It’s been awhile since we had a good Lawrence O’Donnell meltdown. He kept them coming at a nice clip in late ’04 and early ’05 (note the neck vein), but since then he’s been using HuffPo as his primal-scream outlet and confining his TV appearances mainly to Olbermann’s show, where he gets to play “the sane one.” Nice to see him back in form. Here he is on Monday night’s Scarborough Country accusing GOP strategist Terry Holt of being just as much of a coward as he is while lacking the saving moral grace of defeatism. It’s not that not serving is bad; it’s not serving and not doing your part to lower the morale of those who do that’s the real sin here.

Rangel’s going to keep pushing it, though. He’s got an op-ed in today’s NY Daily News; picture Pelosi massaging her temples as she reads this:

That is why I intend to reintroduce legislation to reinstate the military draft, making men and women up to age 42 eligible for service, with no exemptions beyond health or reasons of conscience. I believe it is immoral for those who insist on continuing the conflict in Iraq, and placing war on the table in Iran and North Korea, to do so only at the risk of other people’s children.

Even the Times thinks it’s stupid. As do DoD officials, one of whom made this interesting point in retort:

“I think that it would make the military more average, and the military is considerably above average today,” Carr said. “Two-thirds of our recruits are from the top half aptitude (range), whereas an average or equitable share would be only half. Moreover, we draw disproportionately from the middle class and the upper class. The underrepresented (in the military) are the poor. A draft would only shift the burden toward the poor.

Mind you, neither Rangel nor O’Donnell nor any draft advocate that I’ve read in the past few days is supporting the draft as part of a push to win in Iraq or to give us more options vis-a-vis Iran or North Korea. Rather, they’re supporting it to give us fewer options — a point Rush Limbaugh emphasized on yesterday’s show:

I think he’s trying to set it up and create a continuing anti-war mentality in this country. It’s what they think got them elected, and he is convinced that if we have a draft, that fewer and fewer people will be “sent to war” because politicians won’t have the guts and presidents won’t have the guts to defend the country when necessary, because they won’t want to incur the wrath…

[Liberals] look at military people with double the contempt because they don’t like the military. They think it’s the focus of evil in the modern world, and they’ll do anything they can to denigrate it and impugn it because they want to neuter it. They want people to think it’s incompetent. They want people to think it can’t win so that it is not used. I’ve always thought that in their hearts and souls, liberals love it when we have bad military entanglements because it allows them to say, “See, this is not the way to solve problems in the world today.” This is no different than Kerry who talks about how stupid they are, and if they don’t get an education they’re going to end up “stuck in Iraq.”

Anyway, here’s the clip. Don’t give it up on it too early — the best part starts at around six minutes in.

Update: Meanwhile, Jim Treacher congratulates the winners.