Sunday, May 28, 2006

You heard it here first

They say that there is a housing bubble if the taxi driver tells you invest in housing, or is it if a taxi driver tells you get out of real estate. Taxi driver I may be, but I don’t know anything about house prices, so we must not be living through a bubble I guess. I can tell you a bit or two about politics.

Let me begin with a little history.

A very popular incumbent is retiring after two terms of peace and unprecedented prosperity. A youthful scion of an establishment family is facing the rather dour vice president. The challenger’s running mate is a beltway veteran, and this helps him fend off the charge of being a foreign policy lightweight.

One of the closest elections in history results in the challenger winning, even though charges of dirty play abound. The new administration cuts taxes and boosts spending, causing even more polarisation. But a traumatised nation unites behind the administration after a tragedy strikes. Taking political advantage of the situation, however, the administration sets about radically pushing the party’s ideology.

While many of the administration’s domestic proposals are initially passed unchallenged, the electorate increasingly feels apprehensive. Then all is consumed by a war in a far away land. The war leaves the ruling party in disarray. The dour Veep who lost eight years earlier rises Lazarus like to end the war.

Well almost. Dear reader, I’m talking about the 1960s. JFK-LBJ won in 1960, a tragedy traumatised the nation in 1963, Democrats pushed Great Society, before being engulfed by the war in Vietnam. But the paras above apply just as well to our own time.

Nixon promised to end the war in 1968. Of course that war went on for 5 more years, and we all know how Tricky Dick ended. While we don’t want Gore to cross the watergate, could it be that Gore will return in 2008?

Dear reader, maybe you’re also a political junky, and follow the race that is good 29 months away. But if you are not, then you heard it here first — Al Gore for 2008.