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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Chicken Mother! (or, The 28th Amendment)

You've heard of the nonsensical chickenhawk "argument" -- only those who've served in the military have the right to advocate war.[1] One counter-argument is that this effectively silences many women. After all, if only actual combat veterans have the Absolute Moral Authority to opine on war, then you're leaving out a lot of women, because historically they've not been allowed in combat.

But now Barbara Boxer has shot down (um, har, I guess) that response: us dames let our wombs do our fightin' for us! (The Fighting Wombs -- that might be a good name for a sports team at a women's college.)

Boxer reached down deep for squishiest, goopiest, most feminine "logic" she could find, and asserted that Condi Rice had no moral authority to advocate military action, because she has nothing to lose. She has no baaaaybeeees to be ground up by the Bush War Machine.

Now, this has raised a great hue and of course cry in certain segments of the blogosphere, charging Boxer with being a traitor to feminism. (Note that these aren't the feminist segments of the blogosphere.) I think that's a bit overblown; after all, Boxer admitted that the fruit of her womb[2] are not of an age to be in the military either. (Enjoy Boxer's "truth to power" defense. Because, you know, she's just a Senator of the majority party from the humble state of California.)

In other words, it's a lame argument, but it's an equal-opportunity lame argument. However it does allow me to disclose my cunning plan.

Last year, Rep. Charlie Rangel tried again to get the draft re-instated. Like John Kerry, Charlie thinks that "Right now the only people being asked to sacrifice in any way are those men and women who with limited options chose military service..."

Charlie, like Babs, thinks that only the parents of soldiers -- which generally does not include Congress -- have the Absolute Moral Authority to send people to war.

I've decided Rangel's right. So I propose a new amendment to the Constitution: no one can be a member of Congress, President, or Vice-President, unless they offspring serving in the military. Past service -- their own or their kids' -- does not count. Only those with offspring currently serving in the military may serve in Congress.

I'm flexible on how this rule is to be implemented: can only those with serving offspring be eligible to run? Or do we just draft whatever offspring they already have when they take office? Either is fine by me.

This will eliminate all sorts of tedious debate about whether those who haven't served in the military, or those who don't have children, or those who don't have children who are serving in the military, are fit to hold office. And it will leave everybody else in the country alone.

[1]Shallow thinkers like Glenn Reynolds seem to think that this works in reverse, too -- that only those who served in the military[3] can advocate against war too. What they fail to understand is that, while war has consequences (e.g., people die), peace has none. Wherever did you see a headline screaming: "Peace Breaks Out! Germany Invades Denmark!"? Nowhere, of course. Therefore advocating peace requires no particular moral authority.

[2]I'd wonder if Boxer had her Fruit-of-the-Womb briefs on, but somebody at Hot Air beat me to it. Still, if a joke's worth making, it's worth stealing.

[3]Or, ideally, their children. What the hell is with the Democrats' sudden child fixation? First Pelosi puts the Speaker's gavel in the grubby, jelly-smeared hands of America's children, and now they're claiming some sort of reproduction test for officeholders.