Sunday, November 05, 2006
November Surprise
Here we are two (or, OK, for most of you when you read this, one) day out from the 2006 midterm elections and it's time to evaluate. Who's going to win?

There are lots of indicators we could look at. Fundraising, the effectiveness of ads in broadcast media, poll numbers, the size and comparative strengths of grassroots organizations, the tone and volume of partisan blog activity, the relative tactile sensitivities of my nipples, etc. All are reputable predictors of election outcomes with varying degrees of...

What? What's the... oh, the nipple thing? Oh, that. Well, it's just that every year since 1992--the first year I was eligible to vote BY LAW--just before an election, one of my nipples will become flamingly sensitive; irritated, raw, intolerant of touch, cries easily at movies about women with terminal illnesses... just generally untweakable. Whichever side is afflicted always--ALWAYS--predicts the outcome of the election to follow. Except for some reason, right always means Democrat and left means Republican. I don't know either, it makes no sense. Makes the whole idea of nipple-predictors seem silly. But look, I was sort of shocked by it too. The only thing that makes it at all plausible is that I can't think of a single better or more likely biological purpose for my man-nipples, so there you go. One evolutionary mystery solved. What man-nipples would do in a monarchy, I have no idea. Teats for the suckling of warlock familiars, I guess.

Nipples aside, I say the best way to predict the outcome of an election is to look at the last-minute dirty-trick "surprise" revelation rolled out by either side, judge each by their merits and make an informed decision on which is nastier, least relevant to actual policy or American well-being and then choose that side as the victor.

Republicans: Saddam Hussein convicted, sentenced to death. Hey, and look, just a couple of days before an American election. And after months and months of wheel-spinning and judge replacing and Saddam-y speechifying and countless murders of court officers and members of their extended families, all of a magical sudden, the proceedings screech to a decisive end.

Pros: plays into the one issue Republicans still largely control, the shoot-'em-up military-industrial umbrella of policies we now euphemistically refer to as "security". Promises death of a dictator on reality TV, something even American Idol can't provide. Gives the illusion of a "victory" in Iraq after so many months of bad news after bad news.

Cons: Doesn't really change anything on the ground, except maybe as a potential point of demarcation past which the Sunnis and Shi'ites can FINALLY get around to killing each other in massive numbers. Also, it was kind of predictable. It's not like the CSI: Baghdad team burst into the courtroom at the last minute with some new evidence, turning an acquittal into conviction. Dude's nickname was "the Butcher of Baghdad". You don't have to parse out secret codes from the arrangement of bodies in mass graves to point you to a long chain of clues that starts with the type of dirt found on the pointy end of a shovel and ends at a gold-plated bathroom at the President's Tikrit estate. I think the mass graves themselves are pretty strong evidence when only one dude in the whole country owns a bulldozer.

Democrats: Leader of some evangelical church and larger political organizing conglomerate admits to be a gay and a tweaker. First of all: hott. Second of all, it turns out that Mark Foley was just the tip of the... you know what, I'm not even going to finish that joke.

Pros: Exposes hypocrisy by outing a strongly anti-"gay agenda" political advocate running around in the guise of Jesus. Beats down one of those scary-ass 14,000-member single-pastor Thought Centers. Possibly depresses faith-motivated Republican voter turn-out. Possibly depresses faith-motivated Republicans.

Cons: Ha, take that Ted Haggard and the National Association of Evangelicals! Hey wait, hang on... who are Ted Haggard and the National Association of Evangelicals? Is Falwell still operating? And that scary-ass Robertson guy? And that creepy Bush dude? So we... win?

It's a close-run thing, but as far as sneaky late-election bombs go, I'm going to have to give it to the Republicans here. And this is after awarding a lot of bonus points to Democrats because of a) my own personal CBS-like bias and b) the fact that the Democrats even HAD a sneaky late-election bomb to go to. I was shocked enough that they had gotten the ball rolling with that Foley thing, but I'd assumed they'd shot their wad. You know, so to speak.

But no Christian sex scandal can beat the promise of hanging a guy on TV. Plus they get to move around a whole government and an entire foreign judicial system to get it done on time. That's impressive. It's like 2000 all over again. Al Gore and his staff must have felt so triumphant when the news of Bush's drunk driving arrest was released just before election day. Little did we now that the Bush team had that whole Supreme Court card to play just a few days later. That's the big leagues, kids.

I know what you're wondering now: the dirty tricks lean toward the Republicans, but does that conform to what your nipples are telling you?

The truth is, I don't feel right saying. It's the observer principle: just telling you I know who will win already risks tainting the outcome. And the very idea that I might have had to cover one of my not-hairless nipple-areas with the soothing protective comfort of a bandaid for nothing is not a thought I relish.

Girls Gone Wild this ain't. You're going to have to wait like everyone else.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.1



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