Hyman's Drafty Argument
Mark Hyman again freely distorts facts to score political points, this time using the issue of the draft the issue of the draft.
Hyman accuses Democrats of using the issue of the draft to scare voters into opposing George Bush, even though there’s little chance of an actual draft being put into place (at least in Hyman’s estimation).
There are two problems here. First, there’s already a “back door” draft in place, forcing those in the armed services, including the reserve, to continue in active duty even though they are due to be discharged.
Second, Hyman uses exactly the same scare tactics he claims to deplore in order to disparage Democrats. At the end of his commentary, Hyman says that the only two proposed bills that would reinstate the draft were submitted by Democrats: Charlie Rangel in the House and Fritz Hollings in the Senate. According to Hyman, it’s Democrats who are chomping at the bit to fire up the draft again.
This ignores basic facts (surprise, surprise). In fact, Rangel proposed his bill not to actually reinstate the draft, but to point out that those who are serving now (and those who have been drafted disproportionately in the past) tend to be lower and working class people, and disproportionately black and Hispanic. His bill proposed a draft that did not allow for many of the exemptions that kept the sons of rich, educated, and influential parents from serving. It was a way of making an argument about the ethics of sending working class kids to fight a war planned by wealthy white men.
If you have any doubts about Rangel’s purposes, he voted against his own proposed bill. His goal was to get his colleagues to engage with an issue that’s often ignored. A
nice op-ed piece nice op-ed piece in the Seattle Times offers a cogent analysis of Rangel’s bill and its motivations.
But for Hyman, this is simply an opportunity to spread more disinformation. Like another intellectually challenged Republican we can think of, Hyman “doesn’t do nuance,” particularly when it gets in the way of hammering the conservative drumbeat.
And that’s The Counterpoint.