Friday, October 29, 2004

Kerry and the Draft
Lorie at Polipundit posts the comments of a reader who thinks that a draft would be more likely under Kerry than under Bush. Here is a point for consideration. If Bush tried to institute a draft, his name and party would be mud for decades. Why? He promised, repeatedly on the record that he would not do so, and he cannot blame the source of the need for a draft (the war on terror) convincingly on a past President.

Kerry, on the other hand, does not have this last constraint. Yes, Kerry has said he would not reinstitute the draft, but Kerry is not exactly known as a man of his word. If the "nuance" of greater casualties or apparent inability to do the basic mission would be able to be blamed on not having enough troops, Kerry could "reluctantly" change his mind because "he is incorporating new information" into his decision making process as an excuse.

More importantly, Kerry would be able to blame the need for the draft on the past administration, to keep from bearing the heat personally. "If it were not for the disastrous policies of my predecessor" he would say "this step would not have been necessary. However, now that we are involved in the Iraq war due to the rush to judgment of the previous president, new developments and our national security demand that I ask Congress for permission to take the step of reinstituting the draft." Who do you think his base will blame after such a move - Kerry or the Republicans? Who do you think swing voters will blame? It seems pretty clear that Kerry could get a free pass with such a move.

But is that a good thing? Personally I am deadset against the draft for a number of reasons that I do not want to get into now, so this is one of the big strikes that I have against Kerry. On the other hand, there quite a few grizzled oldies out there who think that a draft would stop the "moral decline and selfish nature" of our younger ones, spread the cost of military action around, help prevent future wars, and most importantly, give us the necessary tools to win the war in Iraq. If you hold one of those beliefs, although I would passionately disagree with you, the freedom Kerry would have compared to Bush to reinstitute the draft would have to be a plus in your book.

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