"Tehran Tom" Cotton was confronted by a father who has lost one of his children to war and has three more kids currently serving overseas. Fred Boenig asked Cotton when exactly would it be time to "hang up the Mission Accomplished banner" so that he could see his kids come home safe and in one piece.
Cotton's reply was inadequate. He told Boenig that "unfortunately our enemies have a vote in the process." But he was so very sorry for their loss, and wanted Boenig to know he "honors their service."
I would say honoring their service has an action attached to it, and that action is to take them out of harm's way and bring them home, but that's just me. Tom Cotton has other ideas.
"But in the end, I think the best way to honor our veterans is to win the wars in which they fought," Cotton concluded.
Boenig was not inclined to accept that answer. "We've been fighting in Iraq for 24 years, really," he responded.
Cotton countered with, "And the war there was largely won in 2011."
Boenig had facts at his fingertips, pointing out that more people were killed in Iraq in 2010 than were killed in 2001. "If that's what you consider winning, I don't know. I'd ask the people in Iraq."
Cotton then fell back on the "blame Obama" strategy, where everything was peachy in 2011 and then the Islamic State sprang up to terrorize everyone again.
Mr. Boenig is one determined man. He was having none of that. After ridiculing the idea that a country that has 6 guns for every hundred people, no air force or navy, and runs around in pickup trucks would successfully invade this country, he nailed Senator Cotton over his behavior right after sending the letter about Iran.
"The day after you signed that letter, you went and spoke at a defense contractors meeting. It's very clear what your views are, sir. My views are keeping our kids safe, which include my children." He continued, "Now that you have a child, you will understand this well."
"The difference between going yourself and sending your child is a much greater thing, sir. And I just think when you speak of sending our kids again, let's not make it just to send them to politically help some Halliburton or somebody else to make money," Boenig chided.
Concluding his gentle but firm rebuke, Boenig said, "Because sending someone 7,000 miles away to fight guys in white pickup trucks is not them coming here to cut our heads off. I'm just saying, sir."
Cotton had the last word, insisting that the chances of being attacked on our own soil is higher today than ever, and so it was what it was. He did, however, fail to acknowledge that today's reality is the direct product of our own actions in Iraq over the past 13 years.
It ended civilly, but I really felt like this man made his point, with both the facts and the credibility to challenge Tehran Tom.