Each week, we’re breaking down Slate’s biggest stories into anecdote-sized bites of delicious factitude. Learn everything you need to sound informed in less than 15 minutes. Be the star of cocktail parties everywhere.
  1. This Week: Ted Cruz Just Turned Drafting Women Into the Military Into a Wedge Issue
  2. In December 2015, the U.S. military opened all combat roles to women.
    Now, military leaders say it’s logical to expect women to register for the Selective Service.
  3. Several GOP candidates voiced their support for the move at last Saturday’s Republican debate.
    Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie all said women should be eligible.
  4. On Sunday, Ted Cruz announced his opposition to drafting women into combat.
    Though Cruz rarely deviates from his standard speech, he spent two minutes talking about women and the draft.
  5. The delay indicates Cruz plans to use Selective Service for women as a wedge issue.
    After studying Republican voters’ attitudes, Cruz determined that opposition to drafting women was a good way to differentiate.
  6. According to multiple polls, Republicans favor allowing women to serve in combat roles.
    However, they don’t support conscription for such roles.
  7. It’s probably a moot point. As Bush notes, a draft is highly unlikely.
    But Cruz jumped at the chance to frame the issue as violence against women.
  8. The move may prove less successful than he hopes, since attitudes about women in combat are swiftly changing.
    In a recent Quinnipiac poll, only 48% of Republicans opposed the idea.
  9. Still, as long as Cruz differentiates himself from other GOP candidates, he stands to benefit.
    With Bush, Rubio, and Christie sharing similar positions, Cruz is the only choice for voters who oppose drafting women.
  10. He might be hurting the party, but he’s helping himself.
    And as Cruz’s track history suggests, he’s fine with that.