Politics & Policy

Nro’S 2005 Crystal Ball

Predicting 2005.

EDITOR’S NOTE: What will 2005 bring? NRO has the answers! Well…sorta. In our annual ritual, a few brave men and women try to predict the future. Enjoy–just do us a favor and don’t keep a scorecard.

John Derbyshire

‐Iran will test a Bomb.

‐Mel Gibson will get an Oscar. (The Left, of which Hollywood is a wholly owned subsidiary, is desperate to get on speaking terms with those weird–what do they call themselves?–”Christians.”)

‐Some moderate will take over leadership of the Palestinian Arabs… and be assassinated by Hamas.

‐In the U.S. government, the first signs of the Second Term Crack-Up will appear, possibly in the form of a sex or money scandal. See also next item.

‐The Iraqis will fail to take charge of their own affairs. The U.S. will muddle on, offering increasingly implausible excuses for our continuing presence there. The U.S. public will get increasingly fed up with the whole business. The first congressional resolution to cut off funding for Iraq will be proposed, but quickly defeated.

‐A million or so illegal immigrants will come across our borders or overstay their visas. Among them will be some dozens or hundreds of Middle Eastern terrorists. George W. Bush will refer to all million-odd as “good-hearted people.”

‐Britain’s fox-hunting ban will generate major civil disobedience.

‐At least one major European nation will legalize same-sex marriage.

‐Something seriously unpleasant, and inimical to U.S. interests, will happen in one or more of the following places: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, China, Russia, South America.

‐Millions of people in Africa will die from violence and disease, and nobody will care much.

‐The performance of the U.S. intelligence services will decline further following current reorganization. It will become apparent to the general

U.S. public that we have no real clue what is happening in any part of the world critical to U.S. interests.

‐Britney Spears will spend time in an institution, either correctional or therapeutic.

‐Numerous utterly unpredictable things will happen.

‐I shall be 60.

John Derbyshire is an NR and NRO contributor/columnist/icon.

Jonah Goldberg

‐Iraqi elections will be a moderate success, though the naysayers will cling to the bad news with all their might. But by the end of the year–in part because of a rapproachment with Germany, but not France–our allies will understand that progress in Iraq is real and most people will get on the bandwagon.

‐Major Social Security reform will not happen in 2005, but Bush will have successfully slain the myth of Social Security’s untouchability, making eventual reform almost inevitable–perhaps even during his term.

‐Major tax reform will not happen in 2005.

‐The deficit will improve, but mostly due to increased economic growth.

‐Bill Frist will be forced to choose between carrying President Bush’s agenda through the Senate and running for president. He will run for president.

‐This will be the year when the elite Big Media fight back against the blogs. They will implement various devices and gimmicks to appeal more to the blog-centric reader. It will also be the year that the blog-mania cools, in part because the cooptation of the most successful bloggers by more established media organizations will continue.

‐Dan Rather will leave CBS entirely, in part because the internal investigation of Memogate will be too embarrassing to allow his continued tenure at precisely the organ which committed these travesties.

‐NBC’s “Must See” TV will be renamed “Must Saw” by critics and comics as its ratings continue to slide.

‐We find Osama bin Laden, dead.

Washington Post executives buy high-powered microscopes in order to find any evidence of “synergy” between Slate and the Post.

‐Bush’s first Supreme Court nominee receives confirmation fairly easily because it is in everyone’s interest to seem reasonable at first. Reasonable nominee, reasonable confirmation. The second confirmation battle concludes with Democrats and Republicans literally eating each other on the floor of the Senate.

‐Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will step down for health reasons. Somewhat unfairly to him, this will help advance peace by creating an environment more amenable to compromise.

‐Rudy Giuliani’s tenure as mayor will receive a very harsh review as New York City narrowly escapes bankruptcy and the “Mayor of America’s” presidential prospects will continue to slide.

‐The ACLU will break apart into two organizations. The press will like the crazier splinter.

‐The clean-up from the tsunami will go much faster than expected and within six months major new hotels will be built. Some on the left will decry the opportunism involved in this process.

‐Major liberals will start admitting that Maureen Dowd is an embarrassment.

‐North Dakota stays out of the news again. Peace between Costa Rica and Turkmenistan will continue unabated for another consecutive century.

‐I will finish my book and launch a frenzy of writing, score-settling, and mayhem that will strike fear into the hearts of men.

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of NRO.

Victor Davis Hanson

‐Michael Moore will go to the Sunni Triangle to join his beloved “Minutemen Men,” and “document” the scandal of how the fedayeen “founding fathers” are being shortchanged in their pay due to Baathist conspiracies in Syria.

‐Jimmy Carter this time will declare the upcoming election on the West Bank “impressive, fair and judicious” without having to leave the Carter Center in Atlanta.

‐By autumn “liberal hawks” will be writing “As I have previously argued” essays in The Atlantic and New Republic, attesting to their long-time support for Iraqi reconstruction and democraticization-and praising Donald Rumsfeld’s force transformation policies.

‐George Soros will endow a D.C. retirement home for “Distinguished American Heroes”–with Anonymous, Richard Clarke, Bill Moyers, Dan Rather, and Joe Wilson moving in on the ground floor.

‐Gen. Wesley Clark will become military correspondent for The Nation.

Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is victorhanson.com.

Kathryn Jean Lopez

‐National Review Online will prove again to be an important engine and resource in new and exciting ways.

‐The Red Sox will be accursed again–all will be right in the World Series world.

‐Osama bin Laden’s fate will remain unknown.

‐Ted Olson will become chief justice of the Supreme Court.

‐Rudy! runs for governor of New York. Looks self-sacrificing, is actually face saving–he knows running for president will be a bigger feat than the buzz claims.

‐A blogger gets his own MSNBC show.

‐Teresa Heinz will make headlines.

‐Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton vie for Orrin Hatch’s bipartisan affections.

‐Jonah Goldberg does not star opposite Julia Roberts in a box-office bonanza.

‐Ben Affleck forms 2008 exploratory committee.

‐Getting the “Must Saw” message, NBC airs both a three-hour Seinfeld reunion and a Brad & Jen Variety Hour special. Belated Newman spin-off dies in production.

West Wing ends.

‐Despite whining about American free-speech restraints, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandan, Barbra Streisand & co. will remain free to espouse silly political ideas.

Kathryn Jean Lopez is the editor of NRO.

Cliff May

‐Some of the most interesting–and heated–debates will not be between Republicans and Democrats or between conservatives and liberals. They will be within these groups.

‐The most contentious debates will be over Iraq (accept defeat a la Vietnam, or take off the gloves?) immigration, drivers’ licenses, and national identity cards.

‐Either Osama bin Laden or Abu Musab Zarqawi will be “brought to justice.” (But not both.)

‐A new jihadist, representing a new organization, will attain notoriety by committing a spectacular act of terrorism.

‐Bush will not succeed in reforming the tax system – not event the odious AMT which takes away from many middle class taxpayers (like me, for example) the reductions they were supposed to receive.

‐Liberal talk radio will remain the wave of the future (possibly forever).

‐Howard Dean will not become DNC chairman.

‐Ahmad Chalabi will make a comeback.

‐John Edwards will not.

‐Michael Moore will put on a little weight.

‐Yasser Arafat will remain dead. But Abu Mazzen will do a good imitation.

‐Jon Benet Ramsay’s murder will remain unsolved–but will continue to generate tabloid news stories.

‐We will all get at least one year older.

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and an NRO contributor.

John J. Miller

Democrats determine that their road to recovery lies in defeating President Bush’s Social Security reforms. They demagogue like never before during the biggest legislative fight since Clinton’s health-care proposal. It won’t be over by year’s end.

The jockeying for 2008 begins, as prominent Democrats begin to worry publicly about Hillary Clinton’s odds of victory in a general election. Key conservatives, unimpressed by a 2008 field that includes too many mayors and senators, begin discussing a “Draft Cheney” movement.

Iraq holds elections but the violence does not subside much from 2004 levels. The American public remains evenly split on keeping troops deployed there. Meanwhile, Iran’s nuclear threat looms and Osama bin Laden remains at large.

Network news ratings decline precipitously.

Bush speaks at a gala event marking National Review’s 50th anniversary.

John J. Miller is National Review’s national political reporter.

Kate O’Beirne

‐The Senate will confirm two conservative nominees to the Supreme Court, one of whom will be approved after a failed filibuster.

‐Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld will continue to enjoy the support of the troops and the Commander-in-Chief but will nonetheless resign later in the year–at a time of his own choosing.

‐Kofi Annan will be dumped.

‐So too will Norm Mineta.

‐Osama bin Laden will be captured or killed.

‐There will be no immigration reform, no Social Security reform, and only modest tax reform.

Kate O’Beirne is NR’s Washington editor.

Andrew Stuttaford

‐Generally gloomy predictions this year, I fear, despite the good news out of the Ukraine.

‐The elections in Iraq will go better than expected, but the situation there–at least in the Sunni Triangle–will continue to be grim: at best Belfast, at worst Beirut.

‐Nearby, Iran will admit to nuclear weapons capability and no one will know what to do, and to the North economic confidence and performance in Russia will slow–perhaps dramatically –as investors lose confidence in Putin.

‐At home, the Bush administration will lose ground, not least because of a nasty fight over immigration, as well as increasing weariness over the war.

Happy new year?

Andrew Stuttaford is an NRO contributor.

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