New Year’s Predictions — What to Look for in 2018
Every December, many political commentators weigh in with their predictions for the upcoming year. I used to do the same, but took last year off because I figured that August's solar eclipse would probably end life on our planet as we knew it, and I wasn't in a masochistic enough mood to want to scare the holy hell out of readers in the second half of my column.
Sure, laugh if you want. But NASA's encouraging of everyone to look directly into the sun with their flimsy paper glasses stood in direct conflict with all the warnings my mother used to give me when I was a child. Couple that with Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto portraying this planetary event as a backdrop for human sacrifices and indiscriminate loincloths, and I wasn't going to take any chances.
Anywho... I'm willing to give it a try this time around, barring any last-minute developments relating to cataclysmic occurences.
A faded sign at the side of the road
In a scene that stuns the world, President Trump will close out his first State of the Union address by inexplicably reciting the song lyrics (in their entirety) to the B-52's 1989 smash-hit, Love Shack. He will leave the podium to scattered applause and confused glares, seemingly unaware that he had said anything odd.
Immediate reaction from the media will be widely mixed. Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein will declare that the rumors of Trump suffering from dementia now have credibility. Conversely, Fox News's Jesse Watters will call the incident an example of "the president's commitment to igniting a reawakening in American confidence and ushering in a rebirth of pride, patriotism, and prosperity by putting America first."
It will soon be discovered, however, that Omarosa Manigault had breached U.S. Capitol security earlier in the day and tampered with president's teleprompter — all in a final act of defiance over losing her White House job. This revelation will lead to a special episode of Hannity, where Sean Hannity will use information provided by Wikileaks to tie Omarosa to both Hillary Clinton and The Deep State.
Moore is less
Learning from the devastating U.S. Senate loss in Alabama, the GOP will employ plans to better insulate future Republican primaries from controversial candidates with problematic backgrounds. This national strategy will require that a questionnaire called the "Creep Assessment" be filled out by every prospective Republican candidate who registers to run for office. Questions will include:
Have you ever dated or sought to date anyone younger than (your age)/2 + 7 years?" (credit: David Burge)
Do you attribute the 9/11 attacks to anyone other than Osama bin Laden and/or Al-Qaeda?
Have you ever accepted a phone call from Steve Bannon?
White House restructuring
Sarah Huckabee Sanders will replace John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff shortly after Kelly mysteriously disappears (he will be found three weeks later, aimlessly roaming the Blue Ridge Mountains and mumbling strange things about tweets and Vladimir Putin). Sanders' father, Mike Huckabee, will take over the role of White House Press Secretary before coming under heavy scrutiny for answering every question with a criminally flat old-guy joke. He'll soon be replaced with attorney and Trump advisor, Jay Sekulow, who will further outrage the White House press corps by adamantly denying statements that he had clearly made just minutes earlier. After five back-to-back Sekulow recants in a single press briefing, CNN's Jim Acosta will literally be brought to tears.
Live from DC!
At a hastily organized press conference, Al Franken will announce that he will not be resigning from the U.S. Senate after all. Inspired by Newt Gingrich's recent defense of Franken's past misconduct with women, the senator will explain that his previous vow to step down was just part of an elaborate comedy skit. He'll then remove his jacket to reveal a light-blue sweater and yellow shirt, cross his eyes, and declare that he is "good enough" and "smart enough" to continue serving. The decades-old reference will confuse everyone under the age of 40, but not be seen as terribly unusual given the events of the last couple of years.
There she goes again...
Megyn Kelly will once again infuriate her network colleagues, adding to a list of past capital offenses that include asking tough questions of presidential candidates, and speaking out against workplace sexual harassment. This time, Kelly will send her NBC co-workers into hysterics for having the gall to do a Megyn Kelly TODAY episode on the theme of Fire Safety just two days after a tragic hair-spray accident with Joe Scarborough sets a makeup room ablaze in Rockefeller Plaza.
Take the red pill or the blue pill?
For the better part of an hour, a malfunction at Comcast will broadcast HLN programming on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News channels. Millions of people will suddenly be made aware of an evening news-commentary show called S.E. Cupp Unfiltered that isn't fiercely anti-Trump or pro-Trump, has a positive vibe, and actually provides valuable insight and honest analysis on important issues.
Viewers will be left stunned and unsure of how to respond, until the regularly scheduled hackery from the other networks is restored, and a collective breath of hyper-partisan relief is drawn back in.
Return from Trumpville
Fox News viewers will be left speechless during a live airing of The Five, when co-host Greg Gutfeld is confronted on the set by a man who is his spitting image. The man will explain that he is the real Greg Gutfeld, and that the individual who's been sitting in his chair for the past eleven months is actually Gunnar Gutfeld (Greg's stunted twin brother, who was occasionally discussed on Gutfeld's old show, Red Eye). An ensuing investigation will reveal that after years of being trapped in a shoe-box under Greg's bed (with only Dilbert comic strips and Lou Dobbs tweet-transcripts to keep him entertained), Gunnar escaped, kidnapped Greg, and assumed his brother's identity. The revelations will explain the host's seemingly profound shift in political sensibilities that began shortly after the 2016 election. A week later, the real Greg will resume his role on The Five, and bring with him his unique style of irreverent commentary that had long endeared him to viewers. Gunnar will return to a life of seclusion and not be missed.
Faces of Kimmel
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will continue to use his television platform to blame conservatives for mass shootings, and insist that each new piece of Republican legislation will kill thousands — perhaps millions — more. Over the summer, Kimmel will expand on the theme by narrating a revival of the cult film franchise, Faces of Death, in which simulated scenes of electric-chair executions and third-world assassinations will be replaced with clips of Paul Ryan signing papers.
In all seriousness, I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. Whatever disagreements we may have in 2018 (and I predict there will be many), I’m hoping we can approach them with civility and — at times — a good laugh.