It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and I’ve sat out a few of the major issues that have occupied much of the local and national blogosphere. To atone for my missing out on the recent past, I’ll gaze into the crystal ball and offer up a few glimpses into the national, state and local future.
1. National: President Obama is going to be re-elected. Period.
Despite constant efforts by those who sell advertising space to convince us that there is an interesting story here, there isn’t. They are just trying to sell newspapers and fill air time between ads. If we ignore them, they will go away, but we won’t ignore them. In all seriousness, if the Republicans were smart, they would just skip the 2012 elections, and nominate one person for 2016 at their next convention, devoting two cycles worth of money and promotion toward making darned sure they win the next winnable election.
2. State: The independence of the Missouri judiciary will be ferociously attacked by high-dollar corporate interests.
At first blush, this may seem a bit obvious, along the lines of predicting that “abortion rights will be controversial” or “Peter Kinder will say something dumb”, but I think the attacks on the Missouri Plan for selection of judges are going to take a nasty turn. Recent history has seen determined efforts by wealthy corporate interests to inject more money and politics into Missouri’s judicial selection process. In a rare refutation of the Golden Rule (“He who has the gold makes the rules”), good judgment has thus far prevailed against these breathtakingly bad ideas. I’m betting that we are going to see focused attacks on good judges in the next cycle of elections, with well-funded negative campaigns aimed at judges who are unable to raise funds and fight back. Whomever Governor Nixon appoints to replace Mike Wolff will have a big target on his or her back, and will face a huge “Vote No on Judge ____” campaign. Money and its corrupting influence view our court system as a vacuum to be abhorred.
3. Local: Bishop Finn isn’t going anywhere.
I have good reason to avoid much commentary on this topic, but the Catholic Church is pretty much immune from popular opinion. It’s a little amusing to watch political reporters wrestle with competing demonstrations of support and nonsupport as if they mattered. It’s as if a sports reporter went to a Royals game and focused on the fans’ attempts to muster a successful wave. The real game doesn’t happen in the stands, and the real umpire is in Rome (or, perhaps, in heaven).