Whenever I think my
blog attracts some dumb readers, I look at the comments elsewhere. Take, for example, this piece
by Bill Maher in the Huffington Post:
In the 2004 presidential race Karl Rove mobilized Republican voters by getting initiatives banning gay marriage on the ballots in 11 states. If the Democrats really want to mobilize their base they must push for swing state ballot initiatives that call for reinstating the draft.
Now look at the comments. Maher's readership consists of the kind of people who would take Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal
to be a cookbook:
On the specific topic of a draft, I actually favor a period of universal public service as a cap to your education, with military service being one of the options...
And on, and on, and oh my sciatica is acting up again just reading
this crap. Bill, ya gotta bottom line it for the dolts, or they'll think you really do yearn for mick fricasee.
Maher's point was not: "A renewed draft is a good idea, so the Dems should get behind it." He was saying: "Good idea or bad idea, a renewed draft will be unpopular
. Measures calling for a draft will bring voters surging to the polls to vote against
it. Especially young voters."
(History quiz, boys and girls: The worst riot in American history was over what
The problem with Maher's "reverse Rove" strategy is that the trick would work only if the voters never find out that the Dems were behind those proposed initiatives. Otherwise, the draft gets pegged as a Dem idea, and the GOP sails to victory by announcing itself as the anti-draft party.
Could the Democrats cover their tracks? Nahhh. They don't know how to do that shit.
But they sure do know how to injure their own cause. Here comes Larry J. Sabato on Daily Kos, pushing for Universal National Service.
The military branches are one option, of course, but so too would be some civilian agencies such as Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. New groups, including a Disaster Strike Force (think Katrina), would be a part of the UNS menu.
Some of my readers -- the ones who are as dumb as Maher's readers -- probably want to argue that this idea has merit. Don't bother. I already agree. But I can say "I agree" in public only because far, far fewer people read this blog than read Kos or Huffington Post.
Fact: Sabato's notion would be about as popular as a babysitting service run by Britney Spears. Talking about this stuff could be politically disastrous
in an election year. What the hell was Markos thinking
, putting this crap on his front page?
Mr. Sabato, if you ever find yourself fighting an old-fashioned duel, take this hint: The pointy end of the sword goes into your opponent's
gut, not into your own.