Mon 24 Sep, 2007 08:22 am
Surprise on the campaign finance front: more than ever, members of the military are donating their money to Democrats - and it's the most anti-war candidates that draw in the most money:
- In 2002, only 23% of military members' contributions went to the Democrats. But this year 40% of the money they have given so far has gone to Democrats for Congress and president.
- In 2002, members of the Army gave just 29% of their money to Democrats. But this year they have given 49% to the Democrats, so far, spreading their contributions evenly between the two parties.
- Employees of the Department of Defense are trending towards the Democrats too, if more cautiously. Of their political contributions, the share given to Democrats went up from 21% to 38%.
The Other Iraq Surge
A sharp increase in contributions from the military to Democrats suggests the Republican commander-in-chief and his party are losing the troops' support.Donations May Be a Way to Protest, While Still Following OrdersCivil Servants Take a Stand
Civil servants in defense-related positions are also increasing their donations to Democrats. Contributions from employees of the Department of Defense seem to follow the incumbent party in the White House, favoring Democrats in 2000, while Bill Clinton was still president, and heavily favoring Republicans since George W. Bush took office. But in the 2008 election cycle, only 62 percent of the defense department's contributions have gone to the GOP, compared to 79 percent just before the war began. A career senior executive at the DoD, who spent some time in Iraq and asked to remain anonymous for this article, made a political contribution for the first time ever this year as one way to express outrage toward the Bush administration's eavesdropping program and definitions of torture.
"My breath is taken away by the disregard of constitutional rights by this administration," the defense official said. "I decided that I would still not do any political things at work. I don't even have political discussions when I'm at the office. But I decided I needed to do more. We can't have people not doing what needs to be done."
The war in Iraq is now in its fifth year and has claimed the lives of more than 3,700 U.S. troops and an estimated 66,000 Iraqi civilians, and has cost the U.S. more than $448 billion. If the proposal Gen. David Petraeus unveiled this week is implemented, the number of U.S. troops in Iraq would be scaled back to 2006 levels by next summer. [..]
*Data reflects contributions greater than $200. The Federal Election Commission does not require recipients to itemize smaller donations or disclose those contributors' names and occupations.
Very interesting. Are you aware of any sector of American society which is not moving towards the dems? I can't think of one off the top of my head.
I think what this portends is an increase in strategies, overt and particularly covert, to maintain political control through control of subsidiary institutions...press, party machinery, the sorts of beneath the surface governance gears such as the K Street project represents, the courts, etc.
And, if popularity and affinity for the right (its people and its policies/notions) falls broadly (as it appears is happening) then I expect the fear-mongering and the smear-mongering and general authoritarianism to be the response. Compassionate conservatism doesn't look to be anywhere on the horizon.