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June 12, 2005
Crafty Drafty Democrats

One of the discredited accusations Democrats used as a scare technique during the presidential campaign last year was the notion that George Bush planned to restart the draft after winning a second term. Kerry and other Democrats campaigned on college campuses around the country to get students to vote, telling them that only Kerry would keep them from involuntary induction into the armed services. Now that we're eight months past the election, however, the Democrats now insist that the draft should be considered:

The United States will "have to face" a painful dilemma on restoring the military draft as rising casualties result in persistent shortfalls in US Army recruitment, a top US senator warned.

Joseph Biden, the top Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the prediction after new data released by the
Pentagon showed the US Army failing to meet its recruitment targets for four straight months.

"We're going to have to face that question," Biden said on NBC's "Meet the Press" television show when asked if it was realistic to expect restoration of the draft. ...

During the 2004 election campaign, Democratic presidential nominee
John Kerry repeatedly accused President George W. Bush of planning to re-instate "a back-door draft," charges the president vehemently denied.

But while admitting that restoring the draft would be politically "very difficult," Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said something will have to be done because the situation with recruitment was not likely to improve.

When this came up during the campaign, Charles Rangel and Fritz Hollings introduced legislation to start the draft as an anti-war measure to embarrass the Bush administration. It had no Republican sponsors and sat off the calendar for months. Once Kerry and the Democrats used the bill to supposedly show the Bush administration's intentions (a lie), the GOP suddenly rushed it through committee and scheduled a floor vote on it to demonstrate which party wanted a new draft. Rangel, furious at being showed up, wound up voting against his own legislation as it received only four votes in the House.

This appears to be another attempt to politicize military recruitment, in the same eat-cake-and-have-it-too school of thought. Neither Biden nor Leahy want a draft because it would strengthen the military; even the military doesn't believe that a draft would do anything except make them less efficient. They want a draft to make the war more unpopular and create a groundswell of protest on college campuses, the type they engineered out of whole cloth during 2004. They want to use the recruiting shortfall to argue for a rapid retreat from the Middle East and especially Iraq.

Still, college students should note that one party keeps talking about drafting them into involuntary service, and not even for the noble purpose of defending their country or making their families more secure. Only one party keeps using their freedom as a pawn for their political needs. Students should ask themselves if that party really represents their best interests after all.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 12, 2005 5:22 PM

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