Sticking with last year’s predictions

At the end of last year I formulated predictions for 2021 in the spirit of George Eliot’s narrator in Middlemarch: “Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.” I think it likely that the evils of 2022 will exceed those of 2021. For the moment, I’m sticking with my 2021 predictions for the coming year.

• Political betting markets will set the over-under on Biden’s tenure in the Harris-Biden administration at two years. I take the under.

• Some prominent Democrat — it might even be Biden — will urge an Operation Warp Speed approach to the conquest of Alzheimer’s disease.

• Whoever formulates this proposal, however, will make no mention of Operation Warp Speed. The proposal will be framed in terms of JFK’s Moonshot.

• Biden will hold no unscripted press conferences in 2022, yet the mainstream media will salute the transparency of his administration.

• Speaking of transparency — we will be discouraged from noting Biden’s resemblance to an escapee from Madame Tussauds, from inquiring or speculating about the number of plastic surgical procedures he has undergone, or to recall the brain surgeries performed to repair his aneurysms.

• Biden’s fans — is there such a thing as a Biden fan? Strike that. Biden’s supporters in the media, in politics, and among talking heads may allude in public to Biden’s medical history in coded language by saying Joe Biden is a survivor!

• The number of subjects that can be freely discussed and the range of opinions that can be publicly expressed will continue to contract.

• It will not be acceptable to allude to Biden’s “issues” by reference to the last years of Woodrow Wilson. Edith Wilson is she who must not be mentioned. We may refer vaguely to “Dr. Edith” in an offhand kind of way if we can do so without cracking a smile. The audacious among us may express an interest in Regency history.

• The media will express profound respect for the limits of public discourse in the name of decorum. They will do their best to enforce the limits they seek to impose by stigmatizing those who transgress them.

• James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and their co-conspirators will remain at large.

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