It is interesting to see Rep. Charles Rangel raising the issue of military conscription again. Back in 2006, I wrote:
One is left thinking that the draft proposal is simply political theater, a means of generating debate based on misimpressions and social myths. There will never be enough votes to actually bring back conscription, that is not the point. This issue will be a rallying point for the antiwar wing of the party, and a nuisance to the equivocators. It will be an interesting leadership test for Speaker-elect Pelosi to keep a lid on this debate, but I think Congressman Rangel will be playing the draft card for some time.
What is most noteworthy in the Hill article is the admission by Rep. Jim McDermott (D., Wash.) that the original bill, which he co-sponsored, “was really a political statement at the beginning of the war that we continued.” So to him it was political theater, but Mr. Rangel seems to be sincere about the endeavor. The threat of course is that this is a stalking horse for a broader concept of coerced national service that would primarily take young men and women for work on government projects of some kind. I hope the labor unions are paying attention.