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The Guilfoile-Warner Papers

October 14

Virtually everything I know about the subject I learned from my high school economics teacher Ron Head. Mr. Head also taught social studies and, as illustrated quirkily in this New York Times article he was also Justice of the Peace, which means that, although he wasn't a lawyer, he presided over criminal trials and also officiated a lot of quickie weddings when one of my friends got another of my friends pregnant. Mr. Head was a very good teacher. Nevertheless, I'm not on the cable news shortlist to comment on the current crisis, and that's probably just as well. Based on the comments we make here, however, you and I probably should be considered for a Nobel Prize, since the main qualification for the thing these days seems to be a dislike for George W. Bush. Nothing against Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, and Paul Krugman. I'm not saying they didn't deserve it. But Europeans can't keep declaring that America is no longer a superpower on one hand and then repeatedly use their most prestigious award to comment impotently on American politics. Europe should just get a blog already, is all I'm saying. As the polls keep breaking Obama's way Democrats are becoming increasingly anxious. The current cause of intestinal discomfort is something called the Bradley Effect, which is named after this racist guy named Brad who keeps telling pollsters he's going to vote for the black guy and then votes for the white guy instead. There wasn't much evidence of it in the Democratic primaries, where the polls were pretty much reflected in the vote tallies (I think New Hampshire might have been an exception), but in the primaries secret racists could assuage their guilt over not being able to vote for a black man by voting for a woman (and vice versa). The non self-actualized voter didn't have much reason to lie to pollsters. I live in a suburb that no doubt leans conservative, although probably not as much as the towns further away from Chicago. In my informal accounting of yard signs, Obama signs outnumber McCain signs in these parts by better than six to one. On the well-groomed yards of conservatives, you are far more likely to see signs for state senator Christine Radogno or state's attorney candidate Tony Peraica than you are a sign for McCain. Maybe Sarah Palin has energized the Republican base in other parts of the country, but the people in my town aren't buying it. McCain's support is soft. The economy is breaking against him. He's been unimpressive in debates. His running mate is a punch line. His campaign is incompetent (seriously, whose idea was it to have Sarah Palin drop the puck in an arena named for a troubled bank?). Still you're a Cubs and a Bears fan. No lead is safe, right?
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