Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Green Eyeshade Monster

David Brooks is jealous of Barack Obama’s fund-raising ability.

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.

[…]

Over the past several years, the highly educated coastal rich have been engaged in a little culture war with the inland corporate rich. This is a war over values, leadership styles and social networks.

Socially liberal knowledge workers naturally want to see people like themselves at the head of society, not people who used to run Halliburton and who are supported by a vast army of evangelicals.

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.

Sour grapes, anyone?

I suppose it’s natural that a conservative would expect that if you give money to a candidate, he will do your bidding. It doesn’t occur to Mr. Brooks that someone might give money to a candidate because they actually believe in his ideas and his vision. Altruism is a rare commodity on the right unless you can write it off.