Have you ever noticed how geopolitical events that seemed extremely important at one time, causing major market moves, just fade away after a while?
Just two years ago, it seemed that Pakistan and India were on the verge of nuclear war. Since then, nada. How about El Salvador and Nicaragua, subject of so much angst during the Reagan era? No news for years.
More recently, how about the danger of China, the whole outsourcing debate and the devaluation of the yuan? Yawn. That's so last year.
Whether we are hard-wired to forget unpleasantness or simply have national ADHD, amnesia is a permanent psychological part of the economic, political and investment landscape.
And so if there were two concepts that seem destined to wind up on the scrap heap of contemporary history in relatively short order, they might be Iraq and the high price of oil.
Both theoretically work against President Bush in his campaign for the presidency, but both are on the verge of becoming nonevents that affect neither stocks nor the election in ways that most observers currently believe likely.
The longer the GOP bogs down Democratic candidate John Kerry into a time-consuming debate about his Vietnam medals, eclipsing a weak economy and a mismanaged Iraq war effort in headlines, the more likely Bush will be awarded four more years.