Flashback audio: Senator Obama talks about mandatory national service

Another chestnut dug up by The One’s bete noire at Naked Emperor News, destined to be the inspiration for a new lederhosen segment on “Glenn Beck.” You might recall that this issue’s come up before in the context of Obama’s campaign: For a few days after the election, Rahm Emanuel’s stated fondness for mandatory national service was a hot topic on righty blogs, especially after the Obama transition website posted an entry on national service “requiring” 50-100 hours per year from students. After the outcry from the ‘sphere, the “requirement” language was quietly replaced by more ambiguous language about “setting a goal” of 50-100 hours. I skimmed the transcript of Obama’s answers at last year’s presidential campaign forum on service and can’t find him endorsing anything like a mandatory obligation, and I find it exceedingly hard to believe that he’d have the votes for something like this in Congress when he can’t even get his health-care plan passed. But then, I’d never have guessed he’d nationalize General Motors either. Color me very skeptical that this is something to worry about — but less skeptical than I used to be.