I don’t understand the Military: Political Donations from the Armed Forces Favor Obama 6 to 1

I never served.  Truth be told, I’d be a lousy soldier on a number of fronts.  But I did grow up in an Air Force town and have many military friends. 

The conventional wisdom is that the military always tends to favor Republicans. Yet in 2006, more than 50 former Iraqi war veterans ran for Congress as Democrats.  And the situation is growing even more dire for the GOP, as this story suggests.

From the story:

According to an analysis of campaign contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, and the fiercely anti-war Ron Paul, though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination months ago, has received more than four times McCain’s haul.


Despite McCain’s status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall — whether stationed overseas or at home — are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin. Although 59 percent of federal contributions by military personnel has gone to Republicans this cycle, of money from the military to the presumed presidential nominees, 57 percent has gone to Obama.



Even though the total amount of money sent to the candidates is small, how telling is it that John McCain is getting such poor play from our men and women in uniform?

  24 comments for “I don’t understand the Military: Political Donations from the Armed Forces Favor Obama 6 to 1

  1. Jubal
    August 14, 2008 at 9:25 pm


    Those are Iraqi soldiers in the picture, not Americans.

    Just thought you should know. The AK-74s and old desert cammies should be a give-away.

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    August 14, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Yeah, I know. I believe their government called or a set timetable for us to leave. I also liked the pic; looks like their ready to stand up so we can stand down. Kinda throws McCain’s whole Iraq argument out the door….

  3. Jubal
    August 14, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    I also liked the pic; looks like their ready to stand up so we can stand down.

    Oh, you mean the whole surge strategy that you, Obama and the rest of the Left said would never work?

  4. anon
    August 14, 2008 at 10:44 pm


    I’m one Democrat who is happy to have been proven wrong about the surge, although the politics on the ground have not improved much.

    So if the surge “worked”, let’s get the hell out.

    But then, you’re not ready for that quite yet, are you?

  5. Jubal
    August 14, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I want the troops out, as well. And I’ll be happy when they are gone and the Iraqi Army is handling the situation on its own. Just because Republicans like winning wars and don’t to rush headlong for the exits and damn the consequences, doesn’t mean we want to a large military presence in Iraq forever.

    As for the political situation: the Iraqi government is meeting the benchmarks all you Demos said they never would.

    So who should the American people listen to on Iraq: Obama and the Democrats who have been wrong on Iraq, or John McCain whose track record is being right on Iraq?

  6. anon
    August 14, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Obama wrong on Iraq? Not quite. He opposed this unnecessary, poorly executed war fron the beginning. That’s called being right.

  7. RHackett
    August 15, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Considering a major influence in the surge has been to literally bribe the factions to quit fighting, the effect of the surge won’t be known until that spigot is shut off and the US withdraws.

    Then we’ll see just how effective Maliki and company are at providing the security they claim is starting to take shape.

  8. Eric Cooper
    August 15, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Trouble is that Jubal and company still have trouble admitting that it was Bush, and not “the left”, that lost the war five years ago.

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    August 15, 2008 at 8:29 am

    The surge was supposed to have this all wrapped up by last September, not this September. And it belies the mistakes made by the Bush administration in managing the war. Sorry Matt, the whole Irawq war was a big mess from the start. It was designed to make Bush a war president. I’m kind of enjoying the right wing talking points on the Georgia-Rissia conflict on how you’re not supposed to invade a sovereign nation. Too bad they didn’t follow their own advice.

  10. August 15, 2008 at 8:52 am

    And even calling the war “unnecessary and poorly executed” doesn’t touch on the tragedy of the fact that America, for the first time, launched a completely illegal and unprovoked war. A milestone to live in infamy.

  11. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2008 at 9:44 am

    “Obama wrong on Iraq? Not quite. He opposed this unnecessary, poorly executed war fron the beginning. That’s called being right.”

    Hey Anon and the rest of you silly liberals, perhaps you can ask Mr. Obama to come back from vacation and go deal with the out of control violent situation in Chicago? More Americans died in the city of Chicago last month than in Iraq, but I don’t see any outrage there. If we can’t expect Mr. Obama to be able to do something for the well being of the people of the city he was elected to represent, how can we expect him to do something for the well being of the rest of the American people.

    Again, actions speak louder than words. Obama is a man of great discourse and inaction.

    It’s so hard for you guys to admit that McCain’s strategy worked. The more you lie to yourselves and the American people, the more obvious it becomes to them, and the closer the RCP National average gets.

    Obama should have a 15 point lead right now. Instead he’s trying to figure out what VP candidate will be able to save him and the Democrats from completely botching their own chances, once again.

  12. Dan Chmielewski
    August 15, 2008 at 9:57 am

    D’Acon —
    Chicago has a mayor and a police chief better suited for dealing with crime in that City. A US Senator , elected to serve the state of Illinois in the US Senate, can help with bills that fund more cops n the street, but you’re suggestion that Obama somehow step in here is ridiculous? He’s not president. So where is our own president on this crisis? Asleep atthe swich like he was in New Orleans?

    And the surge was McCain’s strategy? So Bush had nothing to do with it? Silly Republican. Trix are for kids.

    Presidents are seldom elected because of their VP choice. So the person selected by Obama and McCain ultimately won’t matter. And the choice is stark — elect someone who will move America forward or someone who will continue this Administration’s miserable record.

    You’re not going to change minds here. But I appreciate the stretch.

  13. Dan Chmielewski
    August 15, 2008 at 10:05 am

    From Jack Cafferty on CNN:

    “In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations.”

    So says John McCain, as part of his tough talk about Russia’s attacks on Georgia. In calling for Russia to get out, McCain says he doesn’t think we’ll reignite the Cold War, but that you can’t justify the “extent and degree” of Russia’s intervention in Georgia. The presumptive Republican nominee insists that we need to make sure that in the 21st century, we all have respect for the sovereignty and independence of nations.

    Say what? The United States invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq more than 5 years ago. And you, Senator McCain, were all for the idea. You voted for the war, remember? At the time, McCain insisted that the U.S. needed to act before Saddam Hussein could develop more advanced weapons. And since then, McCain has remained steadfast in his support of arguably the biggest foreign policy blunder in the history of this country. At one point, McCain said U-S troops could remain in Iraq, a sovereign nation, for 100 years.

  14. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2008 at 10:32 am


    Obama is the first African-American candidate in the history of our country with a realistic shot of winning the Presidency. Considering the fact that most of the shootings in Chicago are black-on-black shootings, considering the fact that he is FROM Chicago, considering the fact that Obama has been an ardent supporter of the city’s gun laws (gun ban), and last but not least, considering the fact that Obama wants to bring “change” and “prosperity”, why hasn’t he done more to address his city’s problems with violence? He had numerous chances to do something about it while in the State Senate, and now that he’s in the national spotlight he has an unique opportunity to try and act as an agent of ACTUAL change by bringing parties together to fix the embarrassing problem in Chicago. Instead he’s catching waves in Hawaii.

    And yes, the surge was McCain’s strategy. A is A Dan, not B.

  15. anon
    August 15, 2008 at 10:59 am


    Violent crime in Arizona has gone up steadily while McCain has been a Senator. In fact, Arizona has one of the highest crime indexes in the country. Why hasn’t McCain done anything about that?


  16. Dan Chmielewski
    August 15, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Wow d’Acon — I had no idea McCain had the authority to authorize the surge.

    Our argument on Obama is weak; fall sout of his purview as a US Senator; Washington DC has a higher crime rate and the president lives there; Why isn’t the president doing more to stop gun crime?

    You’re off your meds today d’Acon

  17. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2008 at 11:22 am


    Just because Bush authorized the search doesn’t mean it wasn’t McCain’s strategy from the start.

    As far as the DC crime rate, I credit that to the same reason why Chicago has such a high crime rate: the stupid handgun ban.

    At least the Supreme Court’s done something about that.

  18. August 15, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Shorter rightwingers: OK maybe we started a war that was unnecessary and illegal and cost trillions and killed thousands of Americans and countless Iraqis needlessly, but hey! We were right, four years into it, about one tactic that you guys had doubts about. So we rule! Surge! Surge! Surge!

  19. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2008 at 11:41 am


    Actually our chant is more like:

    “Win! Win! Win!”

    I can see how that sounds strange to you though.

  20. Dan Chmielewski
    August 15, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Yeah, D’Acon, its the chant we used in 2006 when we took back the House and Senate.

    Oddly enough Canada has restrictive gun laws and nowhere near the crime rate we do? Why do you supose that is?

    And was the Supreme Court a bunch of activists judges when they ruled on guns?

  21. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm


    Congratulations on capitalizing on the Republican’s failure to live up to our promises in ’06. Kudos to you on that. When did we start talking about that again? Oh yeah, we never did. That’s right.

    As far as gun laws are concerned, I think it’s funny that you’ve run out of examples to use in the US so now you’re going abroad (Canada????). Give me a break man. If you silly liberals haven’t understood by now that only law abiding citizens are hurt by your ludicrous gun bans, then I don’t think you ever will.

    The US Supreme Court never legislated from the bench in regards to the 2nd Amendment like they did here in regards to gay marriage. In the case of the 2nd Amendment the US Supreme Court declared a law unconstitutional. In the case of gay marriage the Supreme Court of California created a right that never existed in the first place, and undermined the will of the majority of Californians when they did so.

  22. Dan Chmielewski
    August 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    The 2006 loss was more due to the positions in Iraq, but keep believing that a majority of Americans still believe the GOP way is the way to go.

    I’m simply pointing out that in Canada, where there are restrictive gun laws, there’s less violent crime. I’d argue their citizens abide by he law but don’t need to be packing heat.

    Isn’t it interesting that when the court votes for a provision not in the constitution you favor, you’re OK with it. But when the California Supreme Court approved Gay marriage, they were activists. The right for adults to marry the person they move was there all along; it was just never recognized. Courts can fix laws passed by the majority if they violate the Constitution. That’s part of the whole checks and balances lesson. But you must have been sick when they taught that in school.

    BTW, was Supreme Court activist when they appointed George Bush president and then refused to allow the decision to stand without precedent? They sure were; so much for state’s rights.

  23. d'Anconia
    August 15, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Dan, why don’t you move to Canada?

    And you’re correct: the right for adults to marry the person they love was there all along: as long as they are of the opposite sex.

    I don’t care what gays do in their bedroom, but this concept that somehow the Supreme Court of California did NOT legislate from the bench is silly at best, upright dishonest at worst.

    Dems are used to lying though, so no biggie.

  24. rintrah
    August 15, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Vets? Vets see thru yr whiney rear end safe at home crap. w/ apologies fr language.

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