Thursday, January 4, 2018

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: In Only One Week.....

To give us perspective on the rapidly changing U.S. political
landscape, we need only look at the past few weeks, and
especially, this first week of the new year.

Just weeks before, few if any expected that dean of the
U.S. senate, Utah’s Orrin Hatch, was actually going to retire
to make way for Mitt Romney; that a Democrat would win
the Alabama special senate election; that the chairman of the
senate foreign relations committee, Republican Bob Corker
of Tennessee, would decide not to run for re-election; and
that “rising star” Minnesota Senator Al Franken would be
forced to retire from office by his own party. Tax reform
legislation remained bottled up by GOP intraparty conflict
in both houses of Congress, and was seemingly going
nowhere before an end of the year deadline. Obamacare
repeal had failed, and the key coverage mandate remained in
place. Powerful Republican congressional committee chairs
and members seemed headed for re-election. Insurgent GOP
strategist Steve Bannon had acquired mythic status in the
media, and threatened to bring down several incumbent
senators of his own party. Hollywood was riding high both at
the box office and in politics. Media bias was rampant.

So much for conventional thinking.

Just the few surprises and reversals mentioned above have
significantly altered 2018 politics, presenting unexpected
opportunities for both Democrats and Republicans. But many
retirement and primary challenge decisions remain, and the
impact of the historic tax cuts is not yet known.

The dramatic recent changes are not limited to individual
and political party prospects. Profound new cultural standards
are being forged, and the lavish and excessive win streak of
the iconic Hollywood, media and pro football industries are
faltering by the missteps of some of their own in conduct and
public opinion.

We are only in the first week of the year. There are 44 weeks
until election day, 2018.

Surprises will keep on coming.

Copyright (c) 2018 by Barry Casselman. All right reserved.

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