Larry Summers will say or do something massively embarrassing and damaging to the Obama administration and the welfare of the large majority of Americans. Given the media we have, it will be his saying something embarrassing instead of doing something damaging that could force his resignation. Though I wouldn’t count on that.
Barack Obama will be pressured to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. That he is “losing Iraq” will be the leverage used to pressure him to do this. He will give in.
On the positive side, Barack Obama will continue to do relatively small things that will improve things, which will be nice but mostly inadequate. If one of the right-wingers on the Supreme Court needs to be replaced, he might do a relatively big thing to improve things. Appointing Justice Sotomayor was the best thing he has done to date. If he somehow gets to replace two, it could be huge and big enough to make having elected him worth it. However, if the replacements act to sustain the fiction of corporate personhood or money as speech, those will be of negligible worth. Corporate personhood will become even more of a danger to us as it is used to attack the possibility of democracy and equality.
The Senate will remain the greatest break on change we can believe in. The fiction of Democratic control will hurt the party in the elections this year. Harry Reid will, thankfully, lose his election. He will have done little to make his time as the Democratic leader unregrettable. The worst features of the Senate will be on full display throughout the year, Senators will be largely unaware of the shame they are earning. They seem to be impervious to the will of The People, as their antics on health care prove. As anyone who has studied high school civics should know, that’s the intended result of this blight on democracy.
Nancy Pelosi will either assert the needed will to force the President and Senate to enact an abridged Democratic agenda or not. Her year could be the decisive factor in forcing Barack Obama and the Senate Democrats to keep faith with their supporters. She must be encouraged and supported along with the house progressives or even her best efforts will be assured of failure. Much of that will depend on the left pressuring the progressives and genuine moderates to overcome lock step Republican-blue dog resistance. I don’t see any chance of this happening without liberals and the left intelligently applying force to House members.
The present day, Republican extremists ruling the Supreme Court are on the verge of putting the knife in the back of electoral democracy. Barring the death or retirement of one of the five, they will succeed. The far right majority will try to finish what the Bush II regime and the Rehnquist court started, cementing the corporate-Republican alliance into place.
The media will continue to be the force that defeats progress and destroys democracy. The exceptions to this may exist but will be suppressed if they show signs of overturning the established order. The spectacle of the Bush II regime combined with the generally tacit belief in democracy and justice will not overcome their inherent greed and block think.
The big question in the States is how bad will it be allowed to get. Will we all be living in a perpetual Mississippi or Arkansas or Louisiana someday? Because with the line of lies the media have sold us, that is the direction we are headed in. Look where California is headed if you don’t see this as being possible. California!
And The People, the real foundation, the trunk and roots of the United States, the actual country? That’s the big question. Will we ever have had enough to give up the superstition that our present system serves us and is the best one we could have? Will we face that those of us who are devoted to the common good must fight against the other side harder and more insistently? Will we grow up even in the face of mounting need to do so?
Will we face that giving up is not an option with which we can live for very long?