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Funny, I don't feel a draft...

John Kerry's latest scare tactic is to say President Bush will, if re-elected, reinstate the draft. Setting aside the likelihood that Kerry's simply having more Vietnam-era flashbacks, let's look at the possibility of that actually happening. This is in spite of specific, explicit denials from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and numerous other Administration officials.

Like all good lies, there's a grain of truth behind it. There is a bill before Congress to reinstate the draft. But it's supporters are some of the most liberal Democrats in the House and Senate. (Hollings, Rangel, Conyers, McDermott, Norton, Stark, etc. etc.) Further, it's been bottled up in committees for the last 18 months.

But let's just give the devil his due and presume that President Bush does, indeed, have a secret plan to reinstate the draft. Just what would that entail?

First, he'd have to get it through Congress. That presumes that he could get it through any potential filibusters in both houses. That means he'd have to get 60 senators and (I'm unfamiliar with House rules, but if the percentages are the same as the Senate, 261 representatives) to sign off on it. Currently the Republicans have nowhere near that many seats, and I'm presuming that Senator Kerry will lead the fight against it. (Presuming, of course, he bothers to show up to vote against it after voting for it.)

But we'll continue with Senator Kerry's scary scenario and presume that President Bush does, indeed, sweep both Houses and gains the support he needs to get the Selective Service Act of 2005 passed. What would happen then?

The first thing would be legal challenges, more legal challenges, and yet more legal challenges. Lawyers would be at courthouse doors before the ink dried on the bill. They'd sue on the basis of discrimination, they'd sue to exclude "disabled" draftees (ADD being the first "disqualifying" condition of about a dozen I can come up with). Lawyers representing would-be draftees would keep the implementation of the law tied up for years.

But suppose the law that is passed is, somehow, unlike any other piece of legislation in history, somehow lawyer-proof. Will that still guarantee a large enough pool of conscriptees? I think not.

The first thing that would have to go would be the "don't ask, don't tell" policy against gays in the military. With homosexuality and bisexuality becoming more and more socially acceptable, many teenagers will weigh the risks of being drafted versus any stigma from public proclamations of homosexual leanings or experiments and answer with a resounding "well, duh! of course!" to questions in that vein.

The second policy that will have to get tossed on the trash heap will be some of the physical requirements. I've never been through a pre-enlistment physical, but I am a long-time blood donor and the screenings have to be at least that rigorous. You cannot donate blood if you've had any tattoos or piercings within the last six months. So kiss goodbye another huge percentage of inductees.

But let's give Kerry even more credit and presume these (and many other) obstacles) can be overcome, and the government actually manages to meet it's draft quotas for a year or two. Just what will be the political ramifications of a reinstated draft?

The Bush Republican Landslide of 2004 that made the draft possible will be completely wiped out and reversed in the Bush Republican Landfill of 2006, as nearly every single Representative and Senator (those up for re-election in 2006) who voted for the draft will be unceremoniously tossed out on their asses by a royally pissed-off electorate. The term "lame duck President," previously used to discuss second-term President's last two years, will be replaced by the phrase "lame-Dubya President" to describe a chief executive utterly lacking in any authority or clout or effectiveness. And 2008 will mark the beginning of a long run of Democratic, anti-draft presidents and, quite possibly, the end of the Republican party as a national power for nearly a decade.

So, Senator Kerry, cut the crap about Bush wanting to reinstate the draft. That dog don't hunt. As your mentor, Senator Kennedy, might say, it's water under the bridge. Or, in your own terms, that board has sailed without you.

J.



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Comments (28)

You're right, it's the Libs... (Below threshold)

You're right, it's the Libs who are pushing fora draft. Why? Because they want to create the same climate that existed during their favorite war -- Vietnam. They know that a professional, voluntary military is more effective than a military which is filled with conscripted slackers. Let's remember how Libs think: They do not like the idea that the USA is the most powerful nation on the planet. Even former Secretary of State Albright (Half-Bright?) said as much during her European tour. Remember, also, during the Cold War when we faced the Evil Empire, Libs were less concerned with the strength of our enemy and more concerned with how many missles WE had. Kerry's support for a Nuclear Freeze is indicative of that. In the words of former NYC mayor Ed Koch, himself a Liberal Democrat, "Democrats have no stomach for war; that's why I supporter George W. Bush."

There's a really, really sm... (Below threshold)

There's a really, really smart discussion of the draft here.

These are all good points a... (Below threshold)
Dave D.:

These are all good points against the "Bush is going to restart the draft" nonsense; but the most obvious point of all is missing: we don't even need a draft.

Right now, total U.S. troop strength is around 1.5 million, of which some 490,000 are in the Army. It has been at this level since shortly after the Soviet Union went tits-up in 1989, with only slight fluctuations year-to-year.

Before that, total military manpower had been held constant at around 2.1 million, 775,000 of which were Army. These levels had been held constant all the way from the end of the Vietnam war up until 1989, WITHOUT ANY DRAFT.

(These stats are available from the DoD's Directorate for Information Operations website, at http://web1.whs.osd.mil/mmid/military/miltop.htm for anyone who is interested.)

The bottom line is that the size of our military forces is not yet limited by how many people we are able to recruit voluntarily; past experience shows that we ought to be able to increase troop levels by at least 50%-- and probably quite a bit more-- without resorting to conscription.

What limits the size of our forces right now is nothing more than Congressional authorization. Want a bigger military? Then authorize it, and budget for it.

Is this claim any more of a... (Below threshold)
rev:

Is this claim any more of a scare tactic that the RNC claiming that the democrats will ban the bible if elected?

There is a reenlistment shortfall of 9% in the guard according to Army Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Where are the bodies going come from? Are Barbara and Jenna going to rush out and sign up to support their father's war?

Rev - I thought the ... (Below threshold)
Jema:

Rev -
I thought the Guard wasn't "really" the military. I thought they were all draft dodgers. So why would we need a draft to replace a 9% shortfall of dodgers???


Rev -Has President B... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Rev -
Has President Bush (or Vice-President Cheney) claimed that the democrats will ban the bible if elected? Please post a link.
Here is where Kerry says Draft Likely to Return Under Bush
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20040922_1296.html

You are right about the Bush twins. How could they not serve when Chelsea Clinton and the Kerry daughters served in Kosovo is beyond me.

Correction on what constitu... (Below threshold)
Bruce:

Correction on what constitutes a majority in the House of Representatives. There are 435 members; a majority is 218.

(You must have Electoral College numbers on the brain --still not exactly right, but much closer. [Electors =total number of reps + Senators + 3 for Washington D.C., i.e., 435 + 100 + 3 =538; majority = 270.)

Suddenly the Libs are conce... (Below threshold)

Suddenly the Libs are concerned about a shortfall in recruitment for the National Guard. Kerry equates Guard service with draft-dodging, the Dems claim people who serve in the Guard are trying to avoid going to war (such as Vietnam) and the Dems are shocked to find Americans wanting to avoid being associated with such a denigrated organization. It continues to amaze me how hawkish the Dems sound in 2004. I remember when they defended a real draft-dodger -- Slick Willie the Stainmaker.

Paul -Read the post.... (Below threshold)
rev:

Paul -
Read the post. I said RNC.
Although RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie said he wasn't aware of the material last week, yesterday they admitted they were responsible.
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/politics/9753275.htm

In their official statement, they didn't explain what part of their anatomy they reached into to pull out that bogus claim.

Actually, Bruce, I was extr... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Actually, Bruce, I was extrapolating from Senate rules, where it takes 60% of the Senators to vote to close debate and break a filibuster. 60% of the House would be 261; I don't know the actual rules about cloture, and didn't feel enthusiastic enough to look them up.

And Paul: it is true about the RNC sending out a mailing saying the Bible was threatened -- as discredited as it is, even the New York Times gets it right once in a while. Thanks to Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters for spotting this one.

Yeah, the RNC owes a big apology for that one. But once that's out of the way, the DNC could start on its own long laundry list of things it oughta be apologizing for...

J.

Jay Tea -Do you ac... (Below threshold)
rev:

Jay Tea -

Do you actually think the RNC will apologize for that mailing?

Find me a quote where Kerry... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

Find me a quote where Kerry says Bush is going to reinstate the draft... You won't, because it doesn't exsist. Way to only read headlines and not the content of a story.

Filibusters are only done i... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Filibusters are only done in the senate. But as far as only reading headlines, Bill K there claims that Kerry hasn't said it, but I saw him warn against "the possibility" on the news several times yesterday.

No, you really didn't. You... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

No, you really didn't. You saw misleading headlines. He never said it. Kerry said that he and Edwards wouldn't and then when asked about Bush he said, "I can't tell you." That is it.

Find a quote.

Kerry (in keeping with his ... (Below threshold)

Kerry (in keeping with his true fashion)said "it is possible, I can't tell you"
http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=a7LDA2_SN68I&refer=us

So he can't tell you what B... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

So he can't tell you what Bush would do? What an asshole.

By the way, that was not an... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

By the way, that was not an unprompted quote. It was in response to a question.

Something people don't ment... (Below threshold)
moghedien:

Something people don't mention is that there are close to 10 million men aged 20-24 in this country.

http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/idbpyrs.pl?cty=US&out=s&ymax=250

I mention this because the people who advocate this garbage always whine about how "unfair" it is when the rich don't join the armed forces. Well, to be fair, the government would have to draft 7-10 million initially, then draft close to two million every year. If all those people aren't placed in the military, where do they go? Does the government place them in public or private sector jobs? If the government becomes the hiring agent for the entire country, how long would it take them to take over the rest of the economy in the name of "efficiency"?

Here's what bugs me about t... (Below threshold)

Here's what bugs me about this, and believe me when I say it really REALLY bugs me. If you're the President, you might very well NEED a draft if conditions exist to require one. Thankfully those conditions dont yet exist, but in the next term they just might. As President, as a citizen you need to keep in reserve all the tools you need to do the job of protecting the country.

Now, John "Fredo" Kerry has basically said that the draft is the "boogeyman", the 3rd rail of american politics. What bugs me is now how he's using this as a political baseball bat to hit the President, what bugs me is how by doing this he's effectively making us as a country, and as a people weaker. It really, REALLY bugs me is that he's doing this for no other reason than to improve his chances for power. When the election is all over, you still have to protect the country, there are more important things than your own ass, "Fredo".

Pretty tired tactic.... (Below threshold)
Blacknimbus:


Pretty tired tactic. Don't talk about what Kerry, Terezza and Dean are lying about, talk about an RNC flier in one state. See, they say...everyone does this...blah blah blah.

Dan Rather and CBS burned their company and reputations to the ground trying to find some sin in the Presidents past to offset the trainload of baggage their guy carries. And all they got out of it were fake documents about Bush missing a physical.

Keep fiddling, guys....

I think the "draft" the Ker... (Below threshold)
Dan:

I think the "draft" the Kerry camp is actually referring to is from ol' Cut and Run Kerry's ass hanging so far out in the wind.

Rev- Jay Tea -Read... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Rev- Jay Tea -

Read the post

Has President Bush (or Vice-President Cheney) claimed that the democrats will ban the bible if elected?

President Bush (or Vice-President Cheney)?

I was pointing out that Rev was comparing someone said by Kerry to something done by the RNC.

It would be like the following: (note these are not true just for the sake of arguement)
George Bush says "John Kerry will bride French, German and Russian companies so they send troops to Iraq."
and I reply to this with:
Oh yea, the DNC chapter in Minn. put out a flyer saying Bush is Hitler.

- No doubt the effort to "... (Below threshold)
Hunter:

- No doubt the effort to "Vietnamize" this war by the left and shift from a professional military was the reason for their clammoring when the Bush camp announced the movement of missplaced troops from other area's of the world into the fight against terrorism... takes away even more from their "emminent draft" argument... just another airheaded "talking point" on the part of the lefties... Kerry's last gasp hope is the debates....If he doesn't score a lop-sided victory mano-o-mano with Bush its all over... And that doesn't look good because Bush isn't going to let him play both sides of his split parties "happy bones"...If Kerry tries to equivacate Bush will pin him down...More to the point rather tha a "W" problem the Dems find themselves with an "F" problem .... "Failed" candidate, "Failed" platform, "Failed" strategy.....

I heard Kerry say that Pres... (Below threshold)

I heard Kerry say that President Bush has a "secret plan" to reinstate the draft. I remember commenting on this blog a week or two ago that if Kerry's blabbing about a "secret" plan, it can't be much of a secret. I'm so glad Kerry doesn't attend senate intelligence committee closed-door sessions (or open-door sessions, for that matter). That big mouth and his "Little Me" John Edwards would blabbed about secret information.

Paul - I wasn't addressing ... (Below threshold)
rev:

Paul - I wasn't addressing the comments by Bush or Cheney. I was addressing the charges of the use of scare tactics in the campaign.

If you feel that it was a non sequitur, so be it.

There won't be a draft, bec... (Below threshold)
Iam Doubt:

There won't be a draft, because Democrats will oppose it? Why? Because a major Democratic Party constituency will oppose it - feminist organizations. Though some (NOW) are formally in favor of women draft, in the name of equality, their membership is opposed politically and ideologically. They're opposed to "violence" and oppose the draft for that reason. And in their gut, a generation of women raised on unearned entitlement don't want to be forced, inconveniently, to do something for those entitlements.

Could the enlistment in the... (Below threshold)
Richard:

Could the enlistment in the reserves be due to any increase in the militaries main body?

Richard

Dont commit Hairy Kerry; Vote Responsibly!

Yes i just signed up for th... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Yes i just signed up for the draft i just turned eighteen yesterday I am my fathers only son i have allergy's and i couldnt run 10yrds much less 10 inches i have been out of physical shape for years now im not fat i weigh 210lbs and am 6 foot 2 inches tall. Im still in high school and im starting collage. I have a loving girlfriend which I plan to ask in the summer of 2005 to be my wife and all this crap about the draft kinda has me a little upset and uptight. Im scared to death that i am going to have to go overseas and fight with a bunch of dirty ragheads when i dont want to hurt anyone. I respect people for doing military service but you dont send a boy(me) to do a man's job when that boy cant do it. I think about WWI and WWII and I honor those brave soldiers who died and served for us. I hate to say it but I could not do it. Im not afraid to say it but im a pretty big chicken for my size. I love my girlfriend to death i would rather stay here and start me a family and get a good job that way i could support my family. I hate to tell everyone but the war is over we've one were just getting randomly fired at buy a bunch of dirty raghead osama bin laden wannabes. Your threads have made me feel a lot better i really get what your saying and we dont need another draft theres to many volunteering.




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