Friday, August 15, 2008

STABBED IN THE BACK! The veteran money-followers at Open Secrets find that U.S. troops serving abroad have contributed six times as much to Obama's campaign as to McCain's. Like Hamlet said, we who have free souls, it touches us not. Using the troops as campaign window-dressing was cheap during the last campaign, and it remains so. In a week or two McCain will find a wounded vet who denounces Obama, and everyone will be talking about arugula and whatnot again.

But though we are above trying to embarrass our opponents with this information, we do not disdain to notice when they massively embarrass themselves.

We enjoy, for example, the close analysis of Wizbang's Jay Tea, which reveals that the servicemembers have spent very little on campaign donations overall, allowing Tea to brush off these warriors' contributions as "statistically irrelevant." He adds, "I think I kinda like that 99.9% of our troops aren't spending at least $200 on presidential campaigns."

This is a startling admission. When the Bankruptcy Bill was debated in 2005, the Democrats tried to put in an exemption for military personnel, and the Republicans voted it down. "One of the most common cases I see as a legal assistance attorney in the Army," writes a JAG soldier/lawyer, "is a soldier in debt." We pay them shit and give them no breaks, so I'm not surprised that the troops don't have a lot of scratch left over for campaign finance, but I am surprised to hear Tea admit that he's happy about it.

Michael Goldfarb at John McCain's own blog says that "most of those troops are likely too busy doing the important work of defending this country to make political contributions." Busy working second jobs, maybe? Goldfarb adds that McCain has far more "retired admirals and generals" endorsing him than Obama. Who's the elitist now?

Speaking of elites, a visibly flailing Allahpundit takes comfort in the fact that "the one branch where McCain leads Obama in contributions is the one most likely to see the hardest action — the Corps." This is fairly classic: as the weaker units desert, Allahpundit puts his faith in a hard core of loyal followers who will follow the flag unto death. Godwin's Law forbids the obvious comparison.

Say Anything points out that McCain loses by less when you include soldiers serving here in the states, where treason can't get at them. Also, "I think the lopsided contributions speak more to conservative dissatisfaction with McCain than outrageous amounts of new support for Obama," which servicemembers of course express by contributing to Obama. Then he throws a chair and runs.

This is feeble even by their usual low standards, but you have to be forgiving. They've been working the support-the-troops scam for so long that they might actually believe it. If you're a liberal, you have to imagine black people saying that Brown v. Board of Education was a big mistake to get some sense of how this is hitting them.

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