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Gloves off

Andrew Steele | 09:43 UK time, Tuesday, 5 September 2006

In America, the Labor Day holiday has been and gone, marking the end of the summer. According to the etiquette of a bygone era, white shoes and gloves should no longer be worn in polite society until next May.

dc.jpgBut as Washington’s political elite return to their desks after a summer at the beach, the gloves are coming off for a different reason. Serious campaigning starts now for the November 7 mid-term elections.

In the mid-terms, the entire House of Representatives, a third of the nation’s senatorships and 36 of the 50 state governorships are up for grabs. President Bush’s name is not on any ballot, but these elections are nevertheless a litmus test of his popularity.

His current ratings are near rock-bottom, so canny Republicans are wary of close association and Democrats scent blood. But it’s not all plain sailing for the opposition either – it’ll be tough for the Democratic Party to gain control in either House of Congress. A close fight is in prospect.

It’s a blessing to see the American media drifting back to a serious news agenda after a very silly summer season indeed. Despite bloody upheaval in the Middle East, most news editors have opted for much lighter fare – new developments in a lurid and unsolved case of a child beauty queen’s murder, the arrest of a polygamous religious sect leader and the breathless tracking of a hurricane which blew itself out even before reaching the US coast.

Although I may eat my words when, as November approaches, we find ourselves neck deep in campaign ads, shrill political lobbying and the braying tones of an American political campaign in full flow. I may find a new attraction for weather stories.


  • 1.
  • At 02:28 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Candadai Tirumalai wrote:

Quite a few knowing commentators think that economic well-being and misery as they register with individual Americans, more than Iraq and national security, will determine whether the Democrats are able to wrest control of Congress from the Republicans in November. That prospect is real but not guaranteed. Republicans will probably stress their ability to deal more firmly with terrorism, at home and abroad, an area in which they have long had an electoral advantage, though less of one now than some months ago.

I often wonder what is the big deal with Washington's Elite. What should be discussed is how Washington dictates to other countries about human rights yet represses alternative political parties at home [via laws that limit ballot access]. The US Media is also to blame because instead of imitating the BBC and being objective, it has decided to parrot the same propaganda of the Republicans and Democrats.

  • 3.
  • At 10:03 PM on 05 Sep 2006,
  • Dorothy Rothschild wrote:

I'm a Yank living in Scotland, and all three of those 'lighter' stories were news items I learned about from, and followed in, the British press - including BBC News online. Is the media inherently more silly when it's American?

  • 4.
  • At 07:17 AM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • lost wrote:

I fear our country's administration more than any terrorist group, It is the terror that this country yeilds against those that they want something from that rattles me.
Democrat, Republican whats the difference? the people of this country have lost themselves in the malls. We have become so greedy and selfish, We have become desensitized to suffering. We havent seen the truth in our government or the media for many years now, and much of our population has become as corrupt as our leaders.

the only thing left to save us all is the elimination of capitalism. it is on its way, the green eyed monster will have to eventually eat itself, and it starting to chew its nails.
I used to vote democratic, but its just more of the same (in sheeps clothing). Not until the citizens of this country realize our demise, will we change.

Our media hasnt had a backbone since Murdoch came to town and I dont see the slugs growing a spine any time too soon.

lost in san francisco

  • 5.
  • At 05:33 PM on 06 Sep 2006,
  • Sean wrote:

The nerve of you to complain about American media and the JonBenet hype when all over bbcnews you have the whole Molly story, not to mention BBC's complete obsession with anything Americans are interested in (Katie Couric). I hate American media, and would be quite an idiot without the BBC, but it gets quite pitiful when your anti-Americanism gets in the way of objectivity.

  • 6.
  • At 08:55 AM on 07 Sep 2006,
  • justin Mann wrote:

It is not capitalisms fault that the media doesn't tell you what you want to hear... You can not balem the theory o capitalism itself, rather pasionate appathetic American psyche

  • 7.
  • At 02:00 AM on 08 Sep 2006,
  • Brian wrote:

If in your opinion the unsolved case of that beauty queen's murder and the arrest of the cult leader is not part of a serious news agenda then you are not in the right job!

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