On Monday, Politico reported that Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton suggested that former Vice President Dick Cheney should replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Tom Cotton was the principal author of the infamous “Iran letter,” which was signed by 47 GOP Senators in March, so his affinity for the war mongering Dick Cheney is hardly surprising. Nevertheless, suggesting that Cheney should take over as Speaker of the House shows just how invested Cotton is in his desire to start another war halfway around the globe.
Look, these are trying times for our nation. It’s important to have a steady hand on the helm during times like this. I think experience really counts in a matter like this. I think House leadership experience really matters. And as you know the speaker doesn’t have to be a member of the House: So therefore, Vice President Cheney for speaker.
When asked if he was serious, Cotton doubled down by responding:
He’s a man of the House, he says that himself.
Senator Tom Cotton is no doubt serious about his adoration for Dick Cheney. However, outside the ideological bubble of neo-conservative chickenhawks who still regard Cheney as a statesman, the former Vice President is not so well regarded. Cheney is a polarizing figure. Perhaps Tom Cotton is unaware that when the Bush-Cheney regime left the White House, only 22 percent of Americans approved of their job performance, compared to 73 percent who disapproved.
The administration left office as one of the most reviled political administrations in American history, and much of the blame goes to Dick Cheney for promoting a disastrously aggressive foreign policy. Choosing Dick Cheney for Speaker of the House, would be an even bigger mistake than bringing back former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has also been named as a possible replacement for Boehner.
Tom Cotton is unlikely to get his wish. However his idea should remind voters that while Tom Cotton may seem like a fresh new face in the conservative Republican movement, he supports the old failed policies of the Bush-Cheney administration. Most of America has figured out that Dick Cheney’s appetite for war helped create the Iraq debacle, but Tom Cotton is unfazed. He still thinks Dick Cheney is a hero, and he wants to put Cheney back into a position of power.