Senator Cotton is speaking of the rioters and anarchists, not protesters exercising their 1st Amendment rights to “peaceably” assemble, as the Founders intended.
On Tuesday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) compared the anarchist and antifa “insurrectionists” on the streets of Portland to the Confederate insurrectionists who rebelled against the Constitution, sparking the Civil War. This comparison led left-leaning pundits to demonize the senator, mock him, and suggest that he wanted to “go to war with Portland.”
“The federal government cannot allow anarchists and insurrectionists to destroy federal courthouses, federal buildings, or other federal property,” Cotton began, speaking on Fox & Friends. “These insurrectionists in the streets of Portland are little different from the insurrectionists who seceded from the Union in 1861 in South Carolina and tried to take over Fort Sumter. And just like President Lincoln wouldn’t stand for that, the federal government today cannot stand for the vandalism, the firebombing, or any attacks on federal property.”