Senator Tom Cotton just doesn’t know when to shut up. Or more likely, he subscribes to the mentality that bad press is better than good press, because that’s the way to rally right-wing Republicans to his cause. That cause is being the rising Senate star of the GOP fringe and possibly a presidential candidate in 2020. President Tom Cotton, can you just imagine that? *Shudder*
Anyhow, Tom Cotton appeared on CNN yesterday and responded to questions about the recent religious freedom bills in Arkansas and Indiana. In case you’re wondering what legalizing discrimination against the LGBT community has to do with Iran, Tom Cotton can make anything about Iran – just like his counterparts in the House can make anything about Benghazi and/or Hillary Clinton.
“In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay,” Tom Cotton stated. “They’re currently imprisoning an American preacher for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ in Iran. We should focus on the most important priorities that our country faces right now.”
He then went on to say that Iran was the most important thing for us to be focusing on because, like Louie Gohmert and other fringe conservatives, nothing is more important to Senator Cotton than another Middle East war. This is especially true for many Christian extremists who believe that a massive global conflict centered in the region is necessary to fulfill biblical prophecies and set events into motion for the return of Jesus.
Senator Cotton’s absolute obsession with Iran and starting a war, religious End Times fantasies aside, shows where the GOP finds itself now. Unable to govern, unable to provide working solutions for the United States, and consumed with an insatiable lust for war, war and more war.
The Republican Party is facing a dilemma that these religious freedom laws are forcing them to confront. Are they going to continue to be the party of bigoted religious conservatives who would rather live in poverty than see a same-sex couple enjoy the same rights they do, or will the GOP rid itself of zealots like Tom Cotton at the behest of their corporate sponsors? Economics and the wishes of billionaires, or God, guns and gays? Which way will they go? Which master will they choose to serve? This decision is coming sooner rather than later.
This split was made very apparent with the two leading Republican 2016 candidates and their differing statements on religious freedom Wednesday.
While more moderate Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush appeared to soften his stance, GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas stood firm Wednesday night and denounced Democrats who he said “want to persecute anyone that has a good faith religious belief that marriage is a holy sacrament between the union of one man and one woman and ordained as a covenant by God.”
He also took aim at Fortune 500 companies during a stop in Iowa, saying they are “running shamelessly to endorse the radical gay marriage agenda over religious liberty.” (Source)
Again, Republicans have to make a choice within the next few years. Do they join the 21st century on social issues, or will the party drift into irrelevance, alienated from voters by statements like the one Tom Cotton made? As a former Republican, I won’t shed any tears if the party ends up like the woolly mammoth – extinct.
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