In any normal country, there would be no particular reason to expect 2013 to be an awful year. The right-wing Presidential candidate, who preached austerity, family values, and military adventurism, was soundly defeated by the center-left candidate, who favored, well, austerity-lite, personal freedom, and a fiscally convenient “peace dividend.” Overconfident and overfunded Republicans were similarly trounced in the House and Senate, losing seats in both despite stunning structural advantages.
It seemed that the Right’s perennial hobby horses, from favoring the wealthiest above all others and demonizing minorities of every type, to demanding that every non-military expenditure be slashed to the bone, had clearly been sent to the glue factory by the electorate. Alas, things are never what they seem in Washington. It’s instinctual, and at least partly correct, to blame the Village media for this glaringly evident disconnect, given that they reflexively treat even the most dubious Republican “victories” as “mandates” for “bold” “reforms,” while the odd Democratic “upset” is seen as a clarion call for bipartisan “cooperation.”
The trouble is, Democrats, and President Obama especially, have eagerly led this parade of hot air balloons, even as the lamp posts started getting toppled. In 2006, Nancy Pelosi couldn’t even wait for what was surely to be a Democratic landslide to declare that impeachment of the war criminals and/or profiteers of the hated Bush Administration was “off the table.” Obama treated his decisive 2008 victory as a golden opportunity to permanently entrench the Republicans’ favorite felons from Wall Street and the “National Security” gravy train in the Permanent Government, surely to the delight of his once putative nemesis, Karl Rove.
Unsurprisingly, as Hope and Change inexorably morphed into Nope and Same, Republicans saw an opening through which eight Koch-funded buses could drive abreast, and they did. Democrats cowered, as Democrats are wont to do, when teabaggers started bringing their weapons to town halls, and before long, the only non-default “achievement” of the Administration was a watered-down soap bubble of “health care reform” so corporate friendly that it made its fanatical opponents look like the nut jobs they were, but none of this sank in before the 2010 elections had been (deliberately?) pissed away.
Since then, Democrats have done nothing to secure further victories other than to meekly allow Republicans to continue beclowning themselves, and what do you know? It worked, to a point. America is more disgusted with Republicans than at any time since, and possibly including, Watergate , and yet Democrats and the media hang on their every flatulent exhalation, even in ignominious defeat.
I have mixed feelings about predictions: I treasure them when they’re mine and prove correct or, when they’re not and they don’t, but otherwise they’re a briar patch I sincerely don’t want to be thrown into. But what they hell, it’s the end of the year and I’m feeling boozily emboldened. Most are exaggerated for emphasis.
–For all further cabinet appointments, Obama will continue to defer to the better judgement of Lindsey Graham and John McCain for his short list. Joe Lieberman for Homeland Security? In the bag, Baby. Jamie Dimon will be passed over for treasury because he’s “too liberal.”
–The “Grand Bargain” will finally be reached, heralded by simultaneous orgasms all through Washington, and Republicans will rightly blame Democrats for cutting Social Security and Medicare, thus gaining seats in 2014.
–The FCC will approve of Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, but they’ll hold the line when it comes to USA Today, only letting him operate it under a JOA with the National Review, to preserve media “diversity.”
–The Keystone Pipeline will be approved, but only after Halliburton is awarded a cost-plus contract to move the affected parts of the Olgallala Aquifer to Dubai.
–In a bruising battle in which liberals finally claim a scalp, James O’Keefe will be defeated (narrowly) for CFB. Dick Morris is subsequently approved by a bipartisan majority. Big Bird, having politely declined to let his new boss suck his talons, will move to Current TV, citing “artistic differences.”.
–Nobody will, as per usual, go Galt, but only because they don’t have to, once again.
I could go on, but in the spirit of the New Year, I’ll leave it to you.
Photo by bbaunach under Creative Commons license