Whatever You Do, Don’t Give The Troops An Education – They Hate That.

May 22nd, 2008at 07:22pm Posted by Eli

Lindsey Graham is a strange and clueless man:

Just over an hour ago, the Senate voted overwhelmingly — a veto-proof 75-22 — to approve Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) 21st Century GI Bill, which would expand educational benefits for veterans who joined the service after Sept. 11, 2001.

Before the vote, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who introduced his own watered-down, paltry version of the GI bill, exhorted President Bush to veto the measure, as he has indicated he will. Graham also insisted that his Republican colleagues would “get rewarded in the next election” if they vote against GI benefits:

This is a defining moment for the Senate, for the Republicans, and this war. I can tell you if we leave the generals alone and support our troops, they will win this war. And to my Republican colleagues, if we’ll stand firm for a fair procedure and a sensible solution to the veterans’ problems, we will get rewarded in the next election, not punished. If we give into this, we don’t deserve to be here.

So apparently, not offering the troops a college education is supporting them, but offering them one is not.

Out of the 22 Republicans who voted against the bill (even Lieberman voted in favor!), it looks like Jeff Sessions (AL), Mitch McConnell (KY), Thad Cochran (MS), Lamar Alexander (TN), John Cornyn (TX), John Barrasso & Mike Enzi (WY), and, of course, Graham, are the only ones actually running for election this year, and McConnell and Cornyn are probably the only two whose seats are not comfortably safe.

Also worth noting that McCain is virulently opposed to Webb’s version of the GI Bill and prefers Graham’s lame one, but he couldn’t be bothered to actually show up for the vote (he was off fundraising in CA).

I’m a big believer in holding Republican incumbents accountable for their most heinous votes, but it doesn’t look like this one is going to have a huge impact on the 2008 Senate elections – and I don’t know if it’ll still be fair game in 2010.

On the positive side, it could be a big millstone for McCain’s presidential campaign, and the Democrats essentially used the Republicans’ own support-the-troops narrative to shame and scare the most embattled ones to vote for something good for the troops. (No, I do not believe that voting to extend the war indefinitely counts as “supporting the troops,” but obviously I’m just a crazy person.)

I think we’ll see more votes like this over the next five months, as Republicans try to distance themselves from the Dubyatross to save their electoral skins.  Hopefully voters’ memories will go back far enough to remember the seven years when those same Republicans enthusiastically gave Dubya everything he wanted.

Oh, and when Liddy Dole either loses her seat or gets fired as NRSC Chair, can the Republicans name Graham as her replacement?  Pleeeeeaaaase???

Entry Filed under: Elections,Iraq,Politics,Republicans,Wankers,War

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