Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Politics of Drafting

At a town hall meeting in New Mexico today, John McCain endorsed the draft, telling a pro-draft question-asker "I don't disagree with anything you said."

The question is:
1)Will enough of the right kind of people (i.e. people who don't spend their days writing "Moulitsas" after their first name all over their notebook) will notice/care about this to put it on the teevee tonight/this week/ever?
2)IF (and, obviously, only IF) this does become an issue, and McCain is forced to address it in some way, will he back out of this statement? Sure, it's on the internet, but he's a politician, and the draft issue actually comes equipped with a really handy escape-hatch: "I respect the bravery and heroism of the men and women of our volunteer military..." &c, &c. Yay troops! Yay military! Yay [Apologizing politician]! Points are scored with the right demographics, the end. But McCain is also pitching himself on his "straight talk," such that actually being coerced into repudiating his own statement in a relatively short time-frame would potentially do some damage (consider Obama's recent polling woes against the background of the "moving to the center" meme that's been percolating all summer for the general idea.) The thing is, a lot of people (NOT just THE MSM [boo! hiss! off with their heads! &c], but real, genuine, vote-casting people) completely buy into McCain's honest maverick schtick, because he sells it hard, and it makes sense to people—McCain plays on the whole Rambo/The A-Team locus in the American popular consciousness. The net effect is why I wonder about 1, above.

I'd like to think that reinstating the draft is held so abhorrent among the general populace that McCain's support for it would significantly decrease his popularity. On the other hand, there are a lot of people whose bellicosity has survived (if not increased) in the face of the senescence and/or obesity that has long disqualified them for military service, but not for voting.

I still don't think it'll ever get brought up effectively, though.

[Hat tip Queerty]


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