Tom Cotton is 'setting himself up to be the heir to Trumpism,' analyst says

Tom Cotton.
(Image credit: ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is just finishing up his first term in the Senate, but you should probably get used to him, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Cotton caused quite a bit of controversy this week by calling for President Trump to deploy active-duty military to help police keep nationwide protests against police brutality in check, adding that "insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters" should be given "no quarter." Things really boiled over when he placed an op-ed in The New York Times on the subject. The Times' choice to publish Cotton's opinion reportedly created a divide in the newsroom, which, in turn, appears to have strengthened Cotton's "standing with economic and social conservative activists across the country" — many of whom aren't always fond of the Times' work — said Scott Reed, the senior political strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Republican Party doesn't universally love Cotton — he's reportedly rubbed some of his colleagues the wrong way in the past, and the more moderate wing of the party thinks he's "radioactive," Geoffrey Kabaservice, director of political studies at the Washington-based think tank Niskanen Center, said. But Cotton has Trump's ear, and Kabaservice thinks he may be the recipient of the proverbial torch. "Tom Cotton is indeed setting himself up to be the heir to Trumpism," Kabaservice said. "In some ways, I think his case to lead the Trump wing of the party after this era has only been strengthened by this past week." Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.