At the dawn of the Age of Obama, here are four predictions you can count on.
The first is that while Obama is riding high, race relations will be excellent. But once Obama goes down in the polls and he does things that elicit criticism, be prepared for the “race card” to be played. If it is, then race relations could be set back, because the charges will be so transparently false. If race was used by Obamacons against Bill Clinton, it will certainly be used against Republicans.
Second, we will hear more and more from Obama and his supporters about the severe difficulty of the situation they face. The days of healing the planet and reversing the ocean tide are gone. Indeed, the notion that we can expect any progress in 2009, we will be told, is utterly fanciful; just write it off. In fact, have you noticed how everything seems harder now that Obama is president? The situation in Guantanamo Bay turns out to be rather more complicated than candidate Obama said. Peace in the Middle East won’t happen with a snap of Obama’s finger – or even because he names some new envoys. Iran really wants a nuclear weapon, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be immune to the charms of Obama and his epistles. We find out that ethics bills need exceptions. Obama can talk up the “stimulus” package all day long, but the markets don’t seem impressed. Creating jobs has now turned into “saving” them. It turns out even “the word made flesh” (to quote Harold Meyerson) needs time – lots and lots of time – to perform his miracle. And columnists who were deranged in their criticisms of George W. Bush will declare that any criticism of Obama is “grousing.”
Third, Obama’s good manners will by synonymous with authentic bi-partisanship. For example, Republicans were frozen out of writing the “stimulus” bill. To have a pleasant conversation with Republican over lunch to discuss legislation they consider an anathema does not qualify as bi-partisanship. And if commentators do lament the lack of bi-partisanship, it will be the fault of… Republicans in Congress. For the MSM, it is conservatives and Republicans who must always give ground. If they don’t, regardless of which branch of government they occupy, they are to blame.
Fourth, as Obama continues to insist his policies should be followed because “I won,” it will be applauded as an impressive sign of strength and a recognition of political reality. Of course, when Bush said anything close to this, it was said to be an example of his “my way or the highway” arrogance.
There aren’t many sure bets in this life; these are four of them.