Those text files are installed as documentation (at least on my distribution).

That's probably a distribution bug (or a git makefile bug, depending
on how you look at it).  It would be better to ship the HTML
documentation, converted to text, instead of keeping the version with
markup including occasional random \ signs, linkgit:, ``, etc.

What distribution do you use?  (As maintainer of packaging for a Linux
distro, I know at least one that is guilty of this.)

From the AcsiiDoc Home Page:

=begin quote=
You write an AsciiDoc document the same way you would write a normal text document, there are no markup tags or weird format notations. AsciiDoc files are designed to be viewed, edited and printed directly or translated to other presentation formats using the asciidoc(1) command.
=end quote=

So, the asciidoc "source" files should be readable in their unprocessed form. And, not using tabs in ASCII art doesn't appear to have any downside.
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