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October 06, 2004

Not That Dumb

That (or a close facsimile) was the headline of an American Lawyer cover on Judge Daniel Manion of the Seventh Circuit in the mid-1980s, a year or so after his hotly contested confirmation that centered on his intellectual and legal abilities.

I would apply it today to the Republicans, who are dumb not for the reasons the Dems give but because they always seem to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In this case, however, they are not that dumb.

The Dems have been trying to scare the daylights out of younger voters and their parents by making the phony argument that Bush will impose a military draft if re-elected. There's a bogus e-mail message that they've circulated, too.

Sensing that it wasn't enough simply to deny the draft or to point out that the only bills in Congress aiming to reinstate it were introduced by Dems (in an effort to hurt the military, not help it), the House Republican leadership brought up a Dem bill on the draft for a vote. It lost by 402-2.

My favorite comment on the event came from a Dem congressman, Ike Skelton:

"That's the first time ever, probably, in the history of the United States" a measure came to the floor in such a fashion, said Rep. Ike Skelton (Mo.), ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. His panel never held a hearing on the bill, he noted, and to vote on it "is nothing more than a cynical election-year political ploy."
Sort of like the Dems' bogus draft scare?