Big Red Car here on a cold ATX day, y’all.
Time to grade our 2018 predictions. Today we deal with POLITICS.
Here are the 2018 predictions we made in regard to POLITICS.
The US Congress passes an infrastructure bill with a small amount of bi-partisan support. It will be a deficit busting, Jabba the Hutt, pork project of gargantuan proportions. It will include something for every state, every industry, and every Republican Congressman running for re-election. It will be an all-you-can-eat buffet with seconds and a take home container of desserts. The Republicans will say, “Deficit? What freakin’ deficit?” Every politician will be a pig at the trough trying to get theirs. It will be huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge!
WRONG. No infrastructure bill though there was a little smoke being blown by Jabba. Could happen next year? I don’t think so.
Speaking of elections — Republicans pick up a half dozen seats in the Senate.
HALF WRONG/HALF CORRECT Republicans picked up a quarter dozen seats in the Senate, but, more importantly, the faux Republicans in the person of Senators Flake, Corker, McCain are all gone. This makes the remaining Republicans more Republican. Then, we do still have Murkowski, Collins, Rubio. Lindsey Graham becomes the First Buddy.
Republicans lose ten seats in the House — all from states with high SALT and in affluent, property-rich Districts. Otherwise, the Republicans hold serve rather handily.
WRONG. Republicans lost approximately 40 seats. Still not finalized as we speak, but not an “over perform” for Republicans. Some take comfort that it ran true to form for a first mid-term, but your Big Red Car says, “Wrong.”
The Democrats are unable to find a central message, theme, or leader. They have nothing to run on except, “Hey, Trump.”
CORRECT, Big League. President Trump still controls, well, everything. Nobody has an original thought. Everybody finds out what Trump likes and opposes it. It is embarrassing to see what people said four years ago and what they say today when President Trump is on the same side they used to be on. Their positions “evolved?”
President Trump is all over the campaign trail supporting Republicans in tough races. He goes all in and drags all of his campaign operative pals with him. All the naysaying Republicans will be begging him to come to their state or their District. It will be big league.
CORRECT. Everybody Trump campaigns for wins. Some Republicans make a decision not to ask for help. They almost all lose. Where is the LOvE? Well, she got defeated.
The big issue is “How did the candidates vote on tax reform?” The economy, jobs, taxes — “It’s the economy, stupid.” Imagine the debates wherein the Republican points at his/her opponent and says, “That son-of-a-bitch wants you to pay more taxes. Vote for him/her if you want to pay more taxes.”
WRONG. We learn once again that the electorate doesn’t vote based on gratitude. “What have you done for me lately? Tax cuts were so yesterday. Plus, I already have a job.”
The sexual antics of male Congressmen blows up as names and settlement amounts are all publicized. It is so much, it becomes impossible to keep track. Female candidates will do very well.
MOSTLY WRONG. Congress still obscures their wrong doing. Female candidates do well because they are excellent candidates. Looking forward to seeing the antics of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This is going to be fun.
Big hidden story becomes how much President Trump has shrunk the size of Federal employment through attrition and hiring freeze.
CORRECT. This story doesn’t get covered at all. President Trump is shrinking the size of government while all of his predecessors grew it.
Right after the election Speaker Ryan floats a trial balloon on fixing entitlements. Gets shot down by President Trump who says, “Wait until after 2020, Paulie boy.”
CORRECT. Lip service toward fixing entitlements is a total non-starter. Speaker Ryan takes a powder and doesn’t seek re-election. Highly ineffective Speaker. Said he didn’t want the job which proved to be prescient. The Republicans should have listened.
President Trump begins to practice Tweet Discipline. He still tweets, but Gen Kelly puts some Leatherneck discipline on him. Kelly denies it, but it is Kelly. This will creep up on you. At first, the media will miss it and then somebody is going to say, “WTF?”
Ha, ha — WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. President Trump doubles down on Twitter. Considers naming a Twitter Chief as a Cabinet officer then decides he’ll keep the job. Nothing is safe from the Tweeter-in-Chief. Kelly does exert some discipline, but at this writing is headed for the door. I will be sad to see General Kelly go.
The brain trust of Pence, Mad Dog, Kelly, McMaster, Pompeo, Tillerson, Coats begins to rock and roll. Trump runs policy through them and we have adults running things.
HALF CORRECT. HALF WRONG. McMaster is gone. Tillerson is gone. Kelly is on the way out. Mad Dog is, well, Mad Dog — steady, solid, cool under fire. Pompeo is the rock star here — Director Central Intelligence becomes the Secretary of State President Trump wants and the Sec of State that our new robust foreign policy needs. Coats is MIA which is a good thing. The DNI is supposed to be a spooky, ghostly presence. The moves with McMaster and Tillerson are hire fast/fire faster type moves. Sad to see Kelly go.
The House and Senate begin to purge some of the Undocumented Democrats — Flake, McCain, Corker. The others — Murkowski, Collins, Rubio — begin to follow Lindsey Graham’s lead and work with the President. McConnell and Ryan work with each other and the White House. It becomes a great team. Bannon, Priebus, Flynn — not missed.
CORRECT. Surprised at how correct this turned out to be.
Donald J Trump begins to act like President Trump six days a week. Melania keeps him in line.
WRONG. President Trump has fleeting moments of inspired “Presidential” behavior — Geo HW Bush funeral was superb — but is still an angry may with an ax in his hand looking for the drain. Melania emerges as a very classy First Lady who the Pope has mentioned for sainthood. Huge win for President Trump.
President Trump loses 15 pounds and does a weight loss commercial for Nutrisystem.
WRONG. President Trump gets high marks for his health from White House doctor — sort of a mystery why. He has boundless energy and makes all his opponents look like old men while he is out shaking the bushes 24/7. Incredible energy.
Former President Obama takes a back seat and is cautious in his support of any mid-term candidates, remembering it was under his admin that the House and Senate were delivered to the Republicans. He kicks it up a notch on the money-making speaking circuit and the book writing business. He plays a lot of golf and decides politics is too hard for him now.
HALF CORRECT/HALF WRONG. President Obama, watching his — cough, cough — legacy being dismantled returns to the spotlight. “Hey, I need some spotlight. Can you swing that baby over here, please.” Candidates he supports, like Andrew Gillum in Florida, go down swinging. In mano-a-mano matchups, Trump runs the field. Truly nobody misses President Obama. He and Michelle launch into new careers as writers with great success. President Obama takes a primer from Bill & Hill and gets out on the speech hustle. Crushes it. Takes credit for everything that Trump has done — “Hey, that was me. I did that.” Not able to explain why Trump is a fuckup if he, Obama, takes credit for everything Trump does. Oh, well. It’s politics.
So, there you have it, dear reader. A few hits. A few misses, but a decent performance overall.
In the days ahead, look for the report card on Foreign Affairs, Domestic Policy, Business, Economy, Investigations, Society, and Terror.
If you want to cheat ahead, here are the 2018 Predictions.