"Third Rail of American Politics" (Social Security) (1982, Tip O'Neill?)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Jan 14 05:51:16 UTC 2005

THIRD RAIL + SOCIAL SECURITY--18,800 Google hits, 776 Google Groups  hits
Wednesday's Comedy Central DAILY SHOW started off with Jon Stewart's riff  on
George Bush and Social Security. Bush promised that he wouldn't touch it.
"Touch it?" Stewart asked. Stewart reminded viewers that Social Security was
"the third rail of American politics."
I don't know what Fred Shapiro has on this classic American political
I don't know much about American political slang (I'm in the middle of ten
thousand years of parking tickets, some divine punishment from God), so I
turned  to the expert source. That would be Oxford University Press and HATCHET
edited by  Grant Barrett. "Third rail of American politics" is not there!! (In
fairness,  Grant has been spending late nights all year on _www.barrypopik.com_
(http://www.barrypopik.com) . Oh, I jest!)
My SABR ProQuest doesn't get the Wall Street Journal, but it does include
the Washington Post. I noticed that NYU has a new Congressional full-text
database, and it might be there.
     _Daily Intelligencer _
(http://www.newspaperarchive.com/Viewer.aspx?img=Z8Lm5Wnx+nuKID/6NLMW2phGE4QmaoT/fSOAITjOXz7Ix/AhcDwM1UIF+CsZYmrz)  Sunday,
August 11, 1985 _Doylestown,_
(http://www.newspaperarchive.com/Search.aspx?Search=city:doylestown+third+rail+and+social+security+AND)  _Pennsylvania_
...to cover. It has been  called the THIRD RAIL of American politics.
Two.....a  statement mark- ing the 50th called SOCIAL SECURITY of the  most
     _Syracuse Herald Journal _
Wednesday, August 14, 1985 _Syracuse,_
(http://www.newspaperarchive.com/Search.aspx?Search=city:syracuse+third+rail+and+social+security+AND)  _New York_
security+AND)      ...coun- the system has  evolved into THIRD RAIL of
American poli- touch  it.....AND New Rochelle. Syracuse August 1985 SOCIAL  SECURITY
survives By  Thomas..

_Reagan  Tiptoes Around Some Economic Liabilities_
By  STEVEN R. WEISMAN. New York Times (1857-Current  file). New York, N.Y.:
Sep 26, 1982. p. E4 (1 page) :
But it is no secret at the White House that in the back of  everybody's mind
there us another possible item for the agenda of a  lame-duck session--Social
Security, an issue so hazardous that an aide to  Speaker O'Neill refers to it
as "the third rail of American politics."  Anyone who touches it gets
electrocuted politically.

_A  Hand Reaches for Hot Potato of Social Security_
Hedrick SmithSpecial to The New York Times. New York Times (1857-Current
file). New York, N.Y.: Jan  7, 1983. p. A12 (1 page) :
WASHINGTON, Jan. 6--Revising the SOcial Security system has become  such a
politically lethal issue that most politicians refer to it as the  "third
rail--touch it and you're  dead."

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