Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Get a Date, Fer Chrissakes
While I'm relatively pleased with John Kerry's choice of John Edwards as his running mate, it won't matter if he'd chosen John McCain or John F. Kennedy if Bush can pull a big-enough October Surprise out of his hat a couple of weeks before the election. There's even a website called October Surprise, which has been polling visitors as to what they think the surprise will be. The capture of the Wicked Osama is the top choice, followed by a terror attack on American soil, and then the threat of an attack and cancellation of the election. (Syndicated columnist Bruce Mulkey reveals the rest of the top choices and comments on each here; if that link doesn't get you the right column, try this one.) October Surprise also lets readers suggest their own scenarios. Like many unmoderated Internet forums, this one is mostly garbage, but some interesting bits slip through.

The Reichstag Fire: Attack staged on Alaska by "terrorists" reputedly trying to gain control of oil fields; Colin Powell blown up by "terrorists" (thereby boosting Bush's prospects and getting rid of somebody the neocons hate); minor attack or attack scare at the Republican convention leads to "security patrols" around polling places in November, which keep ethnics from voting, thus ensuring a whitebread electorate and a Bush win.

The Michael Moore Theory: Saudis raise oil production to cause a drastic drop in gasoline prices.

The Cuban Connection: Bush invades Cuba to throw out Castro and lock up Florida; alternately, Castro conveniently dies.

The Iraq Card: Rumsfeld is fired and/or Saddam is executed.

The Double-Reverse Misdirection Ploy: One of the top choices in the October Surprise poll involves Diebold's touch-screen voting machines jiggering the election for Bush. But one reader suggests this twist: After the election, it is revealed that Diebold voting machines returned clearly invalid results; Bush remains in office until the election can be rerun; low turnouts in special elections favor the Republicans.

And My Favorite: "The Bush Administration reveals it has secured the rights to Ronald Reagan's reanimated brain and 'if elected to another term, we promise to consult it.'"

Speaking of polling: When I started the Daily Aneurysm's Useless Web Poll, I didn't really expect to glean any insights from it. I figured we'd use it mostly to make fun of wingnuts. But the poll that was up last week has cast an interesting light on the readers of this fine, high-quality Internet news and commentary feature.
Now that the United States has turned over sovereignty to Iraq two days early, what other coming event in your life would you like to see happen ahead of schedule?

The start of football season
The other Olsen Sister going to rehab
The next time I get to do the horizontal bop
John Kerry's inauguration
First of all, a record number of votes was cast--16. This means that this particular question was important to more readers than any other question I have asked so far. (It also means that this past week I had at least 16 readers, which is about the number of people who click the Daily Kos or Talking Points Memo by accident every 60 seconds, but I'm glad to have everyone I've got.) But what is truly amazing is the distribution of answers. No one is anxious to see football season start ahead of schedule. (No one but me, and my vote doesn't count.) Neither does anyone want to see the other Olsen Twin go into rehab before her time. (I'd settle for getting the first one's face off every magazine cover at the convenience store, thank you very much.) And to my surprise, no one is even interested in getting lunch early. (I'd have given pretty good odds beforehand that lunch would rank right up there. It always does with me.)

Of the remaining answers, 31 percent of respondents said they'd like to see John Kerry's inauguration ahead of schedule. But 69 percent chose "the next time I get to do the horizontal bop." In other words, most of the readers of this blog would rather get laid first, and only then wave buh-bye to George W. Bush.

The lesson seems to be this: Stop reading this damn blog so much or you'll go blind. Or perhaps, as long as the whole country's getting screwed anyhow, you might as well go first.

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