Tom Cotton Is a Few Reindeer Short of Santa's Sleigh

·2 min read
Photo credit: Tom Williams - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tom Williams - Getty Images

The shebeen has been keeping a weather eye on Senator Tom Cotton (R), the bobble-throated slapstick from the state of Arkansas, ever since he enlivened his first term by writing a letter to the leadership of Iran telling its members not to assume that any action taken by the President of the United States is in any way permanent. This nugget of larval Trumpism marked Cotton as a potentially dangerous autocrat. What I was not prepared for was the prospect that Cotton is also perhaps three tiny reindeer short of Santa’s sleigh. From Talking Points Memo:

In the letter, Cotton warns Biden that Beijing plans on using the 2022 Winter Olympics as a giant funnel for precious American DNA, harvesting the nation’s fittest and finest for their genomic information as part of a plan to achieve military dominance. Written in the language of a Cold War-era B-movie and filled with a mixture of sci-fi scheming, eugenics, and stentorian warning, Cotton demands that Biden withdraw American participation from the 2022 winter Olympics absent guarantees from China that it will not collect the data or DNA of visiting American olympians. “In 2022, thousands of world-class athletes will gather to compete in China,” the letter reads. “Their DNA will present an irresistible target for the CCP.”

And what, exactly, would those tricky Red Chinese be planning to do with our precious bodily nucleotides?

The answer, Cotton wrote, is simple: supersoldiers.

“The CCP has reportedly conducted tests to develop biologically-enhanced soldiers and intends to use DNA data to catapult Chinese biotechnology companies to global market dominance,” Cotton wrote, citing a column written by Trump-era Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Cotton’s office did not return TPM’s request for comment. But his terror that red-blooded American winter athletes could have their genetic information harvested by Communists hell-bent on world domination has a background in the fever swamps of the late Trump period.

First of all, no disrespect intended toward lugers and figure skaters, but, if I’m heisting DNA to make supersoldiers, I’m hitting the Summer Olympics first. I’m going for the gymnasts, wrestlers, boxers, swimmers, and track-and-field athletes. Give me cyclists and not bobsledders, fencers and not biathletes. Second of all, this whole thing is completely zany even by modern conservative standards. And, yes, I can imagine the nyah-nyah’s from the right about how Cotton was “right all along” about the origins of the pandemic, even though he overstated that, too.

Anyway, genetics don’t work this way. And, ever since at least 1962, we have been careful to protect our precious bodily essences.

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