This might be a time for Hollywood to remake one of their great hits from the past, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a Capra film starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur. Not likely though because the current version being played in real life features a Right-wing Republican as the hero which would have the average Hollywood exec spluttering in his dry martini. The action is taking place, even as I write, in Arkansas where the scion of a deeply embedded Democrat family is running for a third term in the Senate. Mark Pryor's 'dear ol' daddy' ran the show for years as Governor and Senator. Now it is his turn to consolidate the 'family holdings', as it were. Shouldn't be a problem, he has already served two terms in the Senate winning handsomely both times. But now, godammit, the US Airborne just dropped in!
Enter stage 'Right', Mr. Tom Cotton and according to PJ Media:
Cotton, 37, may well be the right candidate in the right place at the right time. Arkansas, once a bedrock state of the solid Democratic South, has been moving steadily to the right. Republicans held just six of 135 state legislative seats in 1978, the year David Pryor first won the Senate. Only one Republican had garnered more than 40 percent in a U.S. Senate race since the early 20th century.
The state remained heavily blue in 2002, when Mark Pryor won his first term against Republican Tim Hutchinson. He ran unopposed in 2008.
Things changed in the Natural State during the watershed election of 2010, when incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln lost her re-election bid by more than 20 points. Two years later, Republicans captured the state General Assembly.
Mr. Cotton seems to tick all the right (and Right) buttons:
However, a Hollywood casting director could not have found a more compelling opponent than Cotton, a sixth-generation Arkansan who was born and raised on his family’s cattle farm in Yell County. He graduated from Harvard (where he had a class taught by future Sen. Elizabeth Warren - [obviously her nonsense failed to stick!]) and Harvard Law School.
The attacks of September 11, 2001, occurred during his final year of law school, and he left law after clerking for the U.S. Court of Appeals and a short time in a private law practice to join the U.S. Army. He declined a commission as a military attorney to serve as an infantry officer.
Cotton served nearly five years as an active duty officer and completed combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, he served with the 101st Airborne where he led an infantry platoon in daily combat patrols. While in Afghanistan, he served as the operations officer for a Provincial Reconstruction Team. Between his two combat tours he served as a platoon leader with the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, the unit responsible for military honors funerals.
His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Ranger Tab. After leaving active duty Cotton worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Co. before winning election to the U.S. Congress from the Fourth District in 2012.
Alas, poor Mr. Pryor suffers with a virtue which often proves deadly in politics - loyalty! His voting record places him as one of the most loyal Senatorial supporters of President Obama and, I gather, in today's Arkansas that is the equivalent of suffering with severe and pungent body odour!
Anyway, it's a very human story and I will follow the outcome with interest. According to the experts, the chances of the Republicans recapturing the Senate have increased recently. Watch this space!