Tom Cotton had it already.
The Arkansas senator has a perspective on today’s militarization of the District of Columbia that few Americans can share, as a veteran who saw life-threatening combat in Iraq and Afghanistan before Washington’s political warfare.
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But he certainly spoke on Tuesday in a “Fox & Friends” interview for millions who are tired of seeing Washington, D.C., being patrolled by armed soldiers like some backwater banana republic.
And the message from the Republicans to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is crystal clear:
“It is time to send the troops home,” Cotton told the co-hosts of “Fox & Friends.”
Cotton, a decorated Army captain who served combat tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq, took particular note of reports that through his National Security Council, President Joe Biden’s White House had asked the Defense Department to develop a plan through the autumn to keep National Guard troops in the capital of the nation.
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To justify a continued presence today around the Capitol, much less into the fall, I am not aware of any threat,” Cotton said.”
“I think there will be a lot of questions for Nancy Pelosi to answer about what she knew leading up to the Jan. 6 riot. There was a clear failure on Capitol Hill by the security leaders to prepare for Jan. 6, he said.
He also cited the Capitol Police officers’ overwhelming vote, recorded by their union, that found almost no confidence in the leadership of the police agency. (According to NPR, 657 of the 1,050 unionized officers in the force participated in the vote, which began last week.)
The Capitol Police officers performed bravely, but they are right to have no trust in their leadership. However, that doesn’t mean we should turn the Capitol into an armed fortress or a camp for thousands of troops. It means we should use common sense and evaluate and respond accordingly to the threats we face.
This isn’t just because Pelosi didn’t tell her fellow lawmakers. She has yet to explain to the American people why, however benign it might be, the Democratic Party insists on maintaining the capital under what amounts to a military occupation.