Some conservatives believe that imposing draft registration on women is survivable policy and good politics—and there are plenty of others who disagree with them. Those who favor allowing the change to happen tend to see the issue as another culture war the GOP is destined to lose, harming Republicans at the ballot box and stealing oxygen from more important matters. Either way, it's a hot issue on the right: Just within the last 24 hours, one prominent Republican Senator has come out for registering women, while another has said he's introducing a bill to stop any such thing from happening.
And now, Rasmussen has released a survey that provides some clarity and basis for political calculation. The headline figure: Only 38 percent of likely female voters support the proposed new requirement, while just over half oppose it.
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A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 49% of all Likely U.S. Voters agree that women should be required to register for the draft. Nearly as many (44%) disagree. …
But while 61% of male voters believe women should be required to register for the draft, only 38% of female voters agree. Most women (52%) oppose such a requirement, and 10% more are undecided.
To paraphrase the Athenians at Melos: Let's be real here. Republicans are nervous about opposing this enormous social shift because they think such opposition would expose them to an attack from the feminist left (an admittedly powerful force in American politics today) even when women themselves are opposed to it by a double digit margin? I mean, talk about a war on women!
Ted Cruz has decided—correctly, I believe—that Americans will see the issue of draft registration differently from how they see gender integration in combat units among volunteers who meet a common standard. One issue involves a grim, universal obligation (for male citizens, currently) and the other the rights of a small group of volunteers. What an odd, self-defeating place for conservatives to plant the flag of intellectual consistency.