September 28, 2004

Scare Tactics


From The Michigan Daily: Talk of draft factors into race

Some of Kerry’s surrogates have been more explicit [than Kerry] in using the [draft] issue against Bush. Earlier this month, according to the Associated Press, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean told students at Brown University in Providence, R.I. that they would be in danger of being drafted in the event of Bush’s re-election. [...]

Much of the past buzz about a military draft has been based on a pair of bills introduced simultaneously in the U.S. House and Senate in early 2003 by Rep. Charles Rangel (D—N.Y.) and Sen. Ernest Hollings (D—S.C.). Both bills call for a draft of both men and women, and they are typically cited as evidence that Bush is planning to revive the draft shortly after his re-election.

But what the chain e-mails neglect to mention, besides the party affiliation of the bills' sponsors, is that both bills have languished in committee since shortly after their introduction in early 2003. The bills were put forth by Democrats as political statements, in protest of the overrepresentation of low-income and minority soldiers on the military’s front lines. A draft, they argued, would spread the burden of war equally among all races and social classes.

Draft legislation is considered politically unpopular, and as such has little support in either house of Congress.

UPDATE I: Power Line notes that Rock The Vote has joined in the draftmongering. More like Shock the Vote.

UPDATE II: Amazing. Apparently Dan Rather and CBS are also trying to raise fears of a military draft. reports: CBS Does It Again: Network Uses Phony Documents to Promote Draft Conspiracy.

Three weeks after [Dan Rather] denounced the internet as being "filled with rumors," the embattled CBS anchor ran a story on his Tuesday "Evening News" program hoping to stir up fear of an impending military draft. In a story that was a textbook example of slipshod reporting, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger used debunked internet hoax emails and an unlabeled interest group member to scare elderly "Evening" viewers into believing that the U.S. government is poised to resume the draft.

I didn't think CBS could sink any lower.

UPDATE III -- October 6: Republicans put an end to Democrat scare tactics. FoxNews reports: House Opposes Military Draft Bill. (Via Little Green Footballs)

The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday against a bill to reinstate the military draft, a tool that had been used by Democrats to point out the inherent inequality of volunteer service.

The House voted 2-402 against suspending the debate and moving toward passage, meaning that the bill could be debated in perpetuity. The procedural motion is an action that prompts the sponsor of the legislation to pull it out of consideration.

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., introduced the legislation in January 2003 in an effort to highlight what he saw as an ill-prepared and ill-advised Iraq policy. Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (search), D-S.C., pushed a similar bill in the Senate.

UPDATE IV -- October 20: Despite the overwhelming congressional defeat of the Democrat draft bill, the draft scare is still being pushed. In yesterday's The New York Times, Paul Krugman wrote about Feeling the Draft.

Posted by Forkum at September 28, 2004 08:04 PM