Republicans will stop at nothing to make themselves appeal to working-class white Americans and hide the fact that the majority of them are Ivy League elitists that are often literal millionaires. It shows how much contempt they have for their voters that they will stoop to lying about their past or even, as we just discovered about cake-munching psychopath Sen. Tom Cotton, stealing valor.
That’s right, folks. The biggest warmonger in the Senate ran his first election campaign bragging about his time as a volunteer in the U.S. Army Rangers — but that’s not quite what happened.
Intrepid Salon reporter Roger Sollenberger discovered that while Cotton claims that he served as an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan, the truth is that “Cotton was never part of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the elite unit that plans and conducts joint special military operations as part of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Rather, Cotton attended the Ranger School, a two-month-long, small-unit tactical infantry course that literally anyone in the military is eligible to attend. Soldiers who complete the course earn the right to wear the Ranger tab — a small arch that reads “Ranger” — but in the eyes of the military, that does not make them an actual Army Ranger,” writes Sollenberger.
A Ranger veteran cleared up the small but significant distinction: “It should be noted that Ranger School and the 75th Ranger Regiment are completely different entities under completely different commands with completely different missions, and one is not needed for the other.”
But that didn’t stop Cotton from telling the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record that “My experience as a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan and my experience in business will put me in very good condition.”
An actual former Army Ranger, Democratic Rep. Jason Crow, publicly called out Cotton for lying about his record and put him on blast in a tweet:
Hey @SenTomCotton, unless you wore one of these berets you shouldn't be calling yourself a Ranger.
— Rep. Jason Crow (@RepJasonCrow) January 23, 2021
While a Republican willing to distort the truth to accomplish his political ambitions isn’t particularly new or surprising, it is yet another black mark in the book of Tom Cotton, who has spent his entire career trying to force American soldiers into every nook and cranny of the world, most recently calling for the military to put down the Black Lives Matter protests that rocked the country last summer. It just goes to show that even the very essence of these conservative tricksters is largely embellishment and mirage — and we must find a way to stop voters from falling for it.