Thursday, September 23, 2004

Unwilling to lie, eager to deceive

Yesterday, in West Palm Beach, Florida, John Kerry was asked about rumors circulated by Democratic activists that President Bush intended to reinstitute a military draft. Dan Balz and David Snyder of the Washington Post reported Kerry's response:

"'If George Bush were to be reelected, given the way he has gone about this war and given his avoidance of responsibility in North Korea and Iran and other places, it is possible. I can't tell you,' he said. 'I will tell you this: I will not reinstate the draft ... .'"

Kerry did not have the nerve actually to lie, but he was quite willing, even eager, to deceive*.

The truth is that the proposed reinstitution of the draft is supported by Democrats--and only by Democrats. The bill circulating in the House of Representatives,
H.R. 163, was introduced in January 2003 by longtime Democratic congressman Charles B. Rangel as a publicity stunt to dramatize the difficulty that young minority men have in landing jobs. The argument is that the young men have no alternative but to join the military--and to assume risks which should be shared by all.

All 14 cosponsors for Rangel's bill also are Democrats; most are hard-left members of the Congressional Black Caucus. (One exception: Jim Moran, Democrat of Virginia, the white congressman accused of anti-Semitism last year.) The concurrent Senate bill, S. 89, was introduced by Ernest Hollings, the South Carolina Democrat, without any cosponsors.

More from the Post piece:

"Asked for comment, Bush-Cheney spokesman Steve Schmidt said: 'John Kerry raising the possibility of a military draft is as irresponsible as him raising the possibility that the war he voted for is illegal. The one thing John Kerry has demonstrated this week is his willingness to say whatever he believes will benefit him politically, regardless of its effect on our troops, our allies and our mission.'"

* Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Ed., "deceive" v., def 2: "To cause to believe what is false; to mislead as to a matter of fact, lead into error, impose upon, delude, 'take in'."