By now you know that U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton failed miserably in his effort to foil the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, which passed 87-12. And his tall-talking on the subject has not been forgotten, such as here.

Steve Benen writes:


A few weeks ago, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) talked to Bloomberg News’ Steven Dennis, and as the longtime Capitol Hill reporter put it, the far-right senator was “as certain as almost anyone I’ve ever seen declaring that the criminal justice overhaul would not pass.”

Cotton was wrong. In fact, the fight wasn’t even close

Benen notes that the legislation is relatively modest in reducing sentences and promoting redemption of offenders. But he also notes this:

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) pushed an amendment to the bill that would “withhold federal money from states that fail to maintain data on officer-involved shootings.” The measure was rejected, offering a reminder that while the First Step Act represents progress, there’s still plenty of additional work to do on this issue.

Finally a word about the good Mike Huckabee. Yes, the former governor has redeeming qualities. Note his quote to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in support of the bill. I won’t even flyspeck it by saying his belief has anything to do with support of the bill by Donald Trump, for whom Huckabee’s daughter carries dirty laundry.


“A lot of the policies enacted in the ’90s designed to be ‘tough on crime’ were disastrous. Good intentions, but [they] failed to reduce recidivism and busted the budgets,” Huckabee said. “3 strikes, you’re out’ was a great applause line, but an awful policy.”

The First Step Act is a reasonable proposal, Huckabee said.

“This bill is NOT a ‘soft on crime’ bill as Cotton alleges,” Huckabee said. “He is wrong about this on so many fronts. Very disappointing. Had he ever had to deal with the administration of a prison system or had 1,000 clemency cases come over his desk a year as I did, he would better understand that First Step doesn’t ‘let people out of jail free’ nor does it forget the victims. It does include the important factor of viewing each case individually.”

Now I will flyspeck the judgment some elected officials use in exercising the clemency power. Wayne Dumond, anyone?