Thursday on Fox News, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) responded to the backlash from within The New York Times for the paper’s decision to publish an editorial promoting the use of the Insurrection Act to quell the civil unrest throughout the country tied to the death of George Floyd.
Cotton called the response a “temper tantrum,” noting that it exposed the hypocrisy of so-called “woke progressives.”
“I think it, once again, exposes the hypocrisy of all these woke progressives who claim to defend liberal values, but as soon as they’re presented with an opinion with which they disagree they go into meltdown, they demand censorship, they refer to words as violence, they call for firings at their newspaper,” he said. “I will commend The New York Times leadership. You know, we obviously don’t agree on very much, but in this case, they ran my opinion piece, with which they disagreed, and they’ve stood up to the woke progressive mob in their own newsroom. So, I commend for them for that. But the bottom line is, four — on a four to one measure – Americans support using the National Guard to put down riots and looters.”
“By a two to one measure, they support using the active-duty troops if necessary,” Cotton continued. “That’s the simple case I made in this op-ed. That there is both a legal basis and a long historical precedent for using our National Guard and, if necessary, federal troops to put down domestic violence. And in fact, it is the constitutional duty of the federal government to protect the states from this kind of insurrectionist violence. It happened in 1957 in Little Rock – at Little Rocks central to desegregate against our racist Democratic governor. It happened in 1968 in Washington, DC and Baltimore and Chicago. It happened in 1992 in Los Angeles. These woke progressives have not engaged with any of these arguments or any of these historic examples. They are simply throwing a temper tantrum.”
Cotton elaborated on his op-ed, explaining the basis for using the Insurrection Act.
“So as I say in my opinion piece in The New York Times, using – invoking the Insurrection Act and using federal troops is not a first resort,” Cotton said. “It’s the last resort. But in cases where local law enforcement is outnumbered and overwhelmed and where the National Guard is not sufficient, the Insurrection Act provides the legal basis with many historic precedents for the president to protect our citizens. Now ultimately, that’s not a decision for the Secretary of Defense to make. It’s not a decision for a senator to make. It’s a decision for the president to make. And what the president needs are the forces that are mobilized or activated – ready to be deployed and the advice and information to assess situations on the ground. I know that if we can do that with the National Guard and local law enforcement, that’s exactly what the president intends to do.”
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