A month or so back I remarked to John that there seemed like a large number of Iraq vets running as Democrats these days, an observation that came largely from Kos’s efforts in pointing them out. John asked how many Republicans there were, and since I didn’t know we both shrugged our shoulders and moved on. The question matters because as everybody knows both sides are recruiting desperately for 2006, and the side which troops choose says any number of things about the mindset of the actual grunts prosecuting this war. A gross imbalance, depending on which side it fell, would be either a slap in the face of the yellow-ribbon-on-an-SUV crowd or else a vindication of their smug self-superiority.
Today Kos provides hard numbers on both sides: the Democrats have recruited thirty-six Iraq veterans, according to this article. Depending on whether you count Iraq veterans or all veterans, about which there seems to be some confusion, Kos asserts that the Republicans have recruited either one or two. Kos does not support the claim, so don’t be 100% eager to take it for granted.
I will watch the fallout of this particular windfall with interest. Paul Hackett nearly upset the most conservative county in Ohio, and unless Bush gains the ability to heal the sick through your television set whatever bounce Hackett got from Bush fatigue will be ten times more severe by 2006.
So what will the GOP do? Swiftboating seems likely. I’m eager to find out whether they have the
cajones cojones to try it thirty-six times.