In a maneuver to quash the current draft rumors, the GOP leaders in the House of Representatives forced the proposed draft legislation to face a crushing vote.
With the Internet abuzz with rumors that a military draft would be reinstated after the November election, House Republicans yesterday forced a surprise vote on the issue and blamed Democrats for scaring young people.
“We’ll … see who trusts the volunteer military and who is practicing the dishonest politics of fear,” said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in moving to get lawmakers on record on a bill by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. to revive the draft.
The final vote was two “yeas” and 402 “nays”, with 29 members not voting.
Even the primary sponsor of the legislation rallied against it.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) did something a little unusual yesterday. First he protested when Republican leadership scheduled his own bill for a vote.
Then he sent out a letter encouraging his Democratic colleagues to vote against it.
Rangelâ€™s bill, which the leadership had placed on the suspension calendar, would create a national-service draft under which all 18- to 26-year-olds would serve in the military or perform two years of national service as determined by the president. Rangel has been advocating a draft for several years, but he argued yesterday that the bill was too important for the suspension calendar, â€œwhich is reserved for non-controversial items,â€ he said in a statement.
Bills on the suspension calendar cannot be amended on the floor and require two-thirds of the House to clear the chamber.
Rangel accused Republicans of using his bill to assuage fears that President Bush had plans to reinstate the draft, stating, â€œThe Republican leadership decision to place the draft legislation on the suspension Calendar is a political maneuver to kill rumors of the Presidentâ€™s intention to reinstate the draft after the November election.â€
He went on to urge Democrats running for reelection to vote no.
â€œI am voting no, because my bill deserves serious consideration,â€ his statement continued.
Rangel is wrong and his crap does not deserve even light-hearted consideration. His support for a draft is based exclusively on class politics, and he gave absolutely zero consideration to the best interests of the military when he proposed this legislation.
As I pointed out when the Kerry-Edwards campaign first co-opted the internet draft rumors as part of their anti-Bush innuendo, the draft may well be needed again one day, possibly even in the war against the Islamist bastards. However, it is not needed now and there is never a justification for using fear tactics to politicize the military or our national defense interests. Rangel, Kerry and Edwards have been equally disgusting in this affair.