Barron’s D.C. man thinks 2014 will resemble the year that’s winding down

Jim McTague explains in his latest “D.C. Current” column for Barron’s why he expects next year’s political stories to follow familiar scripts.

[W]hat you saw is what we’ll get in greater doses in the new year: vicious sound-biting; occasional conciliatory games of “kick-the-can” to temporarily resolve unresolvable differences, but in the main, gridlock up to the November midterm election. Forget the recent budget compromise, which saw Republicans and Democrats come together to spare the Pentagon the pain of sequestration’s draconian cuts. That was only a pre-election public relations ploy, joined with a genuflection to the military-industrial complex, not a genuine political thaw.

I’ve been peering into my crystal ball just like the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. Actually, it’s an empty goldfish bowl. What’s this I see?

OBAMACARE WILL CONTINUE TO SPIN out of control like Sandra Bullock in Gravity.Obama will respond to the challenge as he always does — with speeches blaming the Republicans. In this case, he will charge the opposition with obstructing fixes in the hope of seeing the law collapse, which is about right. The GOP plans to stand dumbly by like Mrs. O’Leary’s cow in In Old Chicago, hoping that Obamacare will burn the Democratic Party to the ground in advance of the midterms.

Both sides will engage in another Rebel Without a Cause-style “chickie run” toward the edge of the fiscal cliff when the debt-ceiling vote comes up, egged on by suicidal Tea Party conservatives. Jimmie and Buzz — pardon, I mean Obama and House Speaker John Boehner — will be quicker to hit the brakes this time around, however. Perhaps the president will offer a carrot — approval of the Keystone Pipeline — in return for GOP cooperation on the debt ceiling. Naw. this will never happen. I expect that Obama, a climate extremist, will go Silkwood and deep-six the project.

Obama’s State of the Union address, scheduled for Jan. 28, will exhibit few signs of bipartisanship. He will reprise his class-warfare rhetoric, calling for more transfer payments from rich to poor and a rebuilding of our infrastructure, claiming that this, in trickle-down fashion, will expand the private economy. Shades of Annie. He will promise, as he always does, that the sun will come out tomorrow — if Congress does things his way.

No comments yet. You should be kind and add one!

Our apologies, you must be registered and logged in to post a comment.