It’s that time of year again — the time when the brave among the punditariat make predictions about the upcoming year.
In New York, Bill Keller will refuse to run a piece on how it’s so easy to sneak through the 43rd Street doors that even Paul Krugman can do it, claming a concern for national security. Meanwhile, stock in the New York Times Company will follow the deviancy curve downward and the cast of Hairspray will do a fundraiser for laid-off Timespersons.
In Paris, Ségo will beat Sarko. France knows it needs change — but voters fear anything significant. A change of scenery’ll do, merci.
In London, David Cameron will start carrying rocks in his pockets to keep from floating away. Nonetheless, the Tories will continue to lead in polls, especially when Britons discover that Gordon Brown isn’t actually the blind guy.
In Iraq, the press will continue its successful anti-American offensive. By year’s end, a special ops team of New York Times theatre critics will announce that the war in Afghanistan is also lost and call for David Geffen to lead negotiations with the Taliban.
— Denis Boyles is author of Vile France: Fear, Duplicity, Cowardice and Cheese.
The Chinese economy will somehow survive another year without a bank crash or other major malfunction.
Iraqi Sunnis will become yet more reluctant to be ruled by Iraqi Shias; Iraqi Shias will become yet more reluctant to be ruled by Iraqi Sunnis; and partition will become the conventional wisdom, with Trianon-style guarantees to the Turks.
There will be at least one more “Larry Summers moment ” — i.e. an important, respectable, and intellectually significant public person will speak some obvious truth about human group differences, and be vilified for it.
The “Colombianization” of Mexico will advance further, with some prominent public figure — judge, politician, journalist — being assassinated by the narco-lords.
The U.S. government and legislature will take no effective action on illegal immigration. There will, however, be more civil lawsuits by citizens whose jobs have been lost, or wages depressed, by companies that hire illegal labor.
— John Derbyshire is an NR contributing editor.
First, North Dakota once again stays off the front pages.
60 percent of the predictions that I have made in the past which have turned out spectacularly wrong will become true in 2007, so that I will be able to say “60 percent of the time I was right every time.”
Chatter that Dick Cheney will resign for health reasons reaches epic proportions.
HBO’s The Wire wins unexpected Emmys.
Studio 60 will be cancelled, also wins unexpected Emmys. Stupid debate ensues about whether the American people are ready for “quality.”
Battlestar Galactica’s Gaius Baltar will not be revealed as a Cylon.
That glorious day — Star Trek Day — will finally arrive on NRO.
My book will come out and lots of people will realize it’s not the book they think it is. But they will continue to act that way.
After years of trying, Cosmo the Wonderdog will catch his first deer. He will regret his triumph.
Syria will do something that causes lots of people to say Syria’s “switched sides” in the War on Terror.
A debate will break out on the right about whether Fox News is good for conservatism.
The “Are Blogs Over?” debate will reach new heights in ‘07.
They’ll find more evidence of past life on Mars. For those who want to prove the non-existence of God, this will be relentlessly hyped as all the proof needed.
— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online.
Kathryn Jean Lopez
George W. Bush will exceed expectations. (How could he not?)
There will be Latter-Day backlash against “Can a Mormon be President?” stories.
The Dems will not escape Hillary Clinton.
Rudy Giuliani will not be called The Italian Stallion.
Sly Stallone won’t start writing a Rocky VII.
Rudy will end his presidency exploration and won’t run.
Newt will sell a lot of books in 2007.
Hillary Clinton will say something catty about Nancy Pelosi.
Steny Hoyer will work hard to ensure he’s Speaker in 2008.
Charlie Rangel will not successfully reinstate the draft.
Rick Santorum will not fade into post-Senate obscurity.
A boycott Citgo effort will gain traction.
Castro’s death will give birth to a tyranny-chic revival. A double-whammy gift for Hugo Chavez.
Andrew Sullivan will be caught reading The Corner while listening to Animotion’s “Obsession.”
— Kathryn Jean Lopez is the editor of National Review Online.
New Jersey, Florida, and California will decide to move up their primary dates for the 2008 cycle, dramatically changing the landscape of the Republican nomination process to the benefit of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
The much discussed libertarian/conservative break-up will subside out of mutual loathing of big-spending, big-government liberal Democrats.
The debate over the renewal of the D.C. voucher program will highlight the growing support nationwide for school choice and the divide between Democrats who want to help low-income students trapped in dismal public schools and those beholden to teachers unions.
All charges will be dropped in the Duke rape trial farce.
Despite attempts by rich liberals to save struggling newspapers, circulations, and revenues will continue to decline, particularly among left-leaning outlets like the New York Times.
The Chicago Bears will win the Super Bowl despite a record number of turnovers in the big game by winning QB Rex Grossman.
— Carrie Lukas is vice president for policy and economics at the Independent Women’s Forum and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism.
Clifford D. May
Was it Yogi Berra or Casey Stengel who said: “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”? Either way, that has never been truer than it is today; the world has become decreasingly predictable, which is why I’m reluctant even to try to prognosticate. Nevertheless:
Castro will die — but not soon enough.
Saddam Hussein will be executed — but not soon enough.
Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri will continue to elude justice. (BTW, I was spot-on last year when I predicted: “Osama bin Laden will not be captured or killed in Pakistan; but Zarqawi will be captured or killed in Iraq.”)
The next big terrorist attack takes place in Europe.
The Obama surge will fizzle.
Howard Dean stays on as chairman of the DNC. (I predicted wrong on this last year.)
American newspapers will continue to lose readers. Online sources of news, information and opinion — not least NRO — will continue to thrive and evolve. I predicted last year that Fox would stay out in front of CNN and MSNBC. That trend will continue.
Air America will not make a comeback.
John Kerry will not make a comeback — and he won’t release his military records either.
Tucker Carlson will not make a comeback on Dancing with the Stars.
Neither Rich Lowry nor Bill Kristol will attempt even one stint on Dancing with the Stars.
Ninety percent of the predictions made here — and everywhere else — will turn out to be wrong.
— Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
John J. Miller
In politics, John McCain will remain the clear frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, despite growing concerns about his age. Rudy Giuliani will endorse him. Barack Obama will commit an embarrassing gaffe. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens will retire and President Bush will nominate a conservative who isn’t a white male to succeed him. A Republican will win election as governor of Louisiana. Finally — brace yourself for the disappointment — you won’t repeat as Time’s “Person of the Year.”
In sports, the Indianapolis Colts will beat the Chicago Bears to win the Super Bowl. The San Jose Sharks will beat the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup. The Detroit Tigers will show that their great season in 2006 wasn’t a fluke.
At NRO, K-Lo will confess that there is no such person as Mitt Romney, only a large hand puppet that started out as a practical joke on Ted Kennedy’s constituents but took on a bizarre life of its own. “He’s a hand puppet named Mitt. Get it? What took you people so long to figure this out?”
— John J. Miller is national political reporter for National Review and the author, most recently, of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.
It’s difficult to look ahead into 2007 with anything approaching enthusiasm, whether it be on the domestic front or internationally. Domestically, I’d expect the Democrats to play offense, not defense, whether it be on taxation, “investigations,” immigration “reform” or, frankly, anything else they can think of. While we might see the President prepared to use his veto a little less sparingly than in the past (hardly a challenge), for the most part he will mainly acquiesce except insofar as it threatens his perceived policy objectives in Iraq. The result is likely to be a GOP even more demoralized than it is now, lost in a funk about its prospects for 2008, and gravitating towards McCain or Giuliani.
Internationally, the war in Iraq will drag on with a clear resolution no more visible at the end of the year than the beginning. The same will be true of the Israel/Palestine dispute, and the imbroglio in the Lebanon. One certainty, regrettably, but inevitably (whatever the wishful thinking elsewhere) is that Iran will continue its nuclear weapons program – and may even be in a position to announce that it has the bomb. As for the terrorism of the Islamic extreme, that will continue. The only question is how terrible the atrocities will be.
As for some of the situations to watch, I’d be looking in particular at Somalia (the new Afghanistan?), France (Royal or Sarkozy? How well will Le Pen do?) and the UK (the circumstances of Blair’s departure). And then there’s Russia. How will the US react to that country’s increasing assertiveness? With subtlety (over the long-term Russia and the US have plenty of shared strategic interests) or with the reflexes that worked well in the Cold War, but (see Dick Cheney’s speech in Vilnius earlier in 2006) don’t really apply today.
And now I’ll enjoy a nice refreshing glass of hemlock…
– Andrew Stuttaford is an NR contributor who writes from New York.