Dangerous threesomes

John McCain depicts an Obama-Pelosi-Reid Washington as dangerous.


Thomas Schaller
October 27, 2008 8:11PM (UTC)

In Cleveland Monday morning John McCain alluded to the possibility of Barack Obama's victory, coupled with the near certainty that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will maintain (and almost equally as certain expand) their majorities in the House and Senate, respectively, as a potentially "dangerous threesome."

Look: Running against unified Democratic government in Washington is not a bad, last-minute tactic. After all, nothing else that the McCain-Palin ticket has run up the flagpole has worked thus far, so why not try it? Second, there has been a historical desire among the public for adding a partisan check to the existing checks and balances the founders put in the Constitution. (But it should be noted a) if you look at the latest CBS/NYT poll -- see question 31 on Page 17 -- you'll notice that the split here is only 5 points in favor of divided government, as compared with 12 points last year and 20 in 2006, and the margin hasn't been as small as 5 points since 2002, when the country rallied behind the post-9/11 Republican majorities in the White House and Congress; and b) as frequent Salon contributor Ed Kilgore argues, the appetite for divided government may be overstated.)

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Still, "dangerous threesome"? Talk about sexual undertones ... no less man-on-man, mixed-race, ménage-à-trois sexual undertones. I saw the video clip on MSNBC of McCain delivering this line. The crowd laughed and he grinned. Yuck.

L et's make the best use of it: In the comments section of this post, submit your alternatives for most "dangerous threesomes" about which the country ought to be frightened, past or present.

For example, you could do something rather straightforward, like "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld," or something more creative, like "Sarah Palin, dentist office magazine collection, an hour's waiting time." I'll sort through the submissions by day's end, pick three finalists, then run a second post where you get to pick the winner, who will receive some nifty Salon stuff in the mail. (I wish we had tix for the new, ménage-à-trois-themed Woody Allen movie starring Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson to give away, but no such luck.)

So fire away -- and please try to keep it (reasonably) clean. We are a family magazine here at Salon.


Update

: We will stop taking entries at 3:30 EST, which should be ample time for our West coast readers avoiding putting the cover sheets on their TPS reports to send in any late submissions. Then one of our intrepid interns, Gabriel Winant, will put all the entries into a spreadsheet and the two of us will consult, pick 3 or 4 (no two from same reader) finalists, and then I'll post those around 4 EST for your consideration. We will leave voting open until 6 and then update the second post with the winner. So, hurry up with submissions in the next half hour, but no voting yet, please.


Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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2008 Elections John Mccain, R-ariz. War Room



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