After Republican Senator Josh Hawley cast the lone vote against Sweden and Finland joining NATO yesterday, Republican Senator Tom Cotton publicly chastised Hawley for it. It was a stunning moment, in which we all finally learned that Cotton and Hawley aren’t the same person.
But jokes aside, there’s a reason why Cotton seized the opportunity to publicly criticize Hawley – and it’s certainly not because Cotton was legitimately offended at Hawley’s vote. If Cotton didn’t care that Hawley suborned domestic terrorism, why would he care about this?
No, there’s something else going on here. More Republican politicians are now finally figuring out that by 2024, Donald Trump is more likely to be senile or in prison (or both) than an active participant in a presidential election. So these also-ran Republicans like Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley all envision themselves running for President. Even if they can’t win, they can use their failed candidacies to further line their coffers. So people like Cotton and Hawley are already seeing each other as competition. We’re going to see more of this kind of sniping as it becomes more obvious that Trump 2024 isn’t a real thing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report