Republicans Oppose The Democratic Plan To Institute A Draft

by John Hawkins | January 16, 2007 3:00 pm

You know what Republican members of Congress should be saying? They should be saying that if you’re 42 years old or younger, you should vote against the Democratic Party in 2008 because they want to force you to serve in the military via a draft, over the objections of the Republican Party — and powerful Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel[1] is leading the charge:

“A Democratic congressman from New York has announced plans to file a proposal to reinstate the military draft, making men and women 18 to 42 years old eligible for service, with very few exemptions.

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel said his plan, which comes as President Bush is calling for an expanded military, could deter politicians from starting wars because their children could be at risk of fighting.

…Rangel filed a similar proposal in 2003, to make men and women between 18 and 26 eligible for the draft. And he offered another plan last year, to require military service for people between 18 and 42.

Both plans died, and he even voted against his own first proposal in 2004 – and encouraged fellow Democrats to follow suit – because, he said, Republicans were trying to use the bill to avoid questions about the war in Iraq.

Political observers say Rangel’s proposal should get some air time, since Democrats will control Congress and Rangel heads a powerful committee.

“He is thinking that in the absence of a draft, it’s mostly the poor and minorities who end up in the military doing the country’s fighting,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University. “He thinks there’s merit of having more of a broader cross-section of people fighting the battles.

“And if more wealthy, comfortable people’s sons and daughters were exposed to (war) … the elites of the country would be more careful about going to war.”

Polls show little support for bringing back the draft.

In 2005, 7 in 10 Americans said they didn’t want to see the draft return. And even former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said then that “there isn’t a chance in the world that the draft will be brought back.”

…Leading Democrats in Congress, including incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have said they won’t support the plan.

…Jillson said Rangel’s draft plan likely won’t be successful. At least not this time.

“Congressmen know that most young people and their parents – particularly those who are frequent voters and campaign contributors – don’t want a draft,” he said. “The proposal is not going to get very far.”

Why aren’t Republicans out there saying something like, “This proposed draft by Charlie Rangel isn’t needed for military purposes nor is it favored by the Pentagon. To the contrary, the whole point of the draft is to damage the military and make it unpopular for them to fight wars. But, don’t worry — Republicans will fight to make sure that the Democrats won’t be able to institute a draft that 70 percent of the American public opposes.”

We have a powerful, Democratic Congressman offering up a wildly unpopular bill that Republicans uniformly oppose. Why isn’t the GOP making the Democrats pay a price for it? Let the Democrats get in front of the cameras and explain why Charles Rangel is proposing a draft. Let them explain why they have this radical kook running the Ways and Means committee. Don’t play pattycake with the Democrats, knock them on their behinds at every opportunity — and this is an opportunity!

  1. Charlie Rangel:

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