No end of the year political shindig would be complete without pundits and prophets gazing into the chicken entrails and letting us know what we should expect in the year to come. Given the fact that we so rarely see end of the year, “Look how well I did last December” articles, you might not want to invest too heavily based on these. But a quick look around should provide us with some amusement if nothing else.
Over at The Sun Journal in Maine, self styled psychic Vicki Monroe was asked to take a crack at the task. Vicki is described as someone who, “has been seeing spirits for most of her life. She ignored them for years, until one day she embraced her psychic side.” Her thoughts:
* Obama will win re-election. Others won’t.
“They’re saying in the election what’s going to surprise many is that a lot of those Republicans that were voted in … will be voted out,” Monroe said.
* The American economy will improve, and job security will increase.
* Moods will improve, both nationally and worldwide.
“Everything is going to change. Basically on a global scale we will start looking at things in a positive way,” Monroe said. “What the Mayans said as the end of the world is the end of the world as (far as) nations having to beat each other (to be) No. 1.”
So… OK then! Moving along, we have Kara Miller at the Boston Globe checking in. She takes a different approach, predicting that Mitt Romney will win not only the GOP nomination, but the presidency. And then she provides the mechanism for how he defeats Obama, which is where things get a little weird.
Massachusetts will become the central issue in the 2012 campaign. Not to be parochial (OK, maybe a little), I believe that this state will prove to be Romney’s greatest hurdle and greatest asset.
Right now, Massachusetts health care features prominently in Republican attacks on Romney, but if the former Governor can nab the nomination, his Massachusetts experience could prove to be a tremendous strength. (“I know how to get both sides of the aisle to work together; heck, I was governor of Massachusetts!”)
Wouldn’t it be ironic if Massachusetts propelled Mitt Romney to the presidency? I wouldn’t rule it out.
So… that happened. James Poulos checks in at The Daily Caller with some tongue in cheek predictions. He too feels that Mitt Romney will be the nominee and the next president, but his foresight about the VP nominee may come as a shock.
In a surprise, Romney will turn for his running mate to David Petraeus, and Petraeus will accept. Obama’s foreign policy advantage will be gone. Panic over the stunning whiteness and maleness of the ticket will prove misguided; in every other way Petraeus is everything Romney is not. Marco Rubio makes Republicans feel great about themselves, but Petraeus will make Americans feel like the adult has finally walked into the room. The day the first Romney/Petraeus bumper stickers go out will be the last time anyone ever mentions Condoleezza Rice.
Back to the other side of the aisle, The Daily Beast has a collection of prognosticators offering up their vision of things to come. We’ll start with a couple items from Michael Tomasky:
3. Bashar al-Assad will fall. The Free Syrian Army will march triumphantly into Damascus in March. More incredibly still, everything will go swimmingly! Syria will become a more-or-less functioning democracy within the year. Hizbullah members will start cashing in their 401K’s.
5. The Supreme Court will uphold the Affordable Care Act on a 5-4 vote, but here’s the twist: Kennedy will vote against it, and Scalia will vote for it! Scalia’s vote to uphold, consistent with his previous commerce-clause thinking, will mute a lot of the howling, and health care won’t be much of a campaign issue.
9. Obama wins reelection fairly easily; Democrats hold the Senate, Republicans hold the House, but the margins of majority narrow in both chambers.
And these stunners from Paul Begala:
1. Herman Cain will get a contract with Fox News Channel. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich will not.
2. A third-party candidate will get more than 7 percent of the popular vote for president.
3. John Boehner will be toppled from his post as speaker before the 2012 elections.
4. Democrats will re-take the House, hold the Senate and Obama will be reelected; a stunning rebuke of the Tea Party.
There’s more at each of the links, so have fun with them. And since I don’t suffer from the curse of embarrassment when proven wrong, (it wears off after a few decades of being so wrong so often) allow me to pitch a few of my own. (Some serious, some not so much.) Feel free to add yours.
1. Mitt Romney effectively wraps up the nomination by the second week in February. All across America, millions of Republicans and conservatives shuffle their feet and mumble something about how everyone always knew it was going to happen and try to drink enough to forget the other candidates they backed. In an ironic twist, the sudden surge in alcohol sales provides a jolt to the economy, lowering unemployment by two tenths of a percent and boosting Obama’s approval rating back to 48%.
2. Mitt selects Marco Rubio as his running mate and goes on to be elected President of the United States. But it’s a much closer election than many think, nearly as close as the 2000 race, and comes down to the final vote count in Ohio. We don’t find out the eventual winner until it is decided by the Supreme Court. Unable to bear the specter of reliving the nightmare all over again, Senator Al Franken falls into a fit of despair, flies to Cleveland and sets himself on fire like that fruit vendor guy who started the Arab Spring.
3. The GOP takes the majority in the Senate, but don’t come anywhere near 60 seats so the chamber remains effectively deadlocked. They retain control of the House, but the DNC runs a devastatingly effective mediscare campaign in close districts across the nation and pick up a number of seats. The closely divided House includes a number of moderate Republicans, meaning that President Romney doesn’t have any sort of free glide path to implement whatever he wants. Gridlock continues and the popularity of Congress finally reaches the statistical margin of error at 3%.
4. John Boehner retains his speakership to the annoyance of pundits everywhere who predicted that Eric Cantor would have put a lethal dose of Ex-Lax in his chocolate Easter Bunny by then. In an unrelated story, Nancy Pelosi misses several weeks of the Spring session due to uncontrollable diarrhea.
5. Twenty years too late, in March, we finally get cost effective, mass produced flying cars. Unfortunately, the TSA immediately places so many restrictions on getting into one that most people throw up their hands in frustration and go back to driving their SUVs. A few finally do get hold of them by August, though. The following day the GEICO Gecko is killed while filming their first flying car insurance advertisement when the AFLAC duck gets sucked into his car’s engine. Ironically, the flaming wreckage crashes into the State Farm HQ building, burning it to the ground. Conspiracy theories mount when a YouTube video of the incident shows that annoying woman named Flo from Progressive’s ads chuckling evilly near the crash site.
6. New, stricter immigration laws survive all court challenges and go into effect in every state which passed them. In a related story, McDonald’s moves the Big Mac to the dollar menu. Unless you want it with tomato. In which case it’s $11.99
7. Yet another Must-Have smart phone will be released… precisely two days after you finally break down and buy the current one. It incorporates all the functions of the Kindle so you can now read books on it as well. Related: Chris Matthews writes yet another book which none of you download to the new device and virtually nobody reads outside of his immediate family and the staff at MSNBC.
8. Some areas of the Earth will experience dramatic, violent weather, immediately prompting Al Gore to make millions of additional dollars. A series of violent tornadoes surprise everyone by occurring in a place known as “Tornado Ally” which are then blamed on the Keystone XL pipeline, even though construction has still not begun on it. Obama immediately cancels Keystone XL yet again, gaining a three point bump in popularity among self described “Eco-warriors.”
9. The date of the Mayan apocalypse in December will come and go. The families of suicide cult members will scramble to think up less embarrassing things to write on their grave markers. Unlike Harold Camping, however, the Mayans do not reappear to move the date back to March of 2013.
10. Hot Air will hire Rick Perry as a guest blogger after changing its name officially to Hot Gas, and remains the most highly trafficked, popular conservative blog on the planet.
UPDATE: Doug Mataconis tosses in his own predictions for 2012 in a far more serious nature. A few of the more provocative offerings:
Mitt Romney will select Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell as his Vice-Presidential running mate, although much of the pre-convention press coverage will involve speculation about Chris Christie
Chris Christie will be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention
The Supreme Court will strike down Arizona’s immigration law
Jon Corzine will be indicted for activities related to the collapse of MF Global
There will be no indictments, resignations, or attempts at impeachment related to the “Fast & Furious” scandal
Tensions in the Persian Gulf will increase, with at least one incident involving exchanges of fire between an American naval vessel and Iranian forces
Of course, Doug also picks the Packers to win the Superbowl, so it’s probably all a load of Dingo’s kidneys.