Sunday, January 02, 2005

Predictions for 2005

Okay, I'll play too. Here are a few random guesses:

Rehnquist will resign, and Clarence Thomas will be appointed Chief Justice. During the confirmation process, Democrats will relentlessly be called racist by Republican surrogates; Republican elected officials will for the most part refuse to distance themselves from these attacks. Dick Durbin will give a really good speech on the Senate floor explaining why they're wrong.

To fill Thomas' seat, Bush will nominate a Latino, because that way he can accuse Democrats of being racist again.

Donald Rumsfeld will continue to insist that things are going well in Iraq.

The new Harry Potter book will be somewhat disappointing.

Bush will push his immigration initiative a bit, but his guest-worker proposal will get so many anti-immigrant provisions attached to it that even the guest workers will start opposing it. Nonetheless, right-wingers will oppose anything that even sounds like it might help immigrants. After the proposal tanks (this will actually be sometime in 2006) the media will blithely announce that Bush has helped his standing among Latinos.

Because life is unfair, nothing particularly bad will happen to Bob Novak.

Barack Obama will give some really good speeches on the Senate floor.

Dr. James Dobson, head nut at Focus on the Family, will choke on something over dinner but fail to wonder whether God is warning him to cut it out.

Alan Alda will not become President on The West Wing--it'll be that other guy, the one Josh likes.

Senate Republicans will fail to pass the "nuclear option," their weird plan to end Democrats' filibusters by having Dick Cheney declare a rules change. They will be pretty angry about this.

Rush Limbaugh will say something racist, and not lose a single advertiser.

There will be negative stories in the national media about Rudy Giuliani, because right-wingers are worried about him running for president and will dig up some of the mountains of dirt on him just to give us all an early taste.

Bush will spend some quality time on vacation.

Thousands of authors trying to get their books published will read The DaVinci Code, and feel their universe stop making sense as Robert Langdon, the stupidest protagonist since The Sound and the Fury, gets everything explained to him five times and still fails to understand the obvious plot twists.

In desperation, some of these aspiring authors will pick up Dan Brown's first book, Angels and Demons. They will be rewarded with koan-like sentences such as "The thought was inconceivable" or the one where Langdon "falls into step with" a character who's in a wheelchair. Most of these would-be authors will give up writing and begin drinking heavily, or vomiting.

More "torture memos" will leak, but people won't get that upset about it.

Michael Moore's new interest in health-care will cause him to be called a communist by Ann Coulter and Michele Malkin.

Hundreds of American soldiers will die in Iraq. Hundreds or even thousands of Iraqis will die, too. American public opinion will continue to swing against the war, but not by more than five or ten percentage points, because it's hard for people to admit the war is wrong when so many people have suffered so much for it.

Meanwhile, in Heaven, Jerry Orbach will make some extremely inappropriate jokes to the recently deceased about the way they died. In spite of themselves, they'll laugh and groan at the same time, and feel a little better about things.

The rest of us will get through somehow.