Crystal Ball 2013
Looking ahead.


What’s in store in 2013? National Review Online contributors weigh in.

Paul Ryan becomes speaker of the House.

First, serious skirmishing takes place between the education establishment and conservatives for control of the high ground in Internet-based education at every level.

The idea of the U.S. joining the euro zone begins floating around left-liberal circles as U.S. Dems (otherwise out of ideas) continue their best efforts to become European.

Putin starts, at last, to rebuild the Russian Empire. Obama shrugs.

U.S. culture falls increasingly into the hands of the post-religious, globalist intellectuals. But parrots surge to become the No. 1 U.S. pet!

— David Gelernter is author of America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered in the Obamacrats).

There will be no grand bargain, save perhaps in name only. There will be another trillion-dollar deficit. Although, by the end of the year, lower energy prices across the board will give people hope that real economic growth is still possible in America.

Greece will stay in the euro zone, but the euro zone will look ever more like one long meeting over the shape of the table. The U.S. will benefit from European capital flight.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie will win reelection. He will be pressured to become the spokesman for the allegedly “moderate” northeastern Republicans. He will wisely reject that role, knowing that being the “house scold” of the GOP is a great way to get booked on Morning Joe and a terrible way to get elected president.

Related: Someone in the House GOP will try to revive the “gypsy moth” Republican caucus. This Republican will get lavish media coverage for his (or her) efforts. In 2014, this same Republican will announce his retirement from Congress and his exciting new post at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Relations between Obama and the GOP will only get worse, as Obama continues to fail to understand that bullying and preening is not in fact the way to improve a relationship.

Paul Ryan will get his wonk on for most of the year, sparking conjecture that he doesn’t in fact want to run for president.

Marco Rubio will do nothing to suggest that he is not running for president.

The HHS mandate will be sharply curtailed on religious-freedom grounds.

The Pope will not use #YOLO on Twitter.

The second Hobbit movie will be much faster-paced.

No one will bomb Iran’s nuclear program.

The bloody implosion of Syria, as the death toll rises to nearly 100,000, will have destabilizing repercussions in Iran, for which the Obama administration will cynically take credit.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood will end the year stronger than it began it.

I will figure out what my next book will be about.

— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and author of The Tyranny of Clichés.

Congress will only enact policies that are D.U.M.B. — Deeply Unsatisfying, Mickey-Mouse Bills.

By year’s end, the Senate will not have passed a budget, fundamental tax reform will have turned out to be a mirage, fundamental entitlement reform will remain an unfulfilled dream, and the health-insurance open-enrollment period will prove that Obamacare is melting down.

The administration will promise that a full explanation of the events in Benghazi is forthcoming.

Republicans will transition to a generation of younger leaders that will position it as the dynamic, vibrant party.

The Biden “commission” will announce the need for a national conversation about gun-related tragedies; Senate Democrats will propose a $60 billion emergency supplemental bill to fund it.

— Douglas Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum.