Topic: Government & Politics

The Draft Tactic
(10/27/2004)

It will impossible to determine for certain, but unless the presidential election suddenly surprises everyone by being a decisive win by Bush or Kerry, our Chief Executive for the next four years probably will have been selected because a crucial number of gullible voters believed one of many unsubstantiated accusations, or outright lies, put forth by the respective campaigns and their adherents.

Many of them have been written about here: the administration is in thrall to the Halliburton corporation; John Kerry faked his war heroism; Bush lied about WMDs; the Democrats will abolish the Bible. Examined as objectively as possible, it does seem that this time around the Democrats, led by the film maker He Who Must Not Be Named But Doesn't Need To Be Because We Can Recognize His Scruffy Beard and Baseball Cap From A Mile Off, have really outdistanced the GOP in outlandish charges; for example, that shrewd political analyst Cameron Diaz actually told an Oprah audience that George W. Bush was in favor of rape. But the Kerry camp's most audacious tactic has been its efforts to convince young Americans that Bush has a "secret plan" to reinstate the draft. This has been a message carried by artfully placed rumors, on college campuses, on the web, and through e-mails, and it has been pervasive and thorough. Ask any college student, and he or she will almost certainly tell you that the Bush draft is widely discussed on campus, and just as widely believed.

Thus it was a remarkable example of political cheek this month when the Democrats screamed like cats in heat after the House Republicans used an obscure parliamentary tactic to bring to the floor HR 163, the only official pro-draft bill in existence…one that had been sponsored by Reps. Rangel, McDermott, Conyers, Lewis, Stark, and Abercrombie, Democrats all. The bill had allowed Democrats to say, in support of their Bush conspiracy theory, that a "draft bill was pending in Congress." But once it was brought to a vote, the bill's own sponsors were forced to vote against it, as did virtually everyone else, by a margin of 402-2. The Democrats then condemned the defeat of the bill as a "public relations stunt," without addressing why it was that Democratic House members wanted a bill pending that even its sponsors didn't support. Rangel, the principle sponsor of the bill he voted against, actually said this: "It's a shame that ... this legislative body is being used as a political tool on the eve of elections."

Yes, uh, Congressman Rangel? A question, please. You filed a phony bill in favor of something you oppose in order that Democrats could insinuate that the Administration has a military draft plan on the back burner. Isn't that using the legislative body as a political tool?

House Leader Nancy Pelosi doesn't see anything wrong with such insinuations, wherever they come from. She said, "Anyone who says the policies of this administration will lead to a draft is absolutely correct." Okay, that's a legitimate opinion; an assertion that one can defend or counter. But it does not follow from that assertion, even if it is true, that the administration must therefore be planning to institute a draft. Democrats may believe that Bush tax cuts will lead to another Depression, but that doesn't mean that Bush has secret plans for a Depression, now does it?. They may believe that failing to act in accordance with global warming measures will lead to the polar ice caps melting, but that doesn't mean that Bush has a secret plan to flood the world. I looked at the Social Security finances twenty years ago and concluded that there was no choice but to raise the retirement age, but it hasn't happened yet, although each succeeding administration's inertia on the problem makes an age hike increasingly inevitable. But none of them had a secret plan to raise the retirement age, did they?

What's really going on is a unique and slimy combination of dishonesty and cowardice. The honest thing for the Democrats to say would be that we cannot maintain our military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere without reinstating the draft. But Kerry and Co. are afraid of the sequence of questions from Tim Russert that must follow this argument:

Q: Are you advocating leaving Iraq or Afghanistan?

A: No. We have to finish the job there.

Q: But we need more soldiers, you say?

A: Right.

Q: And that will require a draft.

A: Uhhhh, yes.

Q: So you favor a draft then?

A: Uhhh...no.

Q: But you say that staying in those places require more soldiers, and that we can't just leave, so YOU would institute a draft, right?

A: NOT ME!!!! HIM!!! BUSH!!! IT'S ALL HIS FAULT!!!!

It's so much easier to say that Bush has a secret plan to reinstate the draft, when what Kerry means is, if he were President, the only way he could pursue these military operations successfully would be to institute a draft. That may not only be true, it may also be the most responsible position. But then he would either have to specify how his policies would be different, or find himself in the position of supporting a draft. That just won't fly in the polls, and he knows it. It's easier to lie. For a politician, it almost always is.

So instead, American get sham bills filed to support whispering campaigns to scare college kids about a draft plan that may well be necessary but that doesn't exist. And this is all done seemingly without a shred of shame or a spark of a thought that it might not be a fair or honest way to persuade voters.

When parties resort to such unethical tactics to obtain the White House, what is the likelihood that they will employ better values once the goal is achieved?

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