Tom Cotton on Insurrection Act: Overwhelming Display of Force Eliminates Need to Use Force

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 02: Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lin
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“An overwhelming display of force eliminates the need to use force,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), calling for President Donald Trump to use the Insurrection Act to end ongoing riots. He offered his remarks on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

Cotton said, “The only way to meet these rioters and looters and arsonists and insurrectionists is with an overwhelming display of force, and the very reason an overwhelming display of force is necessary is to eliminate the need to employ force.”

Cotton contrasted the restoration of order in Washington, DC, and ongoing unrest in New York City, NY.

“You’ve seen that in the last couple nights in the streets of Washington, DC. The Attorney General has said — with thousands of specialized law enforcement agencies and the National Guard available —  there’s been a dramatic decline in violent incidents, destruction of property, and attacks on innocent life,” Cotton stated. “You’ve seen it as well in Minneapolis. Once the governor there, finally, called out the full National Guard to protect the Twin Cities area. There’s been a decline in violence as well. This is not a surprise.”

Cotton continued, “This is exactly what you have to do to deal with these kind of insurrectionists and anarchists. Unfortunately, you have other cities like New York City run by perhaps the most clueless politician in America that refuses to even use the National Guard, something for which the governor of New York State criticized him for yesterday, and what are we seeing in New York City? The violence continues to get worse.”


The Insurrection Act offers a path to restore law and order in states whose national guards lack the manpower to end lawlessness, said Cotton.

Cotton went on, “In these cities where the local law enforcement are overwhelmed by the numbers of anarchists and insurrectionists that are in the street, and even the National Guard can’t supply adequate numbers across the entire state, then there is a longstanding solution nearly as old as our republic known as the Insurrection Act.”

Cotton explained, “[The Insurrection Act] allows the president to federalize the National Guard or to call forth active-duty military troops to support local law enforcement. It has been done repeatedly during our history, most recently in 1992 in the LA riots [and] throughout the 1950s and the 1960s to deal with racist mobs or to deal with rioting and looting.”

Cotton reflected, “That’s exactly what happened in my own state in 1957, when President Eisenhower responded to a racist Democrat, Orva Faubas, who was using our National Guard to prevent desegregation of Little Rock Central [High School]. Eisenhower federalized the National Guard and he sent in the 101st Airborne. I suspect that people like Bill de Blasio think that was a good use of federal authority. If necessary, that’s exactly what we should do to put down the mobs on our streets today.”

“I have no doubt that there remains some peaceful protests across the country, and we respect the right of peaceful protests,” maintained Cotton. “However, there can be no doubt based on the images we see on television, especially during hours of darkness that infiltrators and agitators, anarchists and insurrectionists have hijacked these protests and use them as an opportunity to riot and loot and wreak rampant carnage across the streets of America, and for that we can have zero tolerance.”

Cotton compared left-wing news media coverage of Americans protesting lockdown orders related to the coronavirus outbreak with rioters and looters.

“The media have not exactly covered themselves in glory over the last two months,” Cotton determined. “On the one hand, any person who shows up at a protest so they can get back to their normal kind of life and start their livelihood again is considered an outlaw that should be thrown in jail. A woman who wants to open her hair salon so she can make a living and provide a living for her stylists should be jailed and fined. However, violent insurrectionists that are burning our cities should be celebrated, and under no conditions should law enforcement be used against them. That’s the position now [of] a lot of the media and a lot of these Democratic politicians.”

Marlow highlighted the looting of stores owned by companies expressing political support for Black Lives Matter and other left-wing groups.

Cotton replied, “It didn’t stop any of these woke companies from getting looted on Rodeo Drive or in Buckhead Mall or any other places where these looters specifically targeted high-end luxury brands that have been virtue signaling for so long. In the end, you can try to placate the mob as much as you want, but when the mob comes, it’s not going to distinguish between the woke liberals and just ordinary Americans who want to earn a living.”

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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