Republicans Vs. The Draft

The incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel, is pushing a draft again:

“Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 under a bill the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he will introduce next year.
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Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars.

“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.

Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, has said the all-volunteer military disproportionately puts the burden of war on minorities and lower-income families.

Rangel said he will propose a measure early next year. While he said he is serious about the proposal, there is little evident support among the public or lawmakers for it.

In 2003, Rangel proposed a measure covering people age 18 to 26. It was defeated 402-2 the following year. This year, he offered a plan to mandate military service for men and women between age 18 and 42; it went nowhere in the Republican-led Congress.

…Repeated polls have shown that about seven in 10 Americans oppose reinstatement of the draft and officials say they do not expect to restart conscription.”

If Democrats want to keep putting these sort of crackpot ideas out there now that they’re in the Majority, that’s fine, but Republicans should make them pay a huge price for it. The GOP should hold press conferences and declare that the American people can count on them to oppose the Democratic party’s draft plan and guarantee that the GOP will keep it from passing. Then the Democrats can either be the “part of the draft” or they can explain that Rangel is a doddering old crank and his ideas aren’t supported by the Democratic Party. Either result would be a plus for Republicans and as an added bonus, it would insure that the Dems can’t play the same trick that they did in 2004: running Rangel’s draft bill up the flagpole and then trying to use it as evidence that the Republicans wanted a draft.

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