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07/23/2008

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"What can we Bobos do to make ourselves tougher, to save ourselves from the wonderful distractions capitalism continually creates? John McCain provided an answer in a little-noticed article in the Washington Monthly, written shortly after 9/11. In it, McCain called for a quasi-militarized domestic national service corps as a way to address a “spiritual crisis in our national culture.” What Senator McCain envisioned was, well, rather creepy–a sort of jackbooted Politics of Meaning."


“Group cohesion” and calisthenics in front of city hall reflect a version of patriotism, to be sure, albeit one that seems more North Korean than American. But all in all, the article provides further evidence of Welch’s claim that McCain has an essentially “militaristic conception of citizenship.”


Hat tip - Gene Healy blog


Why do I feel like I'm one Obama slip up from living in a Heinlein novel?

I'm not much more willing to credit McCain envisioning a civilian "army" than I am Obama. A service corps like the CCC in the Depression is not creepy. Even mandatory national service is not creepy. If rich and poor alike were to have to serve it would make for a more cohesive country let alone making sure that we could all speak the same language. (Yup, I'm not an English only guy but I'm definitely English as one of your languages for those who are living in the US, an English speaking country)

The gist of the article is that both sides are really keen on the notion of somehow making this kind of thing mandatory. So you're right, its not creepy, its indentured servitude.

While the poster Tom posted puts McCain in a favorable light--as one would only expect--McCain supporters do not swoon over his pronouncements. His rallies are not like revival meetings. In short, one poster of McCain, a former Navy pilot, with his head amidst the clouds and sky, is nothing like the god-like reverence the Obamessiah regularly receives from his worshippers, including those in the press.

As for the other point: the mandatory service envisioned by Obama (and perhaps McCain--haven't read the article) is for serfs and prisoners.

On the other hand, I could see implementing a mandatory 2-year stint in the military, with some sort of civilian service as an option (but it would have to be longer to make up for its lesser demands). However, we would need a national discussion before going there again.

So let me get this straight: McCain is a more legitimate candidate because he inspires no enthusiasm?

To me, McCain is the lesser of two evils. Much like the last few elections. There hasn't been a a candidate that I was really happy to support since before I was old enough to vote.

But back to the topic at hand. The one thing both candidates are forgetting here is a little thing I like to call The Constitution. To be specific, Article XIII of the Bill of Rights.

"Section. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Which means, boys and girls, that we can't require people to serve in anything; whether it be the peace corps or the military. So really, the point is moot.

McCain is the obviously superior candidate mainly because he, you know, has accomplished something with his life. I mean, beyond cozying up to crooked Illinois politicians, hold state senate seats with no obvious impact, and hold a senate seat for less than one term with no single significant accomplishment.

McCain is the obviously superior candidate mainly because he, you know, has accomplished something with his life. I mean, beyond cozying up to crooked Illinois politicians, hold state senate seats with no obvious impact, and hold a senate seat for less than one term with no single significant accomplishment.

Dammit you've convinced me! I'm going to cozy up to crooked savings and loan honchos and find me a pill popping beer heiress to hook up with! Err...with whom to up hook?

Tom,

There's a difference between enthusiasm and mania, and Obama inspires the latter. It's not healthy. I also agree with the idea that it is not good for a republic to have a "star" as its leader.

For the record, I find McCain to be nearly as objectionable as Obama, and I cannot support either one of these lying, vain men.

Yall aren't going to talk Tom off the Obama bandwagon. Tom's creative, and a lightwalker, just like Obama, and they see thing we mortals cannot. Like how Charlie Crist is a homo and stuff.

Me, I'm waiting for George Will or Andy McCarthy or any other nominally conservative newsman to exclaim how any vote-buying politician on earth sends shivers up their leg(s). I predict it won't happen. I'll even give yall 5-1 odds. Window closes at midnight tonight, race is over midnight, first Monday in November. Place your bets.

You're fixated on the Crist thing, Scott, so I thought maybe I'd explain what it is I said about him, since you seem to have misunderstood.

I, personally, don't care if Governor Crist is gay or not. It's interesting when gay-bashing politicians turn out to be gay themselves, but I'm not aware of Crist being anti-gay.

The point of the Crist post was that rumors of homosexuality were sufficiently unsettling to Crist that he rebutted them with evidence of multiple male-female relationships that demonstrate, to me, a kind of instability. I, personally, would rather have a gay governor than an emotionally unstable one, but Crist clearly feels otherwise.

Coming from a member of the family values party, a plea of instability is amusing to me. Because, you know, I'm one of those anti-family liberals who has managed to stay married to the same person for my whole adult life.

So I get a chuckle out of Crist the way I get a chuckle out of, for example, Newt Gingrich, who has literally had more wives than I've had cars, but still manages to get off a zinger now and then about people like me being anti-family.

That's all there was to it, Scott. I didn't say Governor Crist was gay. I don't care if Governor Crist is gay. The point of the posting was not that he's gay. And the point of the reference to the posting in the posting above is not that he's gay. It's that Crist is not going to make the Republican cut because Republicans can't stand the idea that he might be gay.

"Section. 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Was the draft unconstitutional? Why didn't my Dad think of that?

Frank, I gotta call you on the draft going against the 13th amendment (and, to pick nits, the Bill of Rights is only the first ten amendments).

One of Lincoln's themes in opposing slavery, one that he repeated again and again, was the fundamental right of a man to the fruits of his own labor. Those in the military, drafted or otherwise, are paid. Therefore, it is not a kind of "involuntary servitude."

Furthermore, since one of the very most fundamental functions of government is to provide for national security, including a military, I just don't see how that argument will fly.

Scott,

You're probably right--we won't be able to save Tom from Obamania! But I'll still point out how utterly inappropriate he is. Of course, McCain is utterly inappropriate too, so either way--we're pooched.

Hey, Like father like son...

Silver State Bancorp, the Henderson-based holding company for the similarly named bank, reported that Andrew McCain, son of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, resigned today from the boards of directors of the bank and bank holding company.

The company cited “personal reasons” for McCain’s resignation, and a Silver State spokesman declined further comment.

Probably wanted to spend more time with the family.

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