Here's just a few of the reasons I have made this assessment:
1. The Paul Ryan plan, passed by House Republicans, to dramatically change the one thing 78% of Americans say they don't want changed, Medicare. It may be brave of Ryan to finally put entitlements on the table, but it was done with so little preparation, and as such an obvious pandering to Tea Partiers, that more Republicans are likely to lose their seats over having voted for it than Democrats did for backing Obamacare in the 2010 midterms.
2. By 2012, many Americans will see that some major Obama decisions, like rescuing General Motors and Chrysler, were brilliant successes. Chrysler has paid back its government loans with interest, and thousands of jobs were saved in both companies.
3. Like a tiny circus car disgorging its crowded passenger load of clowns, more and more ridiculous Republican comments will reveal the party to be in thrall to the most extreme aspects of its lunatic fringe. What a fun sitcom we could have starring Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney as the straight man (as in butt of jokes rather than sexual preference). I like Jay Leno's line that Republicans have certainly turned around from their old family oriented image with three-time married aspiring candidates like Trump, Gingrich, and Guliani--and Mitt Romney has only had one wife and he's the Mormon!
4. Since many, perhaps most, Americans are basically fair-minded, there will, I also predict, be a backlash against the unprecedented and often racially motivated attacks on Obama, including the insidious birther movement.
5. Republicans do tend to have political death wishes. How else to explain Newt's catastrophic first week, and his announcement that his third wife Calista will be a full partner on the campaign trail. And Pawlenty's railing against ethanol gas subsidies when he'd have to win Iowa to have a real shot at being nominated. And Mitt Romney's defending his Massachusetts precursor to Obamacare to Republican audiences.
6. Republicans with great popular support and reputations for honesty and competence, such as Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, and Mike Huckabee, have been rushing for the exits. They are likely to be replaced by such quirky candidates as Bachman and Texas governor Rick Perry, whose main claim to fame is that he floated a trial balloon to have Texas secede from the U.S. Of course, there is Herman Cain, but I think after the dismal performance of Michael Steel as the first African-American GOP chairman, the party may be unwilling to support another person of color. And all those attacks on Obama as someone "not like us," "possibly born somewhere else," "uppity," indicate a deep well of anti-black feeling at the core of the party. After all, it has proudly worn the mantle of the party of the "White Rich Christian Guys." Besides, though he makes some good rhetorical points, the former CEO of Godfather Pizza has never been elected to anything, and candidates with no electoral experience whatsoever have never won a presidential nomination.
7. Obama, after some rocky times, is on an upswing and this is likely to continue over the next 18 months. All historical experience has shown that pessimism and cynicism are temporary events in the national mood.
8. Republicans have missed the boat, not capitalizing on their momentum from 2010, not figuring out how to take advantage of the populism of the Tea Party movement, or assimilate the Tea Party House members into the party fold. Lots of pandering, lots of missed opportunities, lots of cowardice in not confronting their extreme elements. Their time has passed, at least for this historical moment.
9. It seems commonsensible to presume that some of those tens of millions of uninsured Americans scheduled for coverage under Obamacare will vote for the man who finally delivered on the promise of healthcare for everyone. Also, there is Obama's core constituency of young adults under 26 who are now covered by their parents' medical insurance.
Of course, this is just my personal opinion and prediction after 50 years of observation, including 12 as a broadcast journalist. I promise I'll do a post after election day 2012, and either gloat or eat crow, depending on the outcome.
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