December 28 2010
Charlotte Hays and Carrie L. Lukas
What might happen in the upcoming year? We asked a few of National Review Online's sages to prophesy the events of 2011.
After the last two terrible years, 2011 is going to be a tipping point, and I think the country will tip in a positive direction, thanks largely to the Tea Party, the heroes and heroines of 2010. The apparent lurch to the left two years ago was the result of mistaken identity. Here are my predictions:
The Republicans and the Tea Party will disappoint the media by getting along swimmingly. The Republicans know what a mess they left behind the last time they were in power. This time they know they must be sober and will begin the process of cutting back on spending. This is not because of the perfectibility of Republicans - it is because of the Tea Party and because the financial situation has become so dire that we are at a tipping point. The public will throw out the (Republican) bums if they don't do what they said they would do.
The Left will be emboldened by the president's tepid attempts to bow, ever how ungraciously, to reality. They are far more numerous and more radical than many realize, and they will go wild in 2011; the Democratic rump in the House, under the fetching leadership of San Fran Nan will wage holy war on every sensible proposition that comes before them. But there will be no real effort to mount a primary challenge against Barack Obama: They know their own. When Edward Kennedy ran a primary challenge against Jimmy Carter, Carter still looked enough like the southern Baptist gentleman to appear alienated from the Left. Today the Left knows that Obama is as good as it gets.
The rich will start sticking up for themselves. Hey, we mid-income bloggers can't be the only ones making the argument for you Richie Riches. The rich must stand up and say that, in a country founded by people who sailed across the treacherous Atlantic and founded a great (exceptional, even) nation on wild shores and went on to prosper, making money and doing well is no sin. We must be charitable to those who fail, but we must realize that those who succeed help society more than the next government handout. I think we're at the tipping point on this issue, too.
President Obama will go completely gray. He thought this job would be a lot of fun. He thought it was all about talking. But it isn't. Most presidents have experienced failure before they reach this high office - he had not and now he doesn't quite know what to do. I predict that he will give serious consideration to not running again. I know which way I want him to decide. I don't go along with those who think he has rescued himself with the tax deal. The fight to dismantle Obamacare is going to prevent the president from posing as a centrist, as he did during the campaign.
Republicans will learn to avoid the words "American Dream." These are the words that seem to make Speaker-to-be John Boehner cry. It's not a good look. But you know what? I think that, as long as it's not a daily occurrence, Americans won't mind Boehner's tears. They are genuine. We elected a glamour puss for president last time. I predict that 2011 will be the year we reject charisma. This is good news for a whole batch of Republican hopefuls, including, most notably, Mitch Daniels. It is not good for Sarah Palin.
- Charlotte Hays is co-author of Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral.
2011 will be a great year for education reform and a devastating one for teachers' unions. The historic Republican gains in state legislatures will give innovative governors the opening to push for bold reforms. Governors across the country, from Daniels in Indiana to Scott in Florida to Martinez in New Mexico, won't let this opportunity go to waste.
While Sarah Palin will draw the most media attention in 2011, the mainstream media won't be able to demonize all the emerging Republican women. Be on the watch for new rising GOP female stars.
Sarah Palin will realize she can have the most positive impact - and frustrate the Left the most - by staying out of the presidential contest, remaining as a lightning rod for Republican-bashers and a king-maker for aspiring Republican leaders.
New Jersey's Chris Christie will run.
- Carrie Lukas is executive director of the Independent Women's Forum and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism.