Arkansas? (Really?)


What the hell is wrong with Tom Cotton?

It would seem the Congressman from Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District is so desperate for a U.S. Senate seat that he will aid and abet terrorism in order to do so.

Does that sound a little strange? Well enough; it ought to. Andrew Kaczynski brings the underlying lede:

An ad from Republican Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton about his military experience and national security issues uses footage from an ISIS propaganda video as B-roll.

And Steve Benen brings the blistering critique:

In recent months, most of the Republicans incorporating ISIS propaganda into their commercials have relied on the ISIS video in which James Foley was murdered. Foley’s family has pleaded not to even watch the footage, but in a few cases, politicians on the right have ignored those wishes ....

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR4), candidate for United States Senate, is willing to help Daa'ish in order to win..... I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Far-right politicians, eager to seem “tough” on terror, are deliberately putting terrorists’ propaganda on the air, on purpose, to advance their personal ambitions.

Keep in mind, there’s no shortage of available footage that the Republican campaign could have included in the commercial. There’s plenty of background video of combat in the Middle East, for example, which Cotton could have used to make the same point.

But, no. Cotton instead used ISIS propaganda, putting the same footage on the air that the terrorists want to see on the air.

And while Benen might wonder about who on the campaign thought this was a good idea, there is perhaps a more important question.

Really, Arkansas? This is okay with you?

Polling consistently shows Cotton leading the Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor. We’ll have to see how this goes. Maybe the letter in parentheses after a candidate’s name really is that important to folks in the so-called “Natural State”.

And remember how it goes with dubiousα campaigning in an arena defined by market demand: If voters approve of this sort of behavior, we can only expect to see more of it in subsequent elections.

Arkansas, also known as the Land of Opportunity, actually has a genuine opportunity to do something good for themselves and the rest of the nation by rejecting the proposition that political campaigns should abet terrorism, give aid and comfort to our enemies.

The only question is if that little “(R)” is so important to them. After all, Cotton has repeatedly shown himself ignorant and dishonest, and such low qualities seem to be charming voters in Arkansas. We can only hope they will dispel that notion as an unfortunate myth.


α There are far more accurate adjectives, but they tend to be considered uncouth.

Kaczynski, Andrew. “GOP Senate Candidate’s Ad On ISIS Uses Footage From ISIS Propaganda Film”. BuzzFeed. 22 October 2014.

Benen, Steve. “Cotton helps disseminate ISIS propaganda”. msnbc. 23 October 2014.

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