Can Washington weirdness be blamed on Mercury?

Posted at 4:07 PM, Feb 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-09 18:02:22-05

Has your phone been on the fritz? Have you had trouble making even the most basic decisions? Are you having communication problems (ahem, Brian Williams)? Mercury could be the culprit.

Three or four times a year the planet Mercury appears to travel backward through the zodiac, an optical illusion known as Mercury in retrograde.The first cycle of 2015 started on Jan. 21, and astrologists say that while the planet is in retrograde you’re likely to encounter problems with technology, communication, big decisions and general weirdness.

And we’ve still got two days left.

We here at DecodeDC were wondering if this retrograde can explain some of the Washington headlines we’ve seen lately. Even pop princess Taylor Swift acknowledged the far-reaching effects of the phenomenon, proving that planetary alignments don’t exempt the rich, famous, or political.

“Mercury is THE planet of politics and elections, given its association with things like communication, calculation, debates, controversies, oratory, etc,” astrologer Chris Brennan wrote on the now-defunct Political Astrology Blog. “In some instances elections that occur during Mercury retrograde periods have problems surrounding these issues.”

We might not be able to determine if your missed train was the fault of the universe or the snooze button, but we’ve got ideas on how Mercury has been meddling in the world of politics. Hey, at least it’s an excuse for some of the strangeness. 

2016 forecast

We’ve been playing this maybe-I-will game with 2016 contenders for a while now, but despite big donations rolling in we’ve had no official announcements for a presidential bid. This is endlessly frustrating for political wonks, but from an astrological point of view it’s a smart move. During Mercury’s retrograde it is advised to avoid making big decisions and use the time to mull things over.

So does this mean that all of this waiting might not be a ploy at more uncapped fundraising and a thoughtful bend to the universe’s energy?

Obama’s veto

Mercury might explain Obama’s anticipated veto of the Keystone Pipeline bill. Maybe it’s not a political power grab or a desperate attempt to buck his lame-duck presidency. Maybe it’s because Obama knows that if the House votes on the bill on Tuesday or Wednesday, as it is expected to do, they will be approving a major piece of legislation while Mercury is still out of whack. It isn’t the partisanship. It’s the planets.

Washington weirdness

There is no shortage of general political oddities that have happened since Mercury went into retrograde, but here are some particularly bizarre moments:

Could the government really manage to be this insane on its own?

Two words: Mercury. Retrograde.

[Also by Abby Johnston: There’s a partisan divide in the net neutrality debate]

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