The AP headline shouts:
"Kerry: Draft Likely to Return Under Bush
John Kerry Raises Possibility That Military Draft May Return if President Bush Is Re-Elected"
Scary! But what does the story say?
Answering a question about the draft that had been posed at a forum with voters, Kerry said: "If George Bush were to be re-elected, given the way he has gone about this war and given his avoidance of responsibility in North Korea and Iran and other places, is it possible? I can't tell you."
Well, we don't have time for a recital of all the things Kerry can't tell us. But what might have prompted the AP to take this tack - their "fake boo" story was an obvious Bush-basher, but what about this?
My guess - the AP is giving Kerry a boost with his attempt to win back America's sweethearts, as noted in the Times:
In the last few weeks, Kerry campaign officials have been nervously eyeing polls that show an erosion of the senator's support among women, one of the Democratic Party's most reliable constituencies. In a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last week, women who are registered to vote were more likely to say they would vote for Mr. Bush than for Mr. Kerry, with 48 percent favoring Mr. Bush and 43 percent favoring Mr. Kerry.
In 2000, 54 percent of women voted for Al Gore, the Democratic nominee, while 43 percent voted for Mr. Bush.
If you can't woo 'em, scare 'em!
Glenn has lots of links, noting that it is Dems introducing draft legislation. And we L-U-V JeraLynn Merritt, but she may want to help us understand her comment that Rep. Chuck Hagel "endorsed a reinstatement of the military draft."
...this morning for the second consecutive day, one leading moderate republican senator suggested that it is time to think about whether or not we need to bring back selective service, the draft. Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, first made the comments at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he then repeated them this morning on the “Today” show. He couched his remarks in the context of Secretary Rumsfeld‘s announcement that another 20,000 troops in Iraq, due to come home in June, will be kept in the theater of operations for up to seven months. Hagel did not say it was time to activate selective service, just time to think about it.
Hagel himself chatted with Chris Matthews on Hardball, and after offering the usual class fairness arguments, said this:
But I think if, in fact, we did institute—and I would go beyond just a draft, if we get to that point. That means as far as I‘m concerned, a national—a mandatory national service program. I‘m not ready to introduce that now or to say that‘s what we need.
But we‘ve got a major locomotive coming down the track at this country over the next few years on this issue, and we should not wait and debate it, explore it when it becomes a crisis. And that‘s what I think is most important about this national debate.
Is Hagel co-sponsoring any relevant draft-related legislation? I find the word "endorse" a bit strong here, but I'm all ears.
MORE: Technical glitches at Typepad are slowing me down, so look for even more typos than usual.
And I "know" I read, very recently, a story about a fellow at at a Dem rally where the speakers were ranting about Bush's plan to bring back the draft. One person started shouting something like, "No, that's not true, its a Democratic plot to scare you". It turned out that the heckler was a four year old wearing a BC-04 button. Oops.
And yes, a link to that would be fine. Otherwise, let's consider that tale to be "fake but accurate".
UPDATE: A good news / bad news article on National Guard recruitment success.