The Draft

Yesterday, as expected, the House of Representatives came out overwhelmingly against the Rangel bill to reinstitute the draft. The bill was a bit of political grandstanding on Rangel’s part but I imagine there’s an opportunity here for the Republicans to turn this around and make it blow up in the Democrat’s faces. There is a great deal of concern among younger voters – high school and college age kids, many of whom will be voting for this first time this November – about the possibility of a draft. If the Democrats are painted as the party who tried to reinstitute a draft, this could dissuade many young voters from voting for a Democratic candidate.

Do you think the Republicans will play up this issue, or let it slide in the hope that it doesn’t lead to other questions about military commitments which they’re not comfortable with?

I’d say only if they can provide some evidence (even if it is specious) that a fair number of the Democratic party ever supported this bill. As it is, I think the worst that will happen is Rangel is now at a dangerous risk of losing his House seat.

It probably won’t effect Rangel at all. Rangel is the congressman from the 15th Congressional District which includes the Upper Manhattan north from East 96th Street (Harlem) and West 91st Street. Outside the borough of Manhattan, it includes a small area of the Bronx, as well as Rikers Island. He introduced the bill as a protest, notcing that most of the young soldiers in Iraq come from modest working class (white, black hispanic) and/or poorer neighborhoods (such as his own). These soldiers enlist with the hope that they will obtain an education and better life through their military service. And are heavily recruited with the promise of education. By introducing the draft provision, Rangel was trying to get upper-middle class and wealthy parents worked up about the war and military service, and at the same time point out the inequity in service.

Diane Rehm had an interesting show on this topic (with Rangel, Gen. McCaffrey and David Chu of the pentagon) monday. Check it out at http://wamu.org/programs/dr/04/10/04.php

How on earth are the Republicans going to be able to portray the Democrats as favoring the draft when a) they’re mostly against the war in the first place b) they don’t control a single branch of government?

SPIN!

Easy.

“The Democrats recently introduced a bill to reinstitute the draft…”

“Democrat Rangel has introduced a bill to reinstitute the draft…”

“While Kerry has been declaring that Bush has a secret agenda to bring back the draft, it is actually a Democrat who has initiated a bill to force young men and women to serve in the military…”

etc. etc.

Maybe they read JK’s website?

http://web.archive.org/web/20040210043828/www.johnkerry.com/issues/natservice/

Easy.

“The Democrats recently introduced a bill to reinstitute the draft…”

“Democrat Rangel has introduced a bill to reinstitute the draft…”

“While Kerry has been declaring that Bush has a secret agenda to bring back the draft, it is actually a Democrat who has initiated a bill to force young men and women to serve in the military…”

etc. etc.[/quote]

And what? “Sure, we’re fighting the war, but they want to draft you to fight our war…because we’re losing it” is a just a strange-ass argument.

And “National Service” is not a draft.

You asked how the stupid public, that same group of which 40% thinks Iraq had a hand in 9/11, could be convinced. Jeff’s got it right, duder. It doesn’t matter what facts are known; it matters how many rpm’s it gets while spinning.

Except the “stupid public” that thinks Saddam was behind 9/11 is apparently Republicans - 2/3rds of republicans polled think that. So it’s a lot less with everyone else - 25% or less?

Easy.

“The Democrats recently introduced a bill to reinstitute the draft…”

“Democrat Rangel has introduced a bill to reinstitute the draft…”

“While Kerry has been declaring that Bush has a secret agenda to bring back the draft, it is actually a Democrat who has initiated a bill to force young men and women to serve in the military…”

etc. etc.[/quote]

And what? “Sure, we’re fighting the war, but they want to draft you to fight our war…because we’re losing it” is a just a strange-ass argument.

And “National Service” is not a draft.[/quote]

C’mon Jason - it’s a sound byte world for a lot of people out there (and it’s not just Republicans - there are a lot of smart Republicans and Democrats and a lot of dumb Republicans and Democrats.) A Democrat introduced a bill that can/has been looked at as an attempt to reinstitute the draft. That’s all that’s needed.

They may like sound bites, but they’re not retarded. I guess we’ll see.

We can hope.