THE GEEZER VOTE. Is it possible that all the thundering rhetoric accompanying the public relations counterattack orchestrated by the White House -- and in particular their comparisons of the war on terror to the fascist and communist threats of the previous century -- is something more than an attempt to try to rescue Bush�s approval ratings and put Democrats on the defensive in time for the 2006 midterms? Specifically, is it a generational ploy to appeal to senior voters heading to the polls in two months?

Turnout is always lower in midterms, and can fall even further for the more disaffected party, neither of which bodes well for the GOP. Even conservatives who happen to agree with Bush on Iraq may still stay at home because of their disgust over immigration and government spending. Desperate to find some identifiable, likely-to-vote base of support to help the GOP hold on to the Congress, I wonder if the White House is eyeing Americans who are particularly susceptible to communist-fascist analogies.

When Democrats shout about Social Security or Medicare, the GOP is quick to complain about Democrats trying to frighten seniors. Aside from the shift from domestic to foreign policy topics, how are the GOP�s speeches to graying VFW audiences about the parallels between today�s non-nation-state terrorism with the acts of Stalin and Hitler any different?

--Tom Schaller