Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thursday Mini-Rant: The Draft Debacle

CBS just can contain itself, it seems. Newest on the C-BS News forefront is the question of whether the government has "secret" plans to reinstitute the draft. Much of this debate is fueled by "mass emails" circulating among parents. And what do the emails say? Malkin has the text of one such email here. Byron at Slings and Arrows has a flyer that communicates similar sentiments. Bushitler and Tricky Dick Cheney (and likely their Big Oil buddies) are secretly planning to reinstitute the draft as soon as the election is over.

There's even a website about Bush's secret plan.

Well, we should have known--right?

But wait, there's a few things that the email, flyer, website, and news story leave out.

First, the bills in question aren't sponsored by Republicans/President Bush. Fritz Hollings, South Carolina (D), is sponsoring the Senate bill. Charlie Rangel, New York (D), is sponsoring the House bill. (The "D" doesn't stand for "Dubya", by the way.)

Second, Colin Powell, President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld have said that the administration is not going to reinstitute the draft. Vice-Prez Cheney said on Tuesday, "...the suggestion that somehow there's a plan out there for a secret draft is -- I'd call it -- you could call it either an urban legend or a nasty political rumor, but it's not true."

(Of course, for those of you who disbelieve everything coming out of the administration, this is cold comfort.)

Third, CBS' "average mom" may have more of an agenda than the story implied.

So what's going on???

This is blatant fear-mongering (that thing that Kerry's campaign accuses Republicans of) on the part of Democrat supporters and groups to associate "DRAFT" with Bush, so that when the MTV crowd (which the "non-partisan" *cough* Rock-the-Vote is trying so hard to court) goes to the polls, they will think, "Duh... Bush? Ugh, Bush BAD! Bush MAKE DRAFT! HULK SMASH!!!"

Seriously. "Find out about the draft... BEFORE THE DRAFT FINDS YOU!!!" Very nice, RTV. All you're missing is Boris Karloff and a "Mwahahahaha!" sound.

Look, whatever your beef with Bush, if you're pushing this draft conspiracy, you're a friggin idiot. And a liar.

Note that Candidate Kerry carefully avoided saying outright that Bush would reinstate the draft. But the implication is there. Tricky bastard.

I'm really frustrated by this. The fact is, everyone in this administration who would be responsible for reinstituting a draft is saying no way. The noise about a draft is coming from Charlie Rangel, the angry internet kids, and sites like "BushDraft" and "Rock the Vote." And now Kerry's kerrfully tossing out implications. "Well, I don't know about that other guy, but I shore wouldn't!" Next thing you know, he'll be asking Bush if he's beaten his wife recently. That could be a debate question tonight--keep your eyes peeled.

I'm as scared of a draft as anyone else. I'll admit that. And if that means I should "count my manhood cheap", so be it. Honestly, it concerns me. As I said before, when the planes hit the WTC, that was one of the first thoughts in my mind. If this was a war, there would be drafts.

And as scared as I was, I decided that if called, I would serve as bravely and honorably as I could. Because I gave my word (by signing up for selective service) that if called, I would come. I would refuse the temptation to flee.

And I still believe in that. Fortunately, I also believe, based on what I've heard and read, that a draft won't happen under this president. Maybe that makes me foolhardy. I don't know. But I don't think so.

All I'm saying is, when it comes to these draft rumors, really consider the source.

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