Sunday, December 30, 2018

Predictions For 2019: Nothing Will Happen

That's right. Nothing meaningful will happen on the national political stage for an entire 12 months.  And just to make sure I cover all of my bases, nothing meaningful will happen in most other areas of American life in 2019

Of course I'll be wrong, but maybe you get the sense of why I'm saying these things. I'm not a pessimist. In fact, I'm one of the great all-time optimists presently trodding the soil. It's just that I don't see the split Congress and the far right White House making much headway towards solving some of our most pressing problems.

Could we get an infrastructure bill? Possibly, but that would mean that the president would have to give up his dream of a wall on the southern border, or the Democrats would have to up the amount of money they want to spend on the border to end the shutdown. At this point, I would think that the Democrats hold the better cards, if only because Trump is a minority president (oh, the irony) and holds a minority position that is supported by a minority of the population.

I understand that he's trying to hold on to his core supporters for 2020, but they won't be enough to give him a second term, since many people who voted for him simply despised Hillary Clinton and could vote for a more palatable Democrat. And speaking of, we'll get an early indication of who will be entering the 2020 contest in a matter of weeks. I"m fairly sure that New Jersey's own Senator Cory Booker will run, as will Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Bernie Sanders will also explore an encore and Joe Biden will give it some serious thought. Honestly, none of them jump out at me as a clear winner, and it's possible that the nominee will not be one of this group.

Combine a divided government with epic fundraising and a president who doesn't know much about policy or how policy gets made into law or how the law works or whether he has to follow the law or whether he can just say what the law is and you get a year where not much is going to happen legislatively unless you consider investigations and calls for Trump's tax returns significant legal accomplishments.

Will there be fireworks? You bet. But precious little will get done that will actually improve the country.

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