On Wednesday, Senator Tom Cotton called for the National Guard troops stationed in Washington, D.C. to be sent home now that Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration is over.
“My position was grounded in federal law, based on many historical precedents, and supported by a majority of Americans,” Cotton wrote. “But this argument outraged many on the left, so much so that the editor of the New York Times opinion page lost his job for publishing it.”
“But when a different mob chanting different slogans threatened our Capitol, many of my critics sang a different tune,” he continued. “I’m ruefully gratified that so many of them have rallied to my side. Perhaps they’ll show more gratitude for law enforcement the next time a mob threatens public safety and order, no matter what cause the perpetrators claim to support.”
“Despite cold weather and uncomfortable conditions, these soldiers did their duty, in the finest traditions of the Guard,” Cotton said. “Their presence, coupled with tough federal charges against the Capitol rioters, deterred any further violence; the presidential inauguration occurred without incident. With the inauguration complete and threats receding, now it’s time, yes, to send home the troops.”
“The lesson of the Capitol riot is not that we should quarter a standing army at the Capitol just in case, but rather that our security measures should be calibrated to the actual threats,” he added. “The last few weeks have shown, to paraphrase Ecclesiastes, that there is a time to send in the troops, and a time to send them home.”
Cotton concluded. “Those decisions must reflect actual security needs—not ideological pandering and knee-jerk reactions.”
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