Last Word on the Draft

I noted the other day that rumors of a Bush plan to reinstate the draft are false,  based on bills introduced by Democrats simply to make a point.  In an effort to put the rumors finally to rest, the Republican-controlled House brought the bill, which had essentially no support and was expected to die in committee, to vote.  It was killed, 402-2.

From the linked article:

Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., the top Democrat on that committee, accused Republican leaders of holding the vote just for political gain. “We have seen something I haven’t seen in 28 years in the House of Representatives — someone bringing a bill to the House they don’t support,” Skelton said.

That seems just a bit disingenuous, doesn’t it? How different is bringing a bill you don’t support to a vote from introducing a bill you don’t support?

Rangel voted against his own bill because it was not subjected to hearings and testimony from Bush administration officials. “This is hypocrisy of the worst kind,” he said. “I would not encourage any Democrat running for re-election to vote for this bill.”

Pot, meet kettle. Again, how is it hypocritical to refuse to hold hearings on a bill that was introduced hypocritically to begin with? If you want a hearing, schedule a damn hearing. Seems to me those who introduce a bill as a ploy shouldn’t be shocked when their ploys get shot down. But that’s politics for you.

Only Democratic Reps. John Murtha of Pennsylvania and Pete Stark of California voted for it.

Just so you know who not to vote for, if you ever get the chance.

And just so I’m not accused of being a Republican shill on this issue, I’ll say this: I agree with the idea behind this whole draft-reinstatement business, which is that politicians are far too ready to send our boys ‘n gals off to war when they have no personal stake in it. I just find the particular method chosen to make that point to be silly and needlessly fear-mongering.

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  1. I seem to recall (perhaps incorrectly) that this bill was introduced years ago. meaning it did not spark any fearmongering by itself – the fearmongering was provoked by those responsible for for this recent, and obviously timed, panic of hype.

    Crticising the move itself I can understand. But the fear didn’t come from its creators. And I find the fearmongering among the general public more offensive than presenting a bill to people who knew it for exactly what it was. Bills get introduced all the time that are DOA.

    This move (scaring people, not the bill itself) seems to fit in pretty neatly with the attacks on war record and the insipid ‘communists for kerry’ thing that fox somehow ‘slipped up’ and let on.

  2. in other words, i am not yet convinced which party did the scare manouver.

    on a lighter note, are you guys planning to go to ascension?

    1. IIRC, there was a certain amount of fearmongering when the bills were first introduced (over a year, less than two years) ago, in the form of “if this administration takes us into war with Iraq, we’ll need a draft, so let’s get the draft started so everyone understands the price they’ll pay”. But as you say, it’s been awhile.

      Since then I’ve seen the “immiment draft” story recirculated periodically. I can only speak for what I’ve seen, but whether on blogs, journals, or word of mouth the alarm has always been from liberal circles, fearing that the Bush administration was secretly planning to re-start the draft. The only other mentions I’ve seen of it have been on blogs and journals coming from neutral, conservative, and libertarian perspectives, as well as from the better-informed left, debunking the rumors. No, scratch that: the brochure we received from the Badnarick campaign also capitalized on Bush draft-reinstatement fears (when, oh when, will we have a Libertarian campaign with a clue?!!!) Also, the debunkings posted on and refer specifically to circulating scare emails which point the finger at the Bush administration. And finally, John Kerry recently made the same accusation indirectly by saying that unlike the other guy, he’s offering a no-draft guarantee.

      So based on what I’ve seen, I see no reason to dispute the thesis of the article I cited, that the Republicans brought the bill to a vote in order to put fears to rest, rather than to fan the flames.

      Ascension: maybe, but it doesn’t look good right now. I’d really like to though… if you go, have a great time, and give Kele-De a hug for me.

      1. I am, as I said, unconvinced either way. I have never seen the scare story get anywhere near the play it has lately, and never so predominantly via spam emails rather than online word of mouth. The Rs certainly stand to gain from calling attention to a dustcovered stupid move by Ds, by reminding people that our forces in iraq are serving in the military by choice, and to vote it down at precisely this time even though it doesn’t need voting down. It would fit well with their whole ‘the Ds are just trying to scare you, we know what we are doing’ routine.

        Mind you, I do not contest the alternate possibility at all. I am just saying things aren’t always what they seem and i wouldnt put something that circuitous past either of em.

        I will be going for sure, have been much looking forward to the chance to hang out with Kele-de beforehand as well as ascension itself. will give her an extra hug for you but my hugs are pretty suckass so i am sure she will still want a quality one from you anyway!

  3. I am too exhausted mentally to even think about politics at this moment.

    Lets just blow up the entire earth and be done with it.

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