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Undisciplined

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On reflection, we may have overstated the case in describing the Arkansas delegation of the House of Representatives as looking like a synchronized swimming team in its enthusiastic yet precise support of bad bills. Occasionally, one spots the ostentatious leg sticking out of the water at an inappropriate time. That would be Rep. Tom Cotton of Dardanelle, a flighty sort. It's not that he doesn't want to do wrong, it's that he sometimes has difficulty identifying the greater wrong so that he can get behind it. The conventional wisdom in Arkansas and in Washington was that loyal Republicans should support the farm bill. Most Republicans fell loyally into line, including Arkansas's Crawford, Griffin and Womack. Cotton voted against it, following the wishes of the deep-pocketed, hard-hearted anti-tax groups that give him money. Although the bill cut food stamps, which help feed poor people, it didn't cut the stamps as much as Cotton and his friends would like. Cotton evidently believes he can prosper politically by voting against poor people in a poor state. With an inattentive electorate, it's worked before.

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