The ever-observant late Dr. Hunter Stockton Thompson observed, in the title to his tale of the 1992 presidential election, that politics is better than sex. Far more addictive, too.
Well, as always, the Good Doctor was right on the head, at least as far as I am concerned.
What goes on inside the Beltline and around it is infinitely more intersting that what goes on below it.
I, between the more esoteric deliberations of the academic realm, have been keeping myself apprised of political developments, large and (seemingly) small. Just a few observations, some cryptic, others not...
- Tommy Thompson as governor of Wisconsin again? He served in the cabinet, still popular at home and knows what's expected of him (if you catch my drift).
- Cabinet shake-up? This happens to all presidents, in a thinly veiled attempt (by the administration) to buoy itself as the clock ticks and (by potential successors) to cleanse themselves of the stain of the outgoing regime. Think back to 1985-1989 or 1997-2001. Second-term swoon, welcome back, old chum. Plus, the jobs for former cabinet people (lobbyists, pundits, professors, consultants) won't fill themselves to bursting, now will they? Snouts in the trough, all of them. Well, it's all they know...
- Jack Straw out? You are seriously out of touch if this one surprised you. Whitehall (especially the FCO) and No. 10 have been at odds for some time. That will pretty much set the stage for the fight to control Labour when Blair steps aside (which he said he will before elections are called next).
- Illinois governor? Hell if I know...Seems like a toss-up, though the George Ryan card is now again a somewhat potent one.
- Iran? Jack Straw was right on this one. Completely nuts. Interpret my use of it how you will.
I end with two great website suggestions for political junkies and those who love to waste time in front of a computer:
- Politics1.com - Polling data summaries, tracking of midterm and P2008 gossip and other goodies. Like crack, but potentially more damaging to brain tissue in the long run.
- Atlas of U.S. Elections - This site is mind-boggling. Data going back to the 1796 presidential election with great statistical breakdowns for all since. Great tools and fun "what if" scenarios. Predictions for 2006 races and other great stuff. Again, highly addictive.
Which is more damaging, sex, drugs or electoral politics? The similarities, if you consider them, are, well, considerable.
Everyone has a drug of choice. This happens to be mine. Well, that and Blatz.