Hello again friends. Your humble political observateur here. I busted out my lab equipment again so’s I can drop some science on you. Political science that is.

McCain and Co. was hoping an August surprise with Mrs. Sarah Palin would put momentum in their full court press. And I’ll bet you Cheney was (maybe still is) planning an October surprise wherein Iran “fires” on US warships in the Gulf and we respond by righteously invading their country.

Unfortunately for the fantasy-based community, reality, courtesy of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has given us a September surprise to shake up the presidential contest. Yesterday the Dow components lost almost 450 points or 4%, in one day. The loss since the close on 9/11 last week is over EIGHT HUNDRED POINTS (800 pts.). You read that right. EIGHT HUNDRED POINTS. That’s a lot — just over 7% of it’s value in three days. That means people who know a thing or two about which way the wind is blowing are scared out of their wits and are heading for the exits. What color is your parachute?

Today there may be a bounce, and it could well be that 11,000 is a psychological anchor that the average will return to when folks start to feel good about the AIG bailout. But it could just as easily go the other way if people in the reality-based world start to grasp how little transparency there is in the current crisis. No one knows how much bad debt is out there, and that is not reassuring to bankers, stock brokers, and investors who are about to lose their shirts (and their houses, wives, and children). If the market doesn’t recover today, I’m not looking forward to Friday.

The good news for Democrats is this is their 9/11. (The irony is thick enough to spread with a paper spatula.) McCain said earlier in the week that the “fundamentals” of the economy are sound. When reality — a stock market meltdown — smacked him harder than a Viet Cong interrogator he amended his comments and said he really meant that the American worker is indefatigable. Undoubtedly true. But you have to have a job to work at it like a slave. The truth, if the Democrats can grow the cajones to point it out, is that conservative, Republican, free market ideology, a passion for deregulation at all costs, and the soul-conviction that government is always wrong, is directly responsible for the current crisis.

But people can’t think until that mean ole’ reality sits on their face and farts. The comments on the New York Times blog The Caucus illuminate just how far McCainiacs are from smelling the brewing coffee. Those old conervative motivators — visceral hatred of city folk and “coloreds” — aren’t going to go easily into that good night. But McCain is truly clueless when it comes to sympathizing with economic distress as he’s proven again and again. The rest of the world is angry that it has taken the U. S. so long to come out of our free market religious ecstasy. The question remains, will this dose of reality-medicine work on the 51% of Americans who think that we should still slash taxes for the rich because we’ll be rich one day too? Will the smug pseudo-conservatives who call themselves independents see with newly opened eyes? Only November 4th will tell.

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