The Senate is considered the more dignified legislative body. While both the House and Senate maintain strong traditions, the latter takes it to a whole other level with rules and traditions stressing decorum.
On occasion, however, the truth must erupt in the Senate and these moments of extreme candor can be some of the most-shocking and most-welcomed moments seen in government today.
In what is perhaps the most vicious smackdown to occur in the Senate since Preston Brooks beat Charles Sumner mercilessly, freshman Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton laid-into Minority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday, blasting the vile politician and describing Reid’s arguments as the “bitter, vulgar, incoherent ramblings of the Minority Leader.”
Reid had ground the Senate to a halt attempting to obstruct the authorization of a $602 billion defense authorization bill that ultimately got passed. After Reid’s obstruction, Sen. Cotton had evidently had enough and lamented that as he was the junior senator and is tasked with some of the more-unfavorable duties of the Senate, none are so awful as listening to Sen. Reid.
“As a junior senator, I preside over the Senate,” Cotton said. “I usually do in the morning, which means I am forced to listen to the bitter, vulgar, incoherent ramblings of the Minority Leader. Normally, like every other American, I ignore them. I can’t ignore them today, however.”
Cotton further noted that all Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee approved the bill and said of Reid,
“When was the last time the Minority Leader read a bill? It was probably an electricity bill,” Cotton said. “What about the claims that it was written in the dark of night? It’s been public for weeks. And this coming from a man who drafted Obamacare in his office and rammed it through this Senate at midnight on Christmas Eve on a straight party-line vote?”
Reid had attempted to smear John McCain and asserted that the bill had been formulated in secret, an assertion that is so very untrue that it borders on slander.
Cotton, a veteran-turned-senator, had had enough:
“To say that he’s delaying this because he cares for the troops, a man who never served himself, a man who in April 2007 came to this very floor before the surge had even reached its peak and said the war is lost, when over 100 Americans were being killed in Iraq every month, when I was carrying their dead bodies off an airplane at Dover Air Force Base,” Cotton said. “It is an outrage to say that we had to delay this because he cares for the troops. We are delaying it for one reason and one reason only: to protect his own sad, sorry legacy.”
Finally, Cotton spewed-forth more vitriol towards the dirtiest politician of our era.
“He now complains in the mornings that the Senate is not in session enough,” Cotton said. “That our calendar is too short. Well, whatever you think about that, the happy byproduct of fewer days in session in the Senate is that this institution will be cursed less with his cancerous leadership. I yield the floor.”
Without a single vulgarity, the freshman senator shredded the tenured minority leader and accomplished one of the most-brutal verbal smackdowns witnessed in American politics.
If this was a rap battle, Cotton would be justified in dropping the mic.