Trouble Ahead; Trouble Behind: Predicting 2010

Every year, I like to run an article looking ahead and behind, making fearless predictions for the year to come. I’ve written a long piece for the other site on the last year in politics called a Year in Fantasyland. 2009 was the year everyone in politics was delusional — from Democrats who though the nation turned liberal to Republicans who think they’ll ride the tea parties back into power.

I didn’t comment on it there, but my predictions from last year held up pretty well:

  • I was right that Obama’s popularity would fade as the economy continued to stagnate. And I was right that his foreign policy would be a competent version of Bush’s. I was also right that the economy would be slow to recover.
  • I was right about the Gators, the Steelers and the Yankees, which kind of scares me.
  • I was wrong on the international picture. Pakistan has stayed stable while Iran has reeled from protests. However, at least I was right on Iraq — last month saw zero combat deaths for the US, a stunning achievement that got no press at all.
  • I was wrong on entertainment. There were a solid number of good movies this year and four science fictions films — Star Trek, Avatar, Moon and District 9 — did well critically and financially. That’s the best year in Sci-Fi that I can recall, ever. I still am not watching TV, so I assume it hasn’t improved since it drove me away.
  • Anyway, 2010 is already two weeks old, so I’d better make my predictions so I can be as wrong as ever.

  • The economy will show signs of life, but unemployment will remain stubborn. By the end of the year, debt will be the single issue dominating the discussion. This will lead to…
  • The Republicans, as as result of the above, will gain seats in the Senate and House but fell short of taking back the majority.
  • This, along with the general mood of the nation, will shift Obama’s agenda slightly to the Right. My hope is that this will mean fiscal conservatism. My fear is that it will mean tougher stances on the War on Terror and crime.
  • Sarah Palin peaked in 2009 and 2010 will see her slowly revealed as an ignorant and somewhat deluded ideologue. She’s now got a commenting bit on Fox News, which is the first step in exposing who she really is. By the end of the year, the idea of her running for President will be laughable.
  • Colts over Vikings. Cardinals over Rangers. And parity continues to be the case in the College Football, with Boise State coming very close to cracking the championship game.
  • The Iranian regime will continue to totter, but will come just short of falling. Reform may be the only way the mullahs stay in power. Iraq will continue to wind down and Afghanistan will improve. Our attention will slowly turn toward Yemen and the disaster that is Africa.
  • Television will continue its spell in the doldrums, but late night shows will improve as the comedians get better and more comfortable with mocking Obama. The year at the movies does not look terribly impressive to me. Looking at the most anticipated films does not exactly fill me with enthusiasm. Clash of the Titans, in particular, looks sure to disappoint.
  • It will be a banner year for science. Again.
  • As much as 2009 was the year of fantasy, 2010 will be, I think and hope, the year of reality. And about time too.