The Bush administration is trying to quash a rumor that keeps cropping up in cyberspace. For several months now, e-mails from an unknown source have warned that President Bush plans to reinstitute the draft if he wins a second term.
Fear of conscription continues to float just below the surface because so many voters understand somewhere in the backs of their minds that Bush's military plans simply don't add up. A Pentagon advisory board recently issued a report stating the patently obvious: The U.S. military won't have enough troops in the coming years to meet its continuing war and peacekeeping obligations.
Amazingly, Bush and his aides continue to engage in a denial that borders on the pathological: The U.S. is winning the war on terror; everything is going swimmingly in Iraq; and, of course, the military doesn't need any more troops. Even more amazing, they've been able to get away with this strange cognitive dissonance. Bush's poll ratings go up even as Iraq melts down.
But I have the feeling that more and more voters are getting the sense that something about Bush's policies just doesn't add up. They might not want to think about it. If nothing else, Bush offers certainty in an uncertain world. But you've got to tamp down a lot of doubts to hang onto that certainty.
Bush'll claim he's creating jobs.