Gee, what possible reason could there be that the Democrats didn't elect Jack 'Deathwish' Murtha their Majority Leader? Could it be that they think he's a walking train wreck?
In 2004, John Kerry warned that George Bush had a secret plan to reinstate the draft:
"With George Bush, the plan for Iraq is more of the same and the great potential of a draft," Mr. Kerry told reporters and editors of the Des Moines Register, which published his remarks yesterday.
Mr. Kerry told the Register that he can't imagine how the administration can continue "with the current overextension" of troops in Iraq without instituting the draft.
The San Francisco Chronicle warned that rumors of a coming draft were persistent. Kerry promised if he were elected, there would be no draft - but that it was likely if George Bush were returned to office.
Well, attention to the draft died down for a while - possibly because the Republican Congress would not approve such a measure. But after the 2006 elections, Charlie Rangel announced he would reintroduce his draft bill. And now John Murtha has again spoken up in support:
Murtha explains his idea over at the Huffington Post:
If we are to fight this war with the same sense of dedication and vigor as we did prior wars, we cannot do it without a surge in force.
It is unlikely that the President will call for a draft. A draft is politically unpopular. But we cannot continue to allow the President to pursue open-ended and vague military missions without a change in direction.
Two years ago, I was one of only two in the House of Representatives who voted for a draft, because I believe if we are a country truly at war, the burden should be shared proportionately and fairly. So Mr. President, you have two options, either change the course in Iraq and reduce the burden on our overstretched active force or reinstitute the draft. We cannot sustain the current course.
A quick comment: Murtha has no desire 'to fight this war with the same sense of dedication and vigor as we did prior wars.' He wants to withdraw from Iraq to Okinawa as soon as possible.
Leaving that aside, I'll pose a simple question. According to the CRS, the US Military had 2.1 million men and women in 1989 - at which time we had no draft. According to the same document, we now have about 1.4 million. If we did not need a draft back then in order to have a military that's 50 percent larger than it is today, why is a draft the only answer now?
By the way - have to the line from Murtha: 'everybody ought to be able to serve in this country.' Orwell would be proud of the phrasing.