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You Take The Good, You Take The Bad

By Jesse Taylor
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 14:37 EDT
 
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David Brooks is full of revelation today:

As in other recent campaigns, lawyers account for the biggest chunk of Democratic donations. They have donated about $18 million to Obama, compared with about $5 million to John McCain, according to data released on June 2 and available at OpenSecrets.org.

People who work at securities and investment companies have given Obama about $8 million, compared with $4.5 for McCain. People who work in communications and electronics have given Obama about $10 million, compared with $2 million for McCain. Professors and other people who work in education have given Obama roughly $7 million, compared with $700,000 for McCain.

Real estate professionals have given Obama $5 million, compared with $4 million for McCain. Medical professionals have given Obama $7 million, compared with $3 million for McCain. Commercial bankers have given Obama $1.6 million, compared with $1.2 million for McCain. Hedge fund and private equity managers have given Obama about $1.6 million, compared with $850,000 for McCain.

When you break it out by individual companies, you find that employees of Goldman Sachs gave more to Obama than workers of any other employer. The Goldman Sachs geniuses are followed by employees of the University of California, UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, National Amusements, Lehman Brothers, Harvard and Google. At many of these workplaces, Obama has a three- or four-to-one fund-raising advantage over McCain.

Brooks’ main point here is that Obama and McCain are involved in some sort of Brooks Brothers culture war, with two large camps of elites warring with each other over who eventually gets to make policy, with Obama’s likely-in-charge camp preparing to rebel against the old-guard Republicans by selling out the Democratic agenda:

If the Democrats are elected, this highly educated class will have much more say over policy than during the campaign. Undecided voters sway campaigns, but in government, elites generally run things. Once the Republicans are vanquished, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for that capital gains tax hike or serious measures to expand unionization.

Over the past few years, people from Goldman Sachs have assumed control over large parts of the federal government. Over the next few they might just take over the whole darn thing.

There’s only one problem with David Brooks’ argument, something that was nagging at me as I read it: the whole thing. There’s a very simple reason that Obama has received so much more money from these sectors than John McCain. He’s received so much more money overall. Looking at the ratio, Obama’s received about 2.7 times as much money as John McCain, a disparity so large that you can only look at support by sector proportionally rather than directly – an equal disparity in absolute dollars should be expected were the candidates drawing equal support. Anything less is a tilt towards McCain, anything more is a tilt towards Obama. Otherwise, it just falls in the normal realm of Obama being much better at this than McCain is.

Going down the list:

  • Lawyers: 3.6:1
  • Securities and Investment: 1.8:1
  • Communications: 5:1
  • Educators: 10:1
  • Real Estate: 1.5:1
  • Medical Professionals: 2.3:1
  • Commercial Bankers: 1.3:1
  • Hedge Fund: 2:1

With an overall ratio of 2.7:1, Brooks’ thesis runs into a major problem: McCain is outperforming Obama, proportionally, in 5 of the 8 categories that make up Obama’s new ruling class. It’s not even that Brooks completely cherrypicked his data, it’s that he cherrypicked the wrong fucking data to make a point that can’t possibly stand. Even the presentation is designed to maximize the wrongness. Start with three groups that do disproportionately support Obama in order to mask the fact that none of the other groups do, and then stake out a thesis based on the initial impression rather than, perhaps, the actual information you’ve gathered.

From now on, my retirement plan isn’t saving or investing. It’s figuring out how to be insipid enough to land on the New York Times’ Op-Ed page without wandering out into traffic first.

Doomed To Make The Same Not Mistake

By Jesse Taylor

Wesley Clark keeps not insulting John McCain’s military service. With this lack of assault on McCain’s service to our country, one wonders what Clark won’t do next. What’s not going through that mind of his? What could he be not plotting, not scheming? I dread what isn’t coming next, my friends.

 

Like A Thief In The Night

By Jesse Taylor

Did you know that Barack Obama is leading a crypto-messianic, quasi-fascist movement? Moreover, this kind of reaction — an emotion-driven response utterly devoid of coherent ideational content, a response that leads far too many people to be enthusiastically willing to believe virtually anything that Obama might proclaim and to follow…

 

Men Speak Out and much is learned

By Amanda Marcotte
Monday, June 30, 2008 23:53 EDT

Not too long ago, a friend of a friend joking-aggressively asked me while we were out and about what the difference between misogyny and sex is. Mind you—we were sober. So I kind of blinked at him and was like, “Come again?” I know the game Bait The Feminist, but…

 

Rowdy Roddy Reporter In “They Lie”

By Jesse Taylor

From New York Magazine: Neither comment even brushes the level of questioning (or, certainly, accusation of cowardice) that was devoted to John Kerry’s Vietnam record by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 election. But Smith points out that they’re part of a fringe trend toward deflating McCain’s…

 

Reporting For Duty

By Jesse Taylor

It’s a Newsbusters twofer today! First, we have solemn concern over Wesley Clark attacking McCain’s war record, at least according to the braintrust at MSNBC. I admit that I, too, am deeply and gravely concerned over this thing that Wesley Clark did not do. When he honored and verified McCain’s…

 

When choice creates options, options become valid for evaluating

By Amanda Marcotte

This won’t be a popular article, except of course for those of us childless people who are annoyed at the sanctimonious pity we get from people trying to bully us into validating their choices by having children ourselves. Too bad, though. It’s better to know than not before you make…

 

Idle Thought

By Jesse Taylor

What’s the gas mileage on the Straight Talk Express?…

 

More On Our New Warrior King

By Jesse Taylor

How does saying that someone is a hero to millions dishonor their military service? I really need to get dishonored more. Seems like a real resume builder.…

 

All Hail The Warrior King

By Jesse Taylor

Oddly enough, we are not a nation constructed to idolize our military rulers. We all know that Wesley Clark saying that John McCain’s military service isn’t a qualification for the presidency wouldn’t raise a blip if their partisan affiliations were reversed; it would probably also help if you couldn’t hear…

 
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