Another Kind of Surge


The Center for Responsive Politics has an fascinating analysis today that should be mighty disturbing to Republican candidates closely allied with President Bush’s Iraq war strategy.

Since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, members of the U.S. military have dramatically increased their political contributions to Democrats, marching sharply away from the party they’ve long supported. In the 2002 election cycle, the last full cycle before the war began, Democrats received a mere 23 percent of military members’ contributions.* So far this year, 40 percent of military money has gone to Democrats for Congress and president, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Anti-war presidential candidates Barack Obama and Ron Paul are the top recipients of military money.

"People are saying now enough is enough," said Lt. Col. Joyce Griggs, an intelligence officer who said she spent two months in Baghdad earlier this year, speaking for herself and not the Army. "If you’re a soldier, you’re going to do your job, do what you’re commanded to do. But that sentiment is wide and deep."

Further down in the story is this additional fact:

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.