So make it a Republican draft.
(This post represents a small part of a much longer piece I want to write, but I figured I'd get this part out now since it seems kinda timely.)
Over at Eschaton, Atrios has an amusing post (link to be added here when blogger becomes sane again so, for now, just link over there and find the article "Tax Fairness Act of 2005") regarding getting "deadbeat" states off the dole, so to speak. He gives a list of states that get back more than 110% of what they pay in taxes, effectively making them welfare states and (surprise, surprise!) the vast majority of these states are "red" states -- slightly to strongly Republican. Kind of ironic, when it's the Republicans who are so outraged by the entire concept of welfare, even though they're benefitting from its largesse at the state level. (Yes, you really should go read that article before going any further here. I'll wait.)
Now, in all fairness, Atrios admits that his proposal is "partially in jest", but a lot of commenters think it's a great idea, if only to publicize the ridiculous hypocrisy of all those sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, family values red states slamming liberals while happily living off of their transfer payments. Atrios' suggestion is probably not feasible since it would smack too much of liberals "punishing" Republican states for their appalling voting habits. But don't give up on this idea just yet.
What you want is a way to, yes, in effect punish Republicans for voting W. back into office, but do it in such a way that a) it targets Republicans directly, and b) they can't really call it punishment without embarrassing themselves. And how exactly do you do that?
As many have pointed out, there's really no way that W. can't reinstitute some form of draft, in the form of either a real draft, or stop-loss, or recalling retired Guard members, or something to that effect. Basically, with this administration's dreams of imperialism, they just flat out need more cannon fodder ... uh, soldiers.
But the instant the wheels start to turn on this, the Democratic leadership should immediately propose legislation that praises the idea, agrees completely with its aims, but ... politely and publicly adds a rider that all of this indentured servitude should apply to registered Republicans only.
How could the Republicans object? In the first place, they promised on numerous occasions before the election that there would be absolutely, positively no draft, so this would be an opportunity to point out that, yes, they lied. In addition, given that over 50 million voted Repub in this last election, it's impossible to think that you couldn't find an extra few hundred thousand soldiers somewhere in there. Certainly, all of those peppy, young college Republicans should be just super keen on slapping on a helmet and grabbing a rifle and heading over to Iraq, no? Heck, they were all for Bush's vision of Pax Americana; now they can be an official part of it.
I don't see any believable way that Republicans can complain about this. They'll get all the personnel they need, particularly from that portion of the population that actually voted for them. What's not to like? The military gets what it wants, and the rest of the citizenry can opt out, not by being a conscientious objector, but just by being Democrat.
And you can't even call it punishment. Rather, think of it as being forced to deal with the consequences of your own political preferences. What do the Republicans like to call this? Oh, right. "Taking personal responsibility."
UPDATE: Matthew Yglesias has a note on the net negative economy of the Republican-leaning states as well. Funny how more and more people are noticing that or mentioning it.