Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hugh Hewitt's Predictions

Take a look at Hugh Hewitt's predictions for the Obama Presidency:

"Flash forward to the summer of 2011: President Obama is beleaguered and his approval numbers are in the low 30s. Taxes are high, inflation is high, unemployment is high, and the markets have never recovered from the post-election sell-off. Oil is back in triple digits, and the Taliban have seized large portions of Pakistan and threaten the central government there. Iran went nuclear in 2010 and threatens Israel on a weekly basis. President Obama's press conferences are painful to listen to, his inability to act decisively has earned him the title 'ditherer-in-chief.'

The GOP is eager for the primaries to begin, and a strong field has emerged that includes the return of Giuliani, Huckabee and Romney to the hunt, but which also includes Jeb Bush, Tim Pawlenty and Mitch Daniels. (Sarah Palin has decided to wait until the conclusion of the second term she won handily in 2010 before deciding on a future course.)"

In a way this is refreshing to have a GOP pundit actually make specific predictions in time and content. In the summer of 2011:

1) Obama approval ratings below 35%
2) Taxes higher than they are now
3) Inflation higher than it is now
4) Unemployment higher than it is now
5) Dow below 8,000
6) Oil over $100/barrel
7) The Taliban controls large segments of Pakistan
8) Iran has nuclear weapons

My money says that no more than 3 of these will be true, and certainly if most of these came to pass, I'd have to rethink the way I saw the world. I'm sure Hewitt has many in agreement with him, but the important question is will they rethink the way they see the world if few of them come true? What if instead, everything improves under Obama? Will they make excuses, ignore the evidence of the failure of their worldview, and find increasingly contorted reasoning to give credit to George Bush?

One of the most interesting aspects of the election to me was the consistent failure of many partisan GOPer predictions, and the equally consistent failure of them to alter their views of the world. When reality conflicted with their theories, it was reality that was rejected. In an ever changing world, that cannot continue.


Ian said...

Taxes higher than they are now
Hopefully - on people making over $250,000/yr

Inflation higher than it is now
With people talking about deflation worries, I suppose the correct answer is "hopefully"; if inflation isn't higher than it is right now, then we're probably stuck in a long recession like the Japanese had throughout the 90s.

Oil over $100/barrel
That wouldn't surprise me. Again, it's the global "slowdown" that's probably driving oil prices down.

Of course, a nearly-nuclear Iran and a resurgent Taliban are Bush's gifts to the world. As for the Taliban controlling "large portions of Pakistan"...why would local leaders support an ethnic Pashtun militia outside of the NWFP? On the other hand, if Hewitt is trying to say that they'd be in control of the NWFP, my thought is "how would we be able to tell the difference?" Bush's ally already turned control of the area over to local tribal leaders. The Taliban is more a manifestation of their projection of power across the border, not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Folks have such short memories. There's not much in the way of accountability for comments 3 years in the future. Who will care in 3 years what someone said way back in 2008?

Of that list, I wouldn't doubt for a moment that oil will be back up over $100. Higher taxes makes sense (at least higher taxes on some people).

The predictions seem to be engineered to create the maximum fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), anxiety as a political tool--not to be real predictions of anything.