The October surprise Archives

September 19, 2006

It doesn't take much...

... to beat the Democrats. I'm starting to think we may have seen the October Surprise, and it is, as we speculated it might be back in April -- April! -- cheap gas. Or at least, not-quite-so-expensive gas:
Amid falling gas prices and a two-week drive to highlight his administration's efforts to fight terrorism, President Bush's approval rating has risen to 44% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. That's his highest rating in a year.

The poll also showed likely voters evenly divided between Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress, 48%-48%. Among registered voters, Democrats had a 51%-42% advantage.

The indispensable Doug Henwood at Left Business Observer has done a little regression on Bush's approval numbers and the price of gas. It's uncanny. Follow the link and eyeball the graphs -- you'll love it.

Now there are a couple of conclusions we could draw from this. Number One, the American people are hopelessly spoiled and shallow, and care for nothing but cable TV and their SUV. Number Two, the elections aren't about anything else, so why shouldn't they be about gasoline?

No prize at all for guessing which conclusion I prefer.

October 2, 2006

Jupiter and Ganymede

The only mildly interesting thing about Foley buggering congressional pages is the timing of the revelation. One can't help wondering whether the Democrats have known about this for a while and found a way to spring it just now. Apparently the story originally broke on a very fishy-looking blog, written in a naif style that somehow doesn't ring quite true. Sheer speculation on my part, of course, and very unfair to the Democrats, no doubt: surely if they had known something like was going on, they'd've been shocked, shocked! and moved immediately to do something about it.

What's amazing is that Congress still has these ridiculous pages running around. A gaggle of 16-year old kids at the beck and call of a conclave of older men, whose professional qualifications include a lack of scruple and pleasure in exercising power over others -- that's a recipe for institutionalized pedophilia.

Does anybody remember the page scandals of twenty years ago?

... Rep. Dan Crane (R-Ill.) and Rep. Gerry Studds (D-Mass.) had engaged in sexual relationships with ... 17-year-old congressional pages. In Crane's case, it was a 1980 relationship with a female page and in Studds's case, it was a 1973 relationship with a male page.

... Crane, who tearfully apologized for his transgression, lost his bid for reelection in 1984. Studds, however, refused to apologize... and he continued to be reelected until his retirement in 1996.

Oh, and they kept the pages around.

When I was a kid, one of my classmates, in the little town where I grew up, went off to be a page -- I can't recall whether it was the Senate or the House. He was a nice-looking, clean-cut, jocky kid, not the sharpest tack in the box, but likable enough -- a modest, unpretentious, aw-shucks kind of guy.

He came back from his time in Washington utterly changed. His modest, ingenuous demeanor had been replaced by an over-confident, over-familiar, glad-handing, bicep-kneading, look-you-in-the-eye man-of-the-world schtick. There was something very false and smug about it. He's wasn't crafty enough, at bottom, to conceal his precocious sense of initiation into an elite, esoteric craft of influencing people -- if not necessarily winning friends.

The last I heard of him, he weighed three hundred pounds and ran a liquor store in a strip mall.

About The October surprise

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in the The October surprise category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

The Obamiad is the previous category.

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