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December 16, 2008

Colonel Graham

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by Chris Maynard

So, Colonel Graham — the only Senator serving in either the Guard or the Reserves — did a little stint in Afghanistan last week. Apparently he pushed papers and gave interviews for five days, then went home. What did he achieve for all his troubles? He got his name in the papers, and a few more bucks on his military pension.

Nice subtle background, by the way. The red stripes are wonderful, earning as much attention as Graham himself, a mini-me version of Bush in front of one of those gigantic banners they must keep stored in the belly of Air Force One. How clean is that Air Force camouflage uniform, or did he bring one for each of his five days? I’d guess that he didn’t have to carry his own bags on a flight that probably didn’t have too many other Reserves or Guards.

I don’t know if anyone saw the AP story

How many ways can one refer to service in Afghanistan without ever saying exactly which service it was with? How much do we really think that Graham gives a damn that 25% of Guard and Reserves troops are uninsured. Now, he hints that soldiers can get coverage through his benevolence, but they have to pay for it personally. I didn’t check, but I assume his Senate insurance covers his over there. Of course he’s used to that, being the recipient of government health insurance. (It’s “government sponsored” if you’re rich, but “socialistic” if you’re poor.) Finally, the kicker quote leaves little doubt about his hopes for the, or more specifically, his, future:

‘You don’t need to be in the military to be a good senator or president, but every experience you have helps you.”

See you in 2012, soldier.

More Chris Maynard:

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(photo: Musadeq Sadeq/AP. Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008.)

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