Politico reports tha
t U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is writing a book for release in May that focuses on his service and others in the Old Guard, the Army unit that oversees services at Arlington National Cemetery. He reportedly received a $500,000 advance on the book from publisher William Morrow.

The apolitical “Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery” will showcase Cotton’s service in the military, rather than the hard-edged conservatism that many Republicans believe the first-term Arkansan will eventually try to use to run for president. One of the youngest senators and someone who is close to President Donald Trump, the hawkish 41-year-old Republican is still subject to regular buzz about serving in the Cabinet or eventually running for the president. He’s also up for reelection next year, though his seat is presumably safe in red Arkansas.

A book describing the Army service of a U.S. Senator with eyes on a run for president is not “apolitical,” shorn though it may be of such familiar Cotton themes as bellicosity and lack of empathy for the disadvantaged. See the article itself for proof:

In a long interview during a run on the National Mall in 2016, during which he discussed his service, future ambitions and time at Arlington National Cemetery, Cotton said that respect for veterans unites the country but also has a common thread with politics: “The American people have consistently elected veterans from foreign wars to serve at all levels.”

“From president down to local city council, I think most Americans respect the service and the sacrifice that veterans have made, the service and the skills they bring. The tangible skills are good, sometimes your tangible skills aren’t very marketable, like mine or most infantryman, but the intangible skills: mission focus, leadership, boys under fire, discipline, teamwork, are things that can apply to every setting,” he said.

Military service is praiseworthy. But it doesn’t give veterans a pass on imperfections. Some scoundrels have hidden behind their insignia.