Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Cracked and Cloudy Crystal Ball

I gaze into my crystal ball and I see very low voter turnout in Nevada and Senator Angle. I see a close race in Pennsylvania with a high turnout. I see Christine O'Donnell losing big in Delaware and turning out the Dems in all the surrounding states. I see a close race in Kentucky and Senator Rand Paul. I see another four years of Governor Jerry Brown in California. I see a close governor's race in Texas with Governor Perry barely winning another term in the face of voter anger over his Texas School Board and their textbook decisions. I also predict a death penalty scandal in Texas with lingering doubts over a couple of past executions and new evidence coming to light.

Andrew Cuomo should probably feel confident about shopping for new drapes for the Governor's office in Albany. Senators Schumer and Gillebrand will easily win another term. Carl Paladino will probably go back to being just another bitter old racist in the construction industry.

I see the Republicans taking the House, but not the Senate. I see at least 2 years of political stalemate with plenty of incentive on both sides not to cooperate on anything. I see the Republicans holding up unemployment insurance payments for months, and even years. I see endless House investigative committees looking into scandals cooked up on Fox News with White House officials subpoenaed and paraded before gleefully prosecutorial Republicans. I expect to see nothing done about the economy or the deficit. If anything, I expect to see the Obama Administration entirely on the defensive trying to preserve its agenda and to keep the situation from getting worse. I see a government shut down initiated by newly elected Republican rank and file over the objections of the party leadership. I see it lasting for a long time.

I expect the economy to continue to stagnate and the unemployment rate to hover around 9% or 10% for years to come. I see a Japanese malaise of deflation in our near future that may last for a decade or more. I could see it leading to an end to the Afghan War and to the closing of overseas military bases because we can no longer afford them. No one will be interested in doing anything serious about global warming until Florida is under water (which may happen sooner rather than later; by the time fish are swimming through the streets of Orlando, it will be too late). I see the Chinese ready to step into the power vacuum we leave behind. I see a future of declining wages, growing poverty, and growing conflict, in an ever more inward-looking, backwards, and isolated country no longer able to compete (or even to participate) in the global economy or on the world stage.

I'd be delighted to be proved wrong, and to see the Cleavers keep their house. I hope to see Ward and June gainfully and happily employed with good careers. I'd like to see Wally having to decide between Princeton and MIT, between the rowing team and football. I'd like to see Beaver signing up for soccer without having to worry about employment and supporting the family at the age of 14. I'd like to see the Cleavers as happy, secure, and prosperous as they once were, but now with sustainable living habits and technology so they can ultimately save money, save a comfortable way of life, and save themselves from catastrophic droughts or floods in the future. I'd like to see them proud to live in a country that conscientiously takes its role as a world leader, and not as a world ruler.


Grandmère Mimi said...

Senator Engle and Senator Paul? I'm afraid you're right. I can't believe that the folks in Nevada will elect Engle, but, very likely, they will.

JCF said...

"Angle". As in "Obtuse Angle", Mimi.

To your "if I'm wrong part", Doug: AMEN!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Angle, Engle, does it matter? All I know is she's no angel.

Nevertheless, I'm obliged for the correction, JCF. I like to get things right.

Counterlight said...

"Angle, Engle, does it matter? All I know is she's no angel."

Buona risposta, Nona Mimi.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Mille grazie, caro mio Doug...kicking the endearments up a notch.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

i too, would like to see your crystal ball proved wrong, but sadly, its perpective has a lot to recommend it.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

For those of us with children and grandchildren, your predictions are extremely worrisome. I wish I could confidently declare that I think you are wrong--but I can't. :-(