Without much fanfare, the “leadership” of the United States Senate is poised to pass legislation that would require women to register for Selective Service – that is, to be eligible for any future draft.
To be clear – the legislation we are talking about is not a stand-alone bill brought forward in the light of day for a full debate in committee and on the Senate floor so that Americans could make their voices heard. Rather – it’s a provision tucked in the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) by Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain.
TODAY, Republican “leader” Mitch McConnell will file cloture on this legislation – the NDAA. Unbelievably, there will likely not be a vote on an amendment to strip the provision. That’s right – likely no vote. But, even if there were – where we could see how each of these Senators vote straight up or down – it would still not fix the problem. So, if the NDAA doesn’t fail for other reasons (e.g. spending), it will almost certainly be supported by an overwhelming majority of Republicans despite containing this draft-our-daughters language.
They will do so while hiding behind the House Republicans who have removed the provision from their version. But do not be fooled….
A vote FOR the NDAA is a vote FOR registering women for the draft. Period. Full Stop. No way to hide from it.
This is all part of the current “leadership’s” mantra of supposedly getting “things done,” which is a phrase we should all be terrified to hear. Shove massive policy changes unpopular with your base into must-pass legislation. But this is standard operating procedure in Washington and even worse, McConnell and McCain are perfectly fine with your wives, your daughters and your sisters being eligible for the draft. Indeed, in response to questions about whether he would be making women eligible, McConnell responded thusly:
“My personal view is, given where we are today, I don’t anticipate a draft, but if you’re talking about registering for the Selective Service system, I think since women are serving in the military, they should be eligible to be in Selective Service themselves. That’s my view.” Should women be “required to register?” the reporter asked. ”I’m not sure. Required, I suppose. We’ll see. What’s in the bill? Required?” the Senate leader asked. ”Look, first of all, I don’t anticipate going back to the draft. The professional voluntary Army has been very successful. We’re talking here about registration for Selective Service, should we ever go back to a draft. ”And given where we are today, with women in the military performing virtually all kinds of functions, I personally think it would be appropriate for them to register just like men do.”
This is a massive shift in policy – one that yet again throws overboard centuries of societal standards and norms and in this instance, an understandable and defined boundary about whether we place women in harm’s way and whether drafting women is in the best interests of our national defense.
But notice that 21st Century “chivalry” has devolved to hiding behind the stated low likelihood of a draft in the future. Ah – I see, so rest easy moms and dads, your 4 year-old daughter will be eligible for the draft in 2030, but don’t worry because it almost certainly won’t come to that. And besides – they will say – maybe we just should abolish the draft altogether?
OK. I am happy to entertain a libertarian debate about the merits of a draft in a free society with a strong all-volunteer military. I ultimately conclude that at times (say, in the wake of Pearl Harbor at the same time as a madman is murdering 6 million people because of their ethnicity) it is a necessary tool and should not be off the table. But whatever, let’s have the debate.
But that’s not what is happening. They aren’t suggesting eliminating the draft altogether. And in any event, that’s a different debate. We aren’t even in the zip code of that debate. We’re just toddling down the road toward having a draft party at a sorority house or maternity ward.
They’ll also say that it isn’t passed into law right now, so don’t worry about it. But as usual – they are obfuscating at best, lying at worst. The only way it will NOT come to pass is if we – the people – instill more fear in them for possibly conscripting our daughters than they currently have of the politically correct, “equality-means-whatever-they-say-it-means” chattering class.
Keep in mind – this provision already passed out of committee by a vote of 23-3. Right – that’s THREE “no” votes. Two of those “no” votes were Senators Cruz and Lee (Sen. Fischer voted “no,” but for different reasons). But there were a host of Republicans who voted to strip the provision (a Lee amendment), but when that failed, voted for the bill anyway!
Senators Cotton, Inhofe, Rounds, Sessions and Wicker all voted for the NDAA out of committee despite including this draft language. These five Senators will say, “oh, don’t worry – I voted for an amendment to strip out the draft-your-daughter provision.” Oh, thanks. You voted, “no.” Sound familiar? “I voted to repeal Obamacare.” “I voted against raising/suspending the debt ceiling.” In what world does your vote against an amendment do anything at all to stop the federal government from conscripting our daughters? It doesn’t. What matters is the vote on the Act itself and the fortitude to actually lay your body on the tracks to stop it from passing.
The rest of the Republicans on the committee – Sens. McCain, Ayotte, Fischer, Ernst, Tillis, Sullivan, and Graham – apparently are all ok with women being drafted. They voted against the amendment to strip the language AND voted for the underlying bill to the Senate floor.
Now we’re on the Senate floor – how do you think it’s going to go?
Everyone loves to criticize slippery-slope arguments as weak – yet, in the observation of political discourse even the most modest predictions of what we will face once certain doors are “opened” virtually always come true.
So, those of us who expressed our horror and outrage some years ago at the prospect of sending our military into battle with women in combat could rest assured that at least it is their choice to be there. Yet, here we are.
Now that we’ve gone down that path – the Republican leader apparently sees no good reason for a civilized society to not force our daughters, our wives, our sisters or even mothers – into registering for a draft and potential combat?
Talk about a country I no longer recognize.