An Inclusive Litany

1/22/03

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) joined Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) in calling for a return to military conscription, ostensibly to spread a war's casualties across different racial and socioeconomic groups, and perhaps pressure political leaders to be less hawkish. But the previous March, Conyers co-sponsored a resolution opposing any effort to bring back the draft on the grounds that it would degrade the quality of the military and violate individual liberties.

[Ed.: USA Today reports that while African Americans are disproportionately represented in the military, they're actually underrepresented among combat units. One theory for this distribution is that blacks are more attracted to support roles that provide educational benefits, while another blames "lingering racism." Conyers later led five other congressional Democrats in a lawsuit that claimed President Bush had no constitutional authority to wage war against Iraq, despite an earlier 296 to 133 vote (77 to 23 in the Senate) that seemed to settle the question.]

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