Well, shootfire: That didn’t work.
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is against requiring women to register for Selective Service in our Brave New Military. Accordingly, he proposed an amendment to the 2017 defense-spending bill that accomplishes the opposite of what he believes.
The idea, Hunter claimed, was that he didn’t want the executive branch to decide this apart from a congressional vote. But the whole maneuver blew up in his face like an IED. In the end, the House Armed Services Committee adopted the amendment, then passed the entire spending bill. It was a contentious vote on the amendment, to be sure, but ultimately five members from the Grand Old Patriarchs “crossed over” to ensure its passage.
Before I continue, let me put this into a broader political context: Even Paul Ryan (as of 3:46 p.m., Tuesday, May 3) thinks this is too much too soon. Paul Ryan, folks.
Hunter’s strategy in debating this topic is typical of social conservatives, demonstrating their inability to understand how to make an effective argument (or, alternatively, when not to make one at all). As per usual, something is naively assumed about the subject of the minor premise. All war is hell; women should be protected from hell; therefore, women should not be sent to war.
I will note in passing that this is not actually an argument against forcing women to register with Selective Service, but one against permitting women to be in combat—and that unsinkable luxury liner has already sailed.
Hunter, himself a veteran, showed graphic images of combat maimings and killings to the committee: “The draft is there to get more people to rip the enemies’ throats out and kill them,” he said.
How did he assume that this would be interpreted? That women should not be permitted to be in the military, where they may be asked to rip out the throats of our enemies?
On what basis?
The conservative answer would be “because they are women,” and believe it or not, that still resonates with a fair number of people—fathers of daughters, in particular—because it has the advantage of being true. But any man who says such a thing must then be prepared to be excoriated by Megyn Kelly and the other feminists at FOX News, to say nothing of the rest of the media.
Instead, the most quoted response came from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), who reminded us that the chief end of the military is not to win battles but to promote social justice within the military itself, which will obviously shine as a beacon of hope across the universe: “I actually think if we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, we should be willing to support a universal conscription.”
If we truly want those things, why are there no Transgendered Five-Star Generals already? What, you say, that is ridiculous! Yes, I respond, that is ridiculous.
[Slideshow image credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anastasia Puscian [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]