bases? Remember how even Grover Norquist, drowner of governments, was on board? Conservatives were going to abandon the (badonk-donk) law and order rhetoric that had served them so well for the previous five decades and come to Jesus on things like mandatory minimums and the eternally stupid "war" on drugs, while liberals were going to overcome their distrust of conservatives in order to do the right thing for people the rest of society had deemed to be its dregs. Compassionate conservatism meets bleeding-heart liberalism, and they have a baby called common fcking sense.
But...not so fast. Here comes Cotton:
Ah, the call of the bobble-throated Arkansas warbler, heretofore famous for creating its own foreign policy with regard to Iran. With Ted Cruz busy out there wooing the rubes away from He, Trump, the Senate had an opening for an obstructionist pain in the ass, and Tom Cotton's resume always is at the top of the pile when that position comes open.
Pierce notes that like Cruz before him, Cotton will be aiming to get to the right of everyone on everything, the better to establish himself as the True Conservative candidate for president down the road:
Coddled and groomed from his political birth by the worst elements of corporate conservatism, he's a man with his eyes on the prize. (2020, if I had to guess. No later than 2024.) And nobody between then and now is going to get around to his right. He'd let the party fall off the starboard side of the world before he'd let that happen.
Billions of dollars wasted and countless lives ruined by mindless criminal justice policy — a small price to pay for the opportunity for "tough on crime" grandstanding. America the beautiful.