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Opening Arguments


On most days, I find the disparagement of military service merely irritating. But I must be suffering from Winter Exhaustion Syndrome, because I found today's example really offensive. It's from Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas,  called "the most vulnerable sitting Democratic senator up for re-relection in 2014," who is waging an uphill battle against Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, who served in the Army and became an infantry officer:

"Some people say I’m a young man in a hurry. Guess what? They’re right. We’ve got urgent problems and I am in a hurry to solve them," Cotton said when he announced his Senate bid.

The quick rise has won him an attack ad from Pryor, who says that Cotton has "blind ambition" and a sense of entitlement that will turn voters off, even considering his military background.

"There's a lot of people in the Senate that didn't serve in the military," Pryor told NBC News. "Obviously in the Senate we have all types of different people, all kinds of different folks that have come from all types of different backgrounds—and I think that's part of that sense of entitlement that he gives off is that, almost like, I served my country, let me into the Senate. But that's not how it works in Arkansas."

Cotton is clearly running on his military record, putting out an ad featuring his mother, Avis, explaining that he decided to be an infantry officer instead of a military lawyer.

He's running on his military record, the bastard!

I think most people would put a different spin on service than "it makes him feel a sense of entitlement" to deserve a Senate seat. How about: He served his country once, and now he wants to serve it again? Nah, that's so much patriotic hokum.

Speaking of entitlement: The story notes that the Senate seat Pryor holds has been in his family for three decades. Talk about irony challenged. As for entitlements, it is also noted that he votes with PresidentObama more than 90 percent of the time. So I guess he's not against all entitlements, just the ones that are deserved.