Hindsight Is 2020
Political Predictions for 2019 and 2020
“You know what I think? I think we’re screwed. I think there’s enough evidence all over that building to link us to this. Even if we could launder money, I wouldn’t want to. What we’ve done is bad enough. We get caught laundering money… we’re not going to white-collar resort prison. No. We’re going to federal ‘pound me in the ass’ prison.” — Michael Bolton, Office Space (1999)
With 29 minutes left in the 1985 comedy classic, Clue, Tim Curry announces, “Very well, I know who did it…. And furthermore, I’m gonna tell you how it was all done. Follow me.”
So, with two years to go in the Trump Presidency… well, we actually don’t know that. With two years elapsed in the Trump Presidency, I believe we have enough data to predict how the next two years will go.
My favorite question in life is, “So… what’s gonna happen?” I’ve been asking it for decades, but it’s certainly been my go-to in the run-up to the 2016 election and ever since. My friends, from the very bright to the not-so-bright, have all refrained from prognosticating, especially since so many of us got the 2016 election wrong.
I have no such humility.
As such, I’m going to predict the rest of 2019 as well as 2020.
Predictions are difficult for two reasons:
- Things change exponentially, not linearly. Information explodes at an accelerating rate.
- A prediction looks least likely to come true right before it does.
- As the quote goes, “There is no such thing as the foreseeable future.” An enormous event may occur (natural disaster, terrorist attack, disruptive innovation), completely upending all assumptions made up to this point. Or a mundane one may occur, like when I started making this list and thought I only had two reasons and then suddenly pivoted to three.
Further complicating this, we are used to Evil Geniuses. Dick Cheney is an Evil Genius, with George W. Bush as a Useful Idiot. Donald J. Trump is a new breed: he’s an Evil Idiot.
You see, that’s what puzzles me. People think that you can either be malicious or incompetent. Nope. You can be both. He’s both. He’s bad at being bad. He may not know that what he did counts as collusion. But he’s also a lifelong criminal, sitting atop a criminal empire. He doesn’t know how to play the game straight-up. From his casinos to Trump University to his real estate deals, he operates like a mob boss. Mark my words: this douchebag will go down in history as the most corrupt President in US history, besting (worsting?) Richard M. Nixon and Warren G. Harding.
Despite these realities, here goes:
1. Bombshell after bombshell will continue. Grab your popcorn and set your DVRs for February 7th — although I don’t think you’ll be able to chew because your jaw will be on the floor from the revelations coming from Michael Cohen’s Congressional/confessional testimony. 🍿
2. The Mueller Report is going to be one for the ages. Bob Mueller will demonstrate that our President, Donald Trump, colluded, obstructed justice, and operated as a Russian asset (not necessarily an agent). Mueller will follow DoJ protocol and not indict a sitting President. It is going to be very convincing but will lack a clear smoking gun. The Left will call Trump a traitor and ask that he indeed be impeached for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, with the High Crime being Treason. 📝
3. Mueller will indict a Trump family member for jail time. We may not learn this for years but Mueller will offer Trump a deal: resign the Presidency and we’ll let the family member go.🙈
4. Trump will refuse. ❌
5. There is a call on the Right for Trump to go so that Mike Pence, who, like a New & Improved Drug, offers conservatives Everything They Want Without The Drama. Pence could step in, but Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and all don’t go for it. Trump stays. 💊
6. Trump’s approval rating will shrink from 42% to 35%. But the 35% will remain steadfast in their support. Trump, a cornered animal, will appeal to his base, who as their leader once said, will follow him even if he were to shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue. 🐉
7. I just pray that nobody gets shot on Fifth Avenue: There Will Be Blood in the streets. Not an all-out civil war but widespread civil unrest. Not as bad as 1968 but the worst America has seen since then. 🔫
8. The smart money would be on Democrats to wait until they have 10 GOP Senators and 100 GOP Representatives who publicly or privately state they would vote to convict in an impeachment trial. (They need 20 GOP Senators to vote for impeachment.) However, Democrats will not wait long enough, claim they have a Constitutional responsibility, overreach, call for impeachment and begin proceedings. 🔐
9. By the end of the year, a Senate trial will occur. Vulnerable Republicans (Cory Gardner, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, et al.) will defect but it won’t be enough. ❌
10. Trump will survive impeachment 55–45. 🆓
11. Early 2020, several Republicans, most likely Jeff Flake, John Kasich, and maybe even Mitt Romney, primary Trump. It looks like one or more may catch fire but they eventually fizzle. 🔥
12. The biggest battle since The Lord of the Rings occurs on the Left, with the liberal/AOC wing’s leading left-wing primaries against corporate Democrats. ⚔️
13. Who wins 2020 will of course depend upon whom Democrats nominate. Trump is very beatable but of course could win re-election. A moderately liberal candidate running a good campaign would win easily. And it’s not a magic bullet situation: there are a number of people who could do it. Every ticket/candidate will have weaknesses, but as I’ve mentioned for over a year, something like Joey Biden/Kamala Harris is strong. Kirsten Gillibrand or Elizabeth Warren can do it if either can connect with Midwestern white males. Ohio’s Sherrod Brown can do it if he can inspire the liberal base. However, if Democrats, famous for their ability to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” select a more liberal candidate, it will make the 2020 election closer than it needs to be. My guess is they do this.🙈
14. Whereas Trump has such a small needle to thread, and whereas all a Democrat has to do is win back Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, Democrats will take back the White House 270–268. 📌
15. The exception to this is if Beto O’Rourke does indeed turn out to be f’real, runs a less-liberal campaign than he did vs. Cruz, wins his home state (as Texans unite to send a Texan back to the White House for the first time since 1968; after all, he lost to a Texan), and routs Trump 357–181. This would happen because he’s an inch taller and will make Trump look like a chump. 🙈
In the words of Michael Avenatti… “Buckle Up, Buttercup.” This is gonna be quite a ride. 🎢
18 January 2019