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  • Desperate Flailing

    Posted by Lexington Green on September 22nd, 2004 (All posts by )

    Kerry now says Bush is going to bring back the draft.

    Uh huh. Yes. I see. OK … . Call security. This guy is acting strange.

    The DRAFT? Why stop there? Why stop with making it be VIETNAM AGAIN, John? Bush is also going to reinstate the prohibition of spirituous liquors. And require Colored Only drinking fountains. And bring back breadlines and Hoovervilles and 20% unemployment. And strip from all women the sacred right to vote. And restore slavery, of course. And then … and then … Bush will cause the Moon to plunge into the Pacific, dooming us all to a fiery death as the planet itself is shattered into pieces.

    Hello, John? Listen: You are a hapless dolt. You are the despair of your Party and a joke to the rest of us.

    John Kerry is running against George W. Bush and he has to make up issues? What the Hell kind of politician is he? The man has no grasp of even the basics. He has been spoon-fed a Senate seat in Massachusetts all his life. He has no idea what he is doing. He gets up every day and just wings it, makes shit up. It is jaw-dropping, incomprehensible.

    A moderately well-trained Doberman Pinscher could come up with five plausible issues and stay on point and be polling at least three points ahead of where Kerry is.

    I remember Dole’s ’96 campaign, which was like a lead weight around the neck of all GOPers as we sank once more with nightmarish slowness into the green and fathomless depths of defeat at the hands of the hated Clinton. That campaign was absolutley incoherent, pathetic, heartbreaking. No one was home. Kemp, even, whom we’d once loved so much, was useless. So, for badly run campaigns, I thought I had seen the bottom of the abyss and I’d never see it again in my lifetime.

    Kerry, impossibly, insanely, is even worse.

    Don’t get me wrong. He could still pull it out. Somehow.

    But if this guy gets elected God help us.

    Update: Wow. It looks like the whole Donk Party is going to throw this “draft” non-issue at the wall and see if it sticks. So, this actually is a “strategery” rather than a one-off burp from Kerry. Whoa. No Republican has ever suggested we do this, and some Democrats have proposed it. This just gets weirder.

    Here’s the only explanation that works: They want it to BE THE SIXTIES way more than they even want to win the election. That is so totally pathetic.

    Update II: Well now Instapundit is saying maybe Kerry didn’t really, really say much of anything about the draft. But Edwards, Cleland and Dean all did, according to the story linked-to above.

    I now think there really is some kind of half-assed unified field theory holding this nuttiness together, all mixed up with the Donk’s abortive “Fortunate Son” theme, yet another Sixties flashback. They really do want to try to scare the middle class into thinking Bush is going to reinstate the draft.

    Stay away from the brown acid, man.

     

    47 Responses to “Desperate Flailing”

    1. Shannon Love Says:

      You forgot to mention the rest of the speech were he talks about Bushes secret plan to terraform the western Deserts of Iraq in a lush jungle and then to wire every tree with a sound system that plays the Doors 24/7.

      Oh and Bush is secretly shipping 25 million pairs of black pajamas there.

      *sigh* The problem with the Democrats is that with them it’s always “That 70′s Show.”

    2. Lex Says:

      Yeah, it’s like the guy is having flashbacks or something. It is like he is one of those ’60s era GI Joes, I had one, if you pull on his dog tag, there is this string and as it runs back into the torso there are maybe five phrases that might come out, “Cover me!” or “Fire!” Kerry can only say “Burn your draft card!” or “I remember back in ‘Nam … .”

    3. incognito Says:

      Having done my time at Berkeley, the capital of wacko liberalism, I can tell you that liberals do, in fact, wish it were the 1960′s again. The really f*cked up ones are still there. For them, the sixties are like 1917 for the Soviets. It was the pivotal years where they twisted the establishment to their cultural revolution. Vietnam, abortion, great society… you name it, the left won. So they want to relive that glory.

    4. Steven Den Beste Says:

      The Boomers are nostalgic for their youth and want to relive it.

      (I’m that age, but I damned well ain’t one of ‘em…)

    5. aaron Says:

      “But if this guy gets elected God help us.”

      I think this country is a lot stronger than a really bad president.

      Might make the fight bloodier, longer, and costlier, but Kerry couldn’t end it if he tried (not that he’d try).

    6. Spuds Says:

      The pendulum swings. The Sixties brought a swing to the left and the nineties and 2000 started the swing back to the right. Interestingly, there was probably some things that the swing to the left turned out to be beneficial ( national focus on Civil rights, the mainstreaming of Gay rights, decriminalization of abortion etc.) However, when these issues went too far, too fast, there was a backlash, or more appropriately, a pushback. Advocates of those positions see that momentum eroding quickly, and are fighting pretty hard ( desperately?) to maintain the positions of power that they have attained. Power DOES corrupt, and that becomes increasingly evident as this campaign draws to it’s conclusion.

      I also think that the (presumed) repudiation of Kerry’s bid on election day marks a clear indication that Americans prefer a plain speaking, resolute President to a moral relativist as represented by John Kerry.

    7. Eric Says:

      I look at this dimorat party and wonder what their old hero John Kennedy–the REAL JFK– would say. While I have to admit to enjoying watching the dimorat decline, it does make me almost sad.

    8. Horst Graben Says:

      From the end of the MSNBC piece you linked to:

      “Michael O’Hanlon, a defense strategist… Brookings Inst… said … that “after criticizing the Clinton Administration for over-deploying and overusing the U.S. military in the 1990s, the Bush administration is now doing exactly the same thing — except on a much larger scale.””

      Meals on Wheels and the War on Terror as the same benchmark. Very weak.

    9. Radley Balko Says:

      “No Republican has ever suggested we do this, and some Democrats have proposed it.”

      From April of this year:

      A Republican U.S. senator is calling for a return of the military draft so the cost of the Iraq operation could be borne by people of all economic strata.

      Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on post-occupation Iraq, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., said, “There’s not an American … that doesn’t understand what we are engaged in today and what the prospects are for the future.”

      Hagel, a member of the committee, says all Americans should be involved in the effort.

      “Why shouldn’t we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?” Hagel said, arguing that restoring the draft would force “our citizens to understand the intensity and depth of challenges we face.”

      The senator also argued re-instituting the draft, which ended in the early ’70s, would cause the burden of military service to be spread among all economic classes of people.

      “Those who are serving today and dying today are the middle class and lower middle class,” he claimed.

      Source:

      http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38139

    10. Rick C Says:

      OMG! A Den Beste sighting!

    11. Shannon Love Says:

      “OMG! A Den Beste sighting!”

      Quick! Grab him before he gets away!

    12. Yehudit Says:

      Okay, Radley, that’s 15 Democrats to one Republican, and Hagel didn’t sponsor the bills. Nor is anyone in the Bush admin pushing for a draft, so the demogoguery has no basis.

    13. c Says:

      In Atlanta, I was speaking with a store clerk (an actual Oxford grad, actually!) who told me that the Republicans in Florida were already working to disenfranchise black voters. Said the Dem party there is warning people that blacks will be discouraged from voting. When I expressed surprise, she whispered to me that the police were already “interviewing and intimidating” relatives of hers, and didn’t I think that “proof” enough? I asked her for her relatives’ names so that someone could investigate these serious allegations, but she wouldn’t say and changed the subject.

      Democrats are trying their hardest to invoke the civil rights fury of the 60s based on rumor and scare-mongering and not on real grievance and protest. The “good fight” redux has been reduced to a shadow boxing match of pretend opponents, fakes and feints, and most throwback of all, on behalf of white elitist, wealthy candidates. The irony is almost as rich as Kerry and Gore. The paranoia it engenders impoverishes us all.

    14. JeremyR Says:

      Chuck Hagel may technically be a Republican, but much like Lincoln Chafee, he is essentially a Democrat.

      Sort of a reverse Zell Miller thing.

    15. Radley Balko Says:

      Yehudit:

      Okay –

      How about the neocon voice on the NY Times op-ed page?

      David Brooks:

      “[Mandatory national service ] takes kids out of the normal self-obsessed world of career and consumption and orients them toward service and citizenship.”

      Later, discussing the merits of mandatory military service:

      “Today’s children … would suddenly face drill sergeants reminding them they are nothing without the group.”

      How about John McCain?

      “[N]ational service should one day be a rite of passage for young Americans.”

      –Op-ed co-written with Sen. Evan Bayh.

      McCain has said more explicitly that he’d like to see national service be mandatory, but that the political climate isn’t yet ripe for it.

      BTW, if you read Kerry’s actual quote, his point was merely that our military is stretched too thin, and that should a front open up in North Korea or Iran, we simply don’t have the personnel to fight a three-front war while still defending the homeland. Hence, the need for conscription. Thousands of inactive military personnel have already been involuntarily called to duty.

      Kerry deserves lots of criticism, but not on this. His criticism of Bush’s foreign policy and the strain it’s put on national defense is valid, and deserves honest discussion, not ridicule.

      As for the GOP vs. the Democrats, frankly, I don’t care. I’ve ridiculed Rangel plenty for his position on the draft. Check Google if you like. But it’s flat wrong to say the right is absent on calls for conscription. It’s the right’s policies that may make it necessary, and it’s “national greatness” neocons who are inching us toward mandatory national service, military or otherwise.

    16. Trebbers Says:

      “I now think there really is some kind of half-assed unified field theory holding this nuttiness together, all mixed up with the Donk’s abortive “Fortunate Son” theme, yet another Sixties flashback. They really do want to try to scare the middle class into thinking Bush is going to reinstate the draft.”

      It makes sense now. The reason that that Kerry/McAuliffe/et al. didn’t have the good sense to shut up about the National Guard stuff after Memogate, is that they’ve planned so much to go along with it. They can’t stand to let it go to waste, even though it really needs the 60 Minutes story to be true for it come off. Without that context, the draft angle seems like moonbattery. I wonder if they have anything else in the can.

      This whole thing’s a busted play for the Dems, but most of the players are just running their routes like they did in practice.

    17. ctl Says:

      Radley,

      Kerry was, as you indicated, talking about us being so bellicose that we’d need a draft to keep up with it.

      In your second quote, you trotted out two republicans who are recommending conscription during peacetime as a means for character-building. Those aren’t related concepts.

      Anyhow, the real point is that you need to quote Bush or Rumsfeld or someone like that indicating that they want to re-instate the draft for Kerry’s implication to mean much.

      By the way, of course it’s legitimate to argue that there is too great a strain placed on our defenses (a bit hard to maintain in light of our nuclear arsenal, but let’s assume that that’s off limits even if the homeland is threatened for some reason). But that requires substantive criticism, not just waving questions.

      Far too many people confuse cynicism with debate; it’s easy to have concerns. Everyone has concerns. I’m concerned that Kerry’s going to hurt the economy. Just saying that does not constitute debate, or require a long and complicated response as if I had said something substantial.

      If Kerry’s got a real, bonifide military analysis which takes into account the composition of the force structure which is occupied now and the composition of the force structure which might be needed which shows that they’re in substantial conflict, then he’s got a point which deserves answering.

      If all he’s got are concerns and rumors, he can go stuff himself. I can tape a sign to a chair which sais, “I’m concerned.” If that’s all he’s got to offer, at least the chair is less wooden.

    18. Ric Locke Says:

      Mr. Balko,

      There is a great deal of difference between discussion of an ideal of “national service” — which I think not a terrible idea, though I’m not in favor of it — and an actual introduction of a law to reinstate the draft.

      For one thing, in today’s climate you would find few if any of the military in favor of it. The people who were lieutenants and privates at the end of the draft are now generals approaching retirement. They remember what went on, and unlike the Sixties-nostalgic Lefty Boomers they do not want a return to it. “Hollow army” was the least of the problems. When there were barracks, and zones aboard the larger ships, where officers and authority did not go, all was most emphatically not well.

      One of them said to me, “If they want to help they’ll volunteer. If they don’t want to help, we don’t want their sorry asses around. If not enough people want to help, we’ve lost whether we draft anybody or not.” That pretty well sums it up, I think.

      There are clueless people in the military as elsewhere, so you can probably find a talking head with impressive brass on his hat to support a draft. They’re either desk jockeys, politicians, or people who’ve read Starship Troopers too many times without doing the math.

      Bush and (especially) Rumsfeld know all that. Any substantive calls for a draft will be strictly from Democrats either stirring the pot or longing for the good old days. Exception may be made for Senators, as usual; the word is a synonym for “clueless.”

      Regards,
      Ric Locke

    19. rosignol Says:

      Radley, congratulations on completely missing the point, which is there are _Democrats_ introducing a bill to try to bring back the draft, and blaming _Republicans_ for doing it.

      The chutzpah of the D’s blaming the R’s for something the D’s are doing is unbelievable.

      As far as “Why shouldn’t we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?” is concerned, calling for volunteers is _asking_. The draft is _telling_. I am amazed that someone in Congress does not understand the difference.

    20. Trebbers Says:

      Just for reference, the McCain and Bayh article doesn’t seem to refer to conscription of any form.

    21. Dusty Says:

      “Well now Instapundit is saying maybe Kerry didn’t really, really say much of anything about the draft. But Edwards, Cleland and Dean all did, according to the story linked-to above.”

      I’d be interested in what, exactly, the question was but that is not so important. Kerry was at a forum (re: rally of supporters) in which a question on the draft was raised. This, a few days after e-mails flying to college students addresses (see Betsy’s Page.) A planted question by any other name, is still …

      So let’s recap. Flurry of fraudulant e-mails, planted question at rally, Kerry imitates Dean’s ‘it’s an interesting theory’(the statesman speaks), and then the finale, a chorus of “What did Bush know …”. It is so transparent. It’s so comical.

      Seriously though, they ought to make it a movie, genre – Marx Brothers.

    22. Leroy Says:

      rosingnol, one small correction about Starship Trooper, both the book and the movie (though any fan of Robert Heinlein will be quick to damn the sorry production of that movie) had an all-volunteer military. The draft was anathema to Heinlein and Starship Trooper made that point abundantly clear.

    23. Leroy Says:

      Oops, sorry rosignol, that should have been addressed to Rick Locke’s comment. (Any yes, I mis-spelled your name also, lord but it late at night, so forgive the multiplicity of errors.)

    24. JosephMendiola Says:

      On a serious note, bear in mind that what happened to America on 9-11 has more to do with forcing successful, hyper-power-and-getting- bigger America to adopt SOCIALISM! In case the Communist Clintons didn’t tell you, and they didn’t and wouldn’t even at their own Convention to their own rank-and-file believers, the Clinton premise for US DEMOCRATS-LEFT is that, SSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH, mainstream /ordinary/middle America is already pro-Communist and pro-Leftist-SOcialist, if not per se – working such America comes under [SOCIALIST]Unitary Global Government/OWG IS JUST DIVERSIONARY ICING ON THE CAKE! Clintons =Democrats = Kerry = IFF AMERICA IS ALREADY ALLEGEDLY COMMUNIST AND SOCIALIST, WHY SHOULD ANY AMERICAN RESIST THEIR COUNTRY BEING UNDER ANTI-SOVEREIGN DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM, AND OWG, WHERE AMERICA IS NO LONGER IN CHARGE OR CONTROL OF ITS OWN AFFAIRS, GOVERNANCE, OR ECONOMY! Clintonism is also = both the GOP-Right and Democrats-Left are REPUBLICAN, RIGHTIST, and FASCIST, mirror versions
      of each other that HAVE TO BE CONSRAINED, CONTROLLED, or otherwise PUT DOWN LIKE MAD DOGS! America MUST be discredited and disavowed, no matter whom is in the White House – the Failed Left knows that iff America does NOT attack or wage war against hostile rogue states, these same rogues will unilaterally cause or induce America unto war. in order to destabilize America and “justify” it being under Regulatory/Command Socialism and anti-sovereign International/Global Government. “ONLY IN AMERICA CAN COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM WORK” = ERROR/MISTAKE-PRONE, UNRELIABLE AND UNTRUSTWORTHY, DISHONORABLE AMERICA MUST BE RULED BY SOMEONE OR SOME ENTITY(S)OTHER THAN AMERICANS THEMSELVES AND THEIR TRADITIONAL VALUES! Someone other than Americans has to make all the rules, decisions, policies and actions for America’s newfound GLOBAL EMPIRE as a righteous consequence of 9-11! Candidate Kerry is thus “reasonable”, “pragmatic”, and “correct” to bring up the Draft – HE’S JUST NOT SAYING THE CLINTONS AND THE AMERICAN LEFT ARE WORKING TO FORCE OR INDUCE AMERICA TO ENGAGE IN THE VERY SAME [MYRIAD] LIMITED WARS HE, HIS NEW CLINTON AND CLINTONCRAT MENTORS, AND HIS FELLOW DEMOCRATS ARE CRITICIZING AND PROCLAIMING AGAINST! If Kerry is obeying the Clintons, then he’s being elected POTUS to lose AMerica to SOCIALISM, which for the Clintons = COMMUNISM BY ANY PC/DENIABLE DESCRIPTION – BILL CLINTON HIMSELF INFERRED THAT HE WON 1992 AND 1996 VIA ELECTION FRAUD, BESIDES ALSO AFFIRMING THE REAGAN-REPUBLICAN ECONOMY BEFORE AND DURING HIS TENURE. SO DON’T COUNT KERRY OUT NO MATTER HIS CAMPAIGN TROUBLES OR MORONISMS! KERRY’S ACE IS NOT THE LAW OR THE POPULAR VOTE OR THE ELECTORAL VOTE OR EVEN THE US SUPREME COURT – HIS GREATEST SINGULAR ASSET AND WEAPON IS THE CORRUPT BUT SUPER-PC CLINTON TRUTH = FRAUD/LIES, COMMUNIST FASCIST AMERICA = COMMUNIST FASCIST RUSSIA-CHINA POLITICAL MACHINE!
      FEAR AND FEAR WELL, AMERICA – IF THE CLINTONS SUCCEED, AMERICA AS WE AND OUR CHILDREN KNOW IT WILL BE GONE BETWEEN 2015-2020; Russia and China are reportedly prepping their nuclear arsenals to wage GLOBAL NUCLEAR SCENARIOS against America, and ONLY AMERICA, around that same time period – read, IF THE CLINTONS FAIL, THERE WILL BE GLOBAL NUCLEAR WAR AS FAILED LEFTISM-SOCIALISM-COMMUNISM’s DYING PARTHIAN SHOT OF HATE, ENVY, AND SPITE AGAINST SUCCESFUL AMERICA, THE WEST, AND VICTORIOUS ANTI-SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY, ala BETTER TO RULE OVER A POOR, REGRESSED, DYING SOCIALIST WORLD THAN TO NEVER AND NOT RULE THE WORLD AT ALL! AMERICA MUST BE DISCREDITED, AMERICA MUST LOSE/FAIL, BY ANY EACH AND ALL MEANS NECESSARY BE IT LAWFUL ANDOR UNLAWFUL OR BOTH!

    25. SashasDoc Says:

      Whew! Joseph! More Prozac, less CNN.

    26. Calliope Says:

      The Donk bloggers like Oliver Willis started in on this a couple days ago.

      So yes – its a unified message. I have no idea why they think its a good strategy. I suppose like the ever present Democratic demagogery on Medicare and Social Security they think they can scare people into voting for them.

      And let’s face it, its worked for them before. Worth a try I suppose.

    27. Radley Balko Says:

      December, 2001:

      House Resoultion 3598, “The Universal Military Training and and Service Act of 2001″

      “Makes it the obligation of male citizens and residents between 18 and 22 to receive basic military training and education as a member of the armed forces unless otherwise exempt under this Act.”

      Sponsors:

      Smith, MI — Republican
      Weldon, PA — Republican
      Bartlett, MD — Republican

      There were no Democrat co-sponsors.

    28. Radley Balko Says:

      One more:

      “I think I’m the only member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who would reinstate the draft. There are huge social benefits that come from it. I can assure you I would not be in the U.S. Senate today if I had not gone through the draft. When I look at the problems of some of our kids in America nowadays and then I go visit the troops, I see what a great benefit it is to give people the opportunity to serve their country.”

      Sen. James Inhonfe, Republican.

    29. Josh Martin Says:

      Radly,
      That’s because House Resolutions are not bills, and cannot become laws. Hence the name. Why would a Democrat co-sponser a non-binding resolution when his or her party already has a bill in the works?
      Regards,

    30. TomB Says:

      “I think I’m the only member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who would reinstate the draft”

      And that supports your point how?

    31. R C Dean Says:

      Good spadework, Radley. You have probably assembled just about every Republican utterance in favor of a draft in the past 4 years.

      Notice how thin it is? No bill sponsors. No one in the administration. No one in the military. Weighed against 15 Dems sponsoring a bill, and I think its pretty clear who is really pushing this draft thing.

      And why. Not for the good of the country, but for cheap partisan points.

    32. rastajenk Says:

      Besides, Hagel is off the rails when he says,”There’s not an American … that doesn’t understand what we are engaged in today and what the prospects are for the future.”

      Criminy, there’s millions of them. For starters,look at all those people in the streets of New York last month; they don’t get it.

    33. Radley Balko Says:

      Just FYI –

      There’s no difference between a bill and a resolution. Every bill introduced in the House of Representatives is given the “HR” designation, or “House Resolution.”

      You may be confusing “HR” with “CR,” which are “concurrent resolutions,” which are bills that only affect the rules and procedures between the two houses of Congress, and don’t need to be signed by the president.

      But both the Rangel bill and the Weldon-Smith bill were given HR numbers, meaning both have the potential to become law.

      http://www.house.gov/house/Tying_it_all.shtml

    34. Robert Crawford Says:

      Radley, so what about HR3598? Three Congresscritters submitted a bill three years ago, it got referred to subcommittee, and never saw light of day. Not exactly a ringing endorsement by the rest of the party.

      Unlike the clearly coordinated effort by the Democrats to CREATE an issue from the very bills they introduced!

    35. Drew Says:

      Wes Clark is on CNN”American Morning” talking about the draft possibility.

    36. Lex Says:

      Rodney manages to get some details right but get the whole thing wrong anyway. OK, score one debater’s point that Chuck Hagle, a de jure Republican said something about the draft someplace. OK, so I’m not NUANCED enough on the blog. Whatever. The Bush administration has made it clear they don’t want a draft and won’t ask for one, and the military has made that very clear. Meanwhile the Democrats for some crazy reason have introduced a bill to reinstate the draft, apparently as a bit of ’60s-style guerilla theatre.

      Rodney’s quibbles are a cloud of fog. The core message here is the Democrats are making up an issue where there isn’t one, where the facts don’t even support the story they want to tell. They want to scare people with a threat which doesn’t really exist. And Rodney wants to parse the history to show why, hyper-technically, there really is some basis in fact for these claims.

      But his pathology is the same as the rest of the Democrats’. The point he and they don’t get is that this is a STUPID issue. It is not real. No one who doesn’t already hate Bush will think it is real. To the people the Donks need to reach in the next few weeks, this trumped up issue will not be scary. It is a bad strategy that will not work. Worse, there are, in fact, many sound reasons to criticize Bush and they are wasting our time and theirs on this stupid crap.

      Fine Rodney, instead of NO facts, there are some wisps of facts supporting the dreadful threat that Bush will reinstate the draft.

      OK then. Run with it. See how far you get with it.

    37. Ken Says:

      “BTW, if you read Kerry’s actual quote, his point was merely that our military is stretched too thin, and that should a front open up in North Korea or Iran, we simply don’t have the personnel to fight a three-front war while still defending the homeland. Hence, the need for conscription.”

      A need for more troops does not translate into a need for conscription. That’s what recruiting is for. I’m still aghast that the Administration didn’t step up recruiting two years ago. At any rate, whether we need a few more troops or a lot more troops, recruiting is by far the best way to get them and ensure that they’ll perform well.

      A draft is only useful if our goal is to lose. Sometimes we got away with it; generally, that was because most of the “draftees” would have volunteered anyway, and the draft was redundant.

    38. Ken Says:

      Will we be stuck with a draft?

      I don’t know. If Bush doesn’t push for a higher enlistment cap and more recruiting, and the “we need more troops” idea gains more momentum, Bush might find a draft bill on his desk. Since he apparently hasn’t figured out how to veto bills, we might be in for it at that point.

      The idea that the draft equalizes sacrifice is pure nonsense. A draft lets older people off the hook, allowing them to sacrifice less in taxes than it would take to induce the draftees to voluntarily serve. (Unless, of course, the “draftees” would have volunteered anyway, in which case the draft is a waste of resources) Under a draft, the young do all the sacrificing and their elders aren’t required to sacrifice as much as they should. With a volunteer military, the soldiers serve and sacrifice, and non-soldier taxpayers of every age group pay them at a rate the soldiers think is acceptable. People getting free money from the government still get off the hook without sacrificing, but that’s a different issue.

    39. j.scott barnard Says:

      Wow! The barn is on fire! I’m more concerned about “Bush is pushing Seniors into poverty!” and “taking away their checks” than I am about him (Kerry) hinting at a secret Bush draft. The Jim Crow stuff is over as well. I’m so sick of how low some will go…say anything to win. It’s disgusting.–s

    40. Ken Says:

      Kerry’s draft talk could still come back to haunt us. If the Democrats successfully push a draft bill onto Bush’s desk (with the help of a few bonehead Republicans), and Bush still hasn’t found his missing veto pen, Kerry could pop up and say “See! I told you so!”

    41. Debunker Hill Says:

      There will be no draft! The military is absolutely loath to the idea. Wes Clark is a prostitute for his own political prospects. My husband has worked with him closely and has even been a house guest of the Clarks. While a convivial host, that man is as ambitious as they come and will say anything. The Arkansas Rhodes scholar thinks he should be President one day, having read a page or two out of Clinton’s book.

      My husband is a retired army officer who is currently doing high-level work for the military on force restructuring for the future. Believe me, there is no plan in any way shape or form for a draft!! There would have to be a nuclear world war and a need for untrained warm bodies to throw at an enemy before the military would want to take on conscripted GIs. In the 70s, the mil spent too much time on social work and character issues regarding the draftee dregs, which was a drag that detracted significantly from mil readiness. Today’s vounteer forces are highly motivated and selected using fairly high standards. The quality of our recruits is a big reason our mil is so top-notch.

      That a few Republicans value universal military service as good for our young people and speak up occasionally about “only ifs”, doesn’t mean that Repubs are going to sponsor and pass a bill for a draft that would be anathema to our military. This current blather and Congressional bill proposal about a draft to come is the work of increasingly desperate and unethical Democrats who employ the politics of fear on ill-informed and gullible interest groups. One day it’s the seniors. Now, it’s our youth and college kids. Gotta love those worthy opponents, the Dems—

    42. rdbrewer Says:

      Lex, mind if I MollyIvins your “Donk” reference?

    43. Shannon Love Says:

      I think the draft hysteria points out how ignorant the Democrats are about the contemporary military.

      The modern military is not an organization that can take any warm body. Modern soldiers must be highly trained and motivated. The must meet minimum standards of IQ and education that place them firmly in the mid-range of high school graduates. The military cannot train up the least capable like it used to. The gap is to large.

      I wouldn’t be surprised that some Republican would favor compulsory service as a sort of citizenship building exercise just like Democrats favor programs like Americore but nobody is seriously proposing a draft to solve potential manpower shortages. It just wouldn’t work on a technical level.

    44. submandave Says:

      Radley: Good find on HR.3598, but reading that bill (which went nowhere) specifically obligated military service for all males (and female volunteers) for basic training of not less than 6 months and no more than one year. The obvious intent was for all citizens to posess a fundamental level of military knowlege so that, in the event of an emergency or draft, the process of integrating conscripts into the services would happen quicker and easier. There is a huge fundamental difference between saying “I want to send all High School graduates to boot camp before they go on to College (or whatever else)” and saying “I want to draft people into the armed forces to fo fight in Iraq”, which is obviously the impression Kerry et. al. intended to create.

      In other words, while you found a fruit, its still just another apples/oranges situation.

    45. TomB Says:

      If the Democrats successfully push a draft bill onto Bush’s desk (with the help of a few bonehead Republicans),

      Seeing as how the majority of Democrats, let alone “bonehead” Republicans are against the idea of a draft, how could these few wing-nuts get a bill to Bush’s desk?

      Your scenario is nothing short of fantasy.

    46. Lex Says:

      Jonathan reamed me out for getting Radley’s name wrong. OK, it’s not Rodney. No disrespect intended.

      I concede it is rare and praiseworthy that he provided supporting cites for his claims.

      Others have responded on the merits at length and adequately.

    47. Mark Poling Says:

      submandave, nice point. I could actually get behind a bill that makes Basic Training mandatory for High School graduates prior to college, at the end of which all further obligations would be waived.

      Considering how much some caring folks bemoan how out-of-shape America’s youth is, 6 months of indoctrination into the benefits of physical fitness should fit right into their agenda.

      An added benefit would be that should a person decide to enlist later, getting that person up to speed on current military practices would be much easier.

      But this really is off topic. The DNC isn’t trying to make any suggestions that would actually benefit the nation. The only thing they want to do is win. That’s the scary thing.