Thursday, August 21, 2008

John McCain Supports Bringing Back The Draft

Now if there hasn’t been a reason not to vote for John McCain in some peoples’ minds, maybe there is now. Maybe young men between the ages of 19 and 26 will think again about pushing in that pin, pulling that lever or bubbling in that circle for John McCain.

Because John McCain has in his own inimitable way, admitted that he agrees with the notion of reinstituting the military draft.

Not only young men, mind you. What about parents and grand parents of these young men?

Now here is a You Tube video showing McCain at a town hall meeting in Las Cruces, where he made this admission:

Now a McCain spokesman put out a statement a day later categorically denying that McCain supports bringing back the draft.

Yet when you look at how McCain replied to his questioner, you do have to wonder if that is true. Outside of the draft comment the questioner didn’t present anything for McCain to agree to except for her observations about how veterans are being treated and what will that mean for future military recruitment quotas. The gist of her question was given how we treat veterans, how will we be able to kill or capture Osama bin Laden if there are fewer and fewer recruits. Given all of that, the commenter observed “If we don’t reenact the draft, I don’t think we’ll have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell.” And you all saw what McCain's reply was.

“Ma’am, let me say that I don’t disagree with anything you said.”

Now that’s a double negative which we educators hate because the meaning becomes hazy, which was probably McCain’s intent. So let me redact his reply, excising the double negative:

Ma’am, let me say that I agree with everything you said.

He went on to quote George Washington who, in 1789 observed this: those who sign up for military service in the future will do so based upon how they see the country treat its present-day soldiers.

So you see, he is not agreeing with the woman’s observations about how shabbily our veterans are being treated, he is agreeing with the woman’s major premise, that this will impact the numbers of future volunteers.

Reinstituting the draft is just a small, very small, leap in logic.

And remember, McCain is on record as saying that he would consider reinstituting a draft that is fair. In a September 27, 2007 New Hampshire town hall meeting, he said this:

“There has never been a draft that I have ever heard of, since World War II that was fair. What we’ve done is we find rich people find a way out and lower income people are the ones that serve. So, if you could design . . . I might consider it . . . I don’t think it’s necessary . . .but I might consider it if you could design a draft where everybody equally would serve. But it just
doesn’t happen.”

So now we have a quote from McCain agreeing that having a military draft may be necessary, and the only way we will send Osama bin Laden to the nether regions, and one saying that he might consider a draft if it is fair.

So I really don’t think they can argue their way out of this one, I really don’t. So rather than try to do just that, they categorically deny that he meant what we all heard him say.

Fancy that. A Republican denying what is plainly the truth.

Oh, and by the way, speaking of getting out of the draft, need I again remind everyone that Texas’ junior US Senator, John Cornyn, is one of those people that finagled a way out of being drafted? While thousands of his age mates put it on the line and had their birthdays pulled out of a spinning drum, John Cornyn took advantage of a poorly understood and largely unannounced loophole in the selective service act that still allowed students to file for 2S student deferments even after the lottery was instituted.

I took my chances on the lottery, and my number was 296. Cornyn didn’t. When he and hundreds of other young men born on February 2, 1952 drew number 28, Cornyn stayed home while others went to war.

Oh, but that’s OK, he more than made up for this by voting against providing body armor to our soldiers in Iraq.

McCain and Cornyn: Two John’s we don’t need in DC anymore.


thefensk said...

I don't like Cornyn. I don't support him. But even more, I dislike the inference that because somebody got a student deferment, they are a draft dodger.
I did the same thing as he did. I had no connections. I just read the rules, followed the rules and by the skin of my teeth managed to barely (I had already had my physical) squeaked by. I am no draft dodger. Draft dodgers were people who failed to report, who left the country, who lived underground. If caught they were imprisoned. Many of them were considered heroes of the left who considered them akin to political prisoners. Calling Cornyn a draft dodger doesn't just insult me, it impunes their memory and their cause.

The lottery was instituted before the deferment was taken away. Those of us born in 1952 still had a student deferment choice through the fall of 1970. The "loophole" was actually a grandfather clause ... enacted because if you elected the deferment option when it was available, you extended your age liablity by NINE YEARS. Also, even with a deferment, if the draft had not ended, the 2S people were supposed to go back into the pool at their previously established priority when their deferment ended. This "loophole" simply allowed to you enact an option that you had opted out on ... I think it was there because the the deferment request we initially signed said explicitly that we would have the option to take it if we chose at a later date, as long as we maintained the same enrollment requirements. So, in order to get it retroactively you had to have maintained the same educational requirements you would have had to maintain if you had taken the deferment in the first place. I had to send my transcripts to the draft board. That was all I did. I had no connections, I had no lawyers working on it for me. The draft counselors at school were a joke.

If you had told me back in the early 1970s that progressive liberal right thinking individuals in 2008 would be criticizing people for getting out of the draft during Vietnam, I'd say you were balmy. So you were lucky to get a high number. Lucky you. So the rest of us were supposed to just go gladly? I stayed home and in school. This was good on one front ... I could continue to protest the war and I did. All the revisionist stuff about taking away the deferment to make the draft more "fair" was hogwash and a smokescreen. It was to punish the student element for so effectively protesting the war and changing the mood at home. How soon people forget. More like it was "yeah, let's make it more 'fair' ... and get all them protesting hippies in uniform at the same time!"

All that said, I agree that Cornyn is nutso for requesting Noriega's military record and if he supports a renewed draft, well he is indeed a snake. Even so, I don't know where his head was at in the 1970s, but very few people maintain a consistent viewpoint over the space of 35-40+ years. Some do, but many don't. Call him to task on his idiotic senate record but if you call him a draft dodger, you're calling me a draft dodger. Them thar is fighin' words.

Hal said...

Thanks for the comment. By the length of it, it seems you are offended by my assertion that Cornyn took advantage of a system that others did not because the system was poorly or not explained.

No one is calling you, or John Cornyn a draft dodger. Well, if you look around, maybe that's not quite accurate - some are. If you read back, you will find the only time the term is used is in your comment to the post.

My case is simply this. Cornyn escaped being drafted. Others of his age did not. That by itself would be it, but now we have a US Senator who votes against our troops. And then we had a story in the mainstream media earlier this year that reported that John Cornyn was too young to serve in the Vietnam War and that's why he didn't serve. That was a cover story and it was blown sky high.

So don't take this personally. It was a criticism of Cornyn and Cornyn alone.

thefensk said...

Okay, I am sorry I sort of went off. I may have been reflecting some of what I read in other blogs on the same subject, not yours. I think what offended me in your post was your reference that "you took your chances on the lottery." We ALL took our chances on the lottery. There was no choice.

You didn't have to pursue a deferment. My number was 46. I had my physical. The clock was ticking. I frankly don't remember where I found out about that grandfathered regulation, and it was by no means certain on my part. I can't speak for him, but in my case there was no special treatment ... it was a hail mary pass.

Yes, I do understand that the hawkish stance is not consistent. It is would be tragically ironic if he wasn't in a position of power. Vote the sucker out.

Hal said...

Thanks for your understanding.

Yes, I intend to vote against this incredible waste of space. What I need is others to convince Texans to do the same. As it stands, my ex-wife is poised to cancel my vote.

Let's just say that she has fallen under the influence of the Dark Side.

Anyone reading this: convince your friends and co-workers, if you live in Texas, to vote "No" on John Cornyn. It's time for Change.

Change at the top. Change in the Senate.

Vote for Rick Noriega (AKA Mr. Melissa)