November 20, 2006
Democrats Feel a Draft
This weekend, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY, 100%), whipped his hobby horse into a frothing gallup: he insists upon trying to ram a restoration of the military draft through Congress -- as a way to "deter wars" by making military action as politically costly as it was during the Vietnam war.
Has there ever been a more blatant example of politicizing the military? Imagine that: Charles Rangel actually hopes that unwilling American conscripts will be killed, because that would cause political problems for the (presumably Republican) president who sent them into harm's way.
Here is his reasoning, straight from the horse's mouth:
"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.
Well for heaven's sake, who does he imagine the congressional representatives from Texas, Virginia, the Carolinas, and even California and New York thought would be sent to Iraq? The First Regiment of Venus?
I believe that Charles Rangel's problem is that he's permanently stuck in the 60s: for him, the entire military consists of "people of color" who join up because the segregated schools won't educate them, and the all-white lunch counters won't give them jobs. He knows in his heart that "whitey" never has to go to war; that Operation Iraqi Freedom was conducted entirely by black, Hispanic, female, and gay soldiers (the latter Shanghaied under the "don't ask, don't yell" conscription rule).
Thus, he believes that if white people (and Jews) were "forced" to serve, all these war things would come to a screeching halt. This is structurally similar to feminists who lout that "if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament"... forgetting that women -- who already can get pregnant -- tend to be more pro-life than men (many of whom celebrated the arrival of the Pill more than did their girlfriends, who were deprived of a more potent counterargument than "I've got a headache").
(Actually, the feminists are correct, in a way: these feminists do, in fact, see abortion as a sacrament -- or at least a rite of passage.)
In reality, the American armed forces pretty much mirror American society; neither the force itself nor the subset who suffer casualties is any more "of color" than the general populace. Recruitment and even retention of Iraq-war veterans are at all-time highs; and as Sen. John Kerry (D-MA, 100%) just found out to his discomfiture, an awful lot of soldiers, sailor, airmen, and Marines are well-educated college grads who would have little trouble getting a good job in this great economy... especially if they were "people of color."
But shhh! Don't tell Rep. Rangel... it's dangerous to awaken a sleepwalker.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 20, 2006, at the time of 6:46 AM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1494
The following hissed in response by: Don
In reality, the American armed forces pretty much mirror American society
Yes and no. I think the racial and ethnic balance is pretty decent, but on a class basis I think there is considerable imbalance.
I would like to see a draft again primarily because I think it might promote understanding between different classes of Americans if they spent a couple years together in their youth.
The following hissed in response by: Robert Schwartz
The joke is on the Liberals. A class that shuns the military and the clergy is one that cannot retain nor exercise power.
The following hissed in response by: Big D
At first I thought the title of this was "Democrats Feel Daft". Daft about the Draft?
The armed forces have found over the years that having soldiers that actually want to be there significantly improves performance. Let's not talk about people getting killed, let's talk about having a military that is the best in the world, one that does not include draftees. Maybe this is some sort of odd equal opportunity thing.
Why are Democrats so obsessed with Republicans taking us to war? Simple history shows that is usually Democrats that start wars (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc.). Ah well, history is never in the Democratic brain.
Rangel is an idiot. That much is apparent. What is surprising is that the voters of his district must also be idiots to keep electing such a guy. Such a shame.
The following hissed in response by: Terrye
I read somewhere that there are more people in Congress now who have sons and or daughters serving in Iraq than there were lawmakers with relatives in Viet Nam.
I don't remember this part of the campaign promises these people were making.
The above hissed in response by: Terrye at November 20, 2006 10:44 AM
The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith
Excellent analysis, Dafydd. Excerpted and linked. I see the latest is that even Queen Nancy isn't crazy enough to support his idea.
The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith at November 20, 2006 3:19 PM
The following hissed in response by: TBinSTL
I sometimes wish that the Dems were just a tiny bit more stupid....stupid enough to let proposals like this to go forward so we could tattoo them on their forheads for all to see.
The following hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste
Harlem voters really can pick 'em, can't they? Rangel entered Congress in 1970 by defeating and replacing Adam Clayton Powell.
The above hissed in response by: Steven Den Beste at November 20, 2006 8:38 PM
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