Five statements from the crystal ball of the obvious


wasserman political cartoon

wasserman political cartoon

Intrepid readers of this blog will recall that before Election Day I made some crack about CNN showing some crude holograms as part of it’s “Watch Us!” election coverage. I said it in jest and with a jaundiced eye, and then lo and behold, there is Wolf Blitzer having a rather inane conversation with a “virtual” reporter — about the technology and not the election. Whether said “holograms” were real or not, I was prescient. So with such completely uninspiring obviousness, here are a few other “predictions:”

1. Obamania will be fading fast by the end of the first 100 days. The message about hope is great, the enthusiasm is fantastic, and you can’t live in DC for more than a decade and not feel like the obvious differences between Obama and the outgoing administration hit you like a truck pileup on the Beltway. But to enact his ideas he simply has to govern from the center, which is going to strike some — vehicle carnage aside — as inauthentic at some point. It isn’t necessarily the case, but there will be some folks who see this as a selling out — and it’s just a matter of time when people feel like Obama’s pulled a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or a welfare reform bill that we weren’t expecting.

2. The Daily Show will be no more — Jon Stewart for one isn’t going to want to continue walking the tightrope of making fun of the people in power in a politically “incorrect” way without getting TOO incorrect about it, for one. But without the 8-foot wide pipe of shit that was the Bush White House giving Comedy Central such excellent material, we’re going to need a new kind of political humor. Jon is going to jump ship to more mainstream broadcast comedy — probably after Jay Leno’s next gig fails right out of the gate. Long live Conan.

3. Reversals to the tightening of reproductive rights laws is either going to happen quietly and successfully, or is going to be the once and future “gay marriage” of the religious right. I’ve seen it only on the margins of reporting so far that Obama will reverse the global gag rule — that to get federal funding for family planning practitioners have to first and foremost talk about abstinence-only practices — and given that this is something they’re planning in the first week in office, signals that there is some Hillary agenda being taken up within the administration. So if they’re serious about rescinding that executive order, will they go the next step and try to get some more permanent legislation passed? If that’s the case, how will they work that on the Hill? With fanfare or under cover of night?

4. Michelle Obama is only going to First Lady us for so long before the Real Michelle stands up — and by that I mean that you cannot possibly contain this smart lady within the narrow confines of the duties and office of First Lady for long. While I think the President (I’m only jumping the title gun by a couple of hours here) is anxious not to repeat any Clintonian mistakes, like putting her in charge of health care, I do think she’ll get some kind of policy duty. She’s not going to be content with picking out furniture, talking about the girls’ school choice, and continuing Laura’s quite boring legacy of the National Book Expo on the Mall.

5. The $850B stimulus bill is not going to pass in the way we think it will today. Already there are rumblings about how it’s not going to help anyone in the near future. If that logic catches wind in the Capitol, who’s going to vote for it? Obama will likely get a lot more traction on job creation than in having to constantly spin the stimulus as something other than a “typical” Democrat tax and spend program. But again, I’m as jaded as a cheap Obama statue currently being sold in a small mobile vehicle parked 100 years from the Washington Monument….

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One Comment on “Five statements from the crystal ball of the obvious”

  1. serendipity hopeful
    January 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    As a foreigner who wants good things to happen in any and all parts of the world, I wish Americans will work more in harmony with their president. How successful Obama can be as American president will depend on how well his fellow-Americans can rein in their demands for their expectations to be satisfied.

    Keep the hopes alive.

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