OKAY, NOW I BELIEVE THOSE POLLS about how badly Kerry is doing. Why else would he be making bogus claims about restoring the draft?

Maybe some reporters should ask him why, if this is a secret Bush plan, it’s Democrats in Congress who are sponsoring bills to bring back the draft? Or maybe at least note that in the reports?

UPDATE: This take seems about right:

What next, is Kerry going to denounce the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to tax e-mail?

This is not the move of a campaign confident about where it is in the polls.


ANOTHER UPDATE: Weirdly, the draft reference is now missing from the AP story linked above. You can still see it here, though, at least for now.

MORE: Hmm. Is this AP’s fault, rather than Kerry’s? This may have been the result of a reporter hyping the draft issue rather than, as I thought, Kerry trying to raise it in a “nuanced” fashion. [LATER: Reader Jim McManus emails: “Doesn’t it say something Danron-like that you find the need to apologize for believing an AP post without first checking it out?” Heh. Yes, it does.]

STILL MORE: More thoughts here, including the observation that this seems to be some kind of unified message-of-the-week.

MORE STILL: Jeralyn Merritt says that there are a few Republicans pushing the draft, too. She’s got links. I have to say, though, that everyone — and I mean absolutely everyone — I’ve heard pushing the idea has been a Democrat, and I’ve seen no sign that the White House wants it.

STILL MORE: A debunking of the draft rumors — which I’m scoring as “cynical fear-mongering” unless there are new and unlikely developments — here, and also at Snopes.

MORE STILL: Spoons has a post untangling this, and a reader who saw Kerry on MSNBC says that he seemed rather noncommital, and that he was very hard to understand because of laryngitis, which may have confused the AP reporter. It seems likely that Kerry’s statement on the draft wasn’t as clear as the original report made it. However, it’s also clear that the Democratic Party, beyond Kerry, is trying to fear-monger on the subject of the draft.