A handout picture released by the US Navy shows the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) launching a Tomahawk cruise missile against IS (Islamic State) targets in Syria, as seen from the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in the Arabian Gulf, Sept. 23, 2014.
Eric Garst/US Navy/EPA

Cruise missiles shouldn’t be the basis for Republican fundraising

On Thursday night, Donald Trump ordered a missile strike in Syria. On Friday as The Daily Beast noted, a pro-Trump super PAC was urging the president’s supporters to celebrate the military offensive by opening their wallets.
“Last night, President Trump ordered military action against Syria in response to their chemical weapons attack,” an email from the Great America PAC, first flagged by Dave Levinthal at the Center for Public Integrity, read. […]

The message asks respondents to vote on whether they approve of the strike and subsequently includes a request for money. The email was signed by Ed Rollins, currently the national co-chair of the PAC who joined the group in May of 2016.
The fundraising appeal encourages Trump supporters to register their opinion by giving the PAC their email address – prompting Wired’s Nicholas Thompson to describe this as an example of “war as email-acquisition strategy.”

The Great America PAC has never officially been endorsed by Trump, but during the election, it was led in part by Trump’s former national field director, and it’s generally seen as the super PAC most closely aligned with the president’s political operation.

And while it may appear unseemly for Republicans to launch a fundraising campaign on the basis of a military strike – in effect, “Missiles were fired, so you should give us money” – there’s quite a bit of this going on.

Two weeks ago, when House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) made bizarre references to classified information the White House gave him to substantiate one of the president’s conspiracy theories, the Great America PAC launched a fundraising campaign based on Nunes’ antics – on the same afternoon.

A couple of weeks earlier, the official Trump re-election campaign – yes, it already exists – sent out a fundraising appeal of its own, seeking contributions in support of the White House’s Muslim ban.

I can appreciate the fact that professional fundraisers are always looking for a fresh angle, effectively looking for any excuse to get people to reach for their wallets, but shouldn’t some sense of propriety be part of the equation?


Cruise missiles shouldn't be the basis for Republican fundraising