With the end of 2011, I feel compelled to be like every other internet blogger to make some predictions. Unlike most, but not all, I plan on revisiting these at the end of the year to see how I did.
- GOP Primary: I’m already on the record predicting for Romney, and nothing that has happened since has shaken that belief. The recent Santoromentum is, I believe, just another rummage in the bin for GOP voters too conservative for Romney and not Libertarian enough for Paul. He will have his week or two in the limelight and then fade like the others before him. The only thing confounding this prediction is the primaries themselves – as the voting begins, the field will narrow and the test will be to see whether or not the voters that have swung from Bachmann to Perry to Cain to Gingrich to Santorum will land with Romney or consolidate behind a single candidate.
- Syria will the be #1 foreign policy story of the year: the conflict there is violent but still (relatively) localized – though I think that all the pieces are in place for a full-scale revolt. It’s one of the most strategically important nations in the region, and at three times the size of Libya, a conflict there would be much wider. That said, the geopolitical realities will likely prevent substantial Western intervention a la Libya, so the “war” could easily turn into “massacre.”
- Russia will simmer, but not boil over – Putin will stay in power, though that may set the stage for more popular action against his faction.
- The saber-rattling in Iran will be just that – there will not be a major armed conflict between Iran and the West in 2012 (unless you count all the EFPs and equipment Iran supplies to our enemies in Afghanistan)
- SCOTUS: The Supreme Court will play a much larger role in this year’s political discussion than normal, with key rulings on immigration and health care reform in the middle of campaign season. That said, I don’t think the rulings will ultimately impact the election substantially – the issues involved are extremely complex and I think are very likely to be decided on narrow, technical grounds. I don’t see anyone really being swayed one way or another on those issues.
- The media will run an increasing barrage of stories about the nutty things people are doing to prepare for the 2012 Apocalypse. These stories will invariably be run from the media’s “neutral” viewpoint, as if the predictions aren’t bullshit to begin with. The guys with the crazy predictions will get 90% of air time because they get ratings, and the skeptic that disagrees with them will get a token 10% to point out that a) The Mayans didn’t actually predict the Apocalypse at the end of the long-count, and b) Even if they did, we don’t take any other religions predictions of the Apocalypse seriously, so why should we take one that we don’t even believe in seriously?
- Dark Knight Rises will kick ass.
- The economy will continue weak but positive growth. The Euro criss will continue to shake confidence but will not spill over into a full-scale meltdown.
- Obama wins reelection over a tepidly supported Romney.
- GOP wins the Senate because so many of the seats won by the Dems in 2006 are vulnerable.
- Dems narrow the margin in the House but the GOP keeps control.
So how about it? Any other predictions I’m missing?