While the teapot may have come to a boil in 2010, I think that 2011 will see the Tea Party run out of steam. It’s like a good guy film-if there’s no villain or bloodshed, then it’s really not a guy film, it’s a chick-flick. Without Pelosi, the Tea Party has become a chick-flick.
Run or not to run. After Hoosiers realize they’ve been drinking from the punch bowl and are suffering from a severe hang-over, Mitch's popularity will tank as Indiana’s economic “rebound” once again puts us even farther behind the rest of the country. It will be the rest of the nation that ultimately has to tell the emperor he has no clothes as they say in unison “not my man Mitch”.
River City elections will be a sleeper. No, more like comatose. Some will view it as a landslide; others will see it as a lost cause. Just like in 1982 when the little town took on Goliath in basketball and the whole city left for Indianapolis, I think it’s safe to say again “last one out, turn off the lights”.
Believing that Democrats shouldn’t create all the waste in government spending, Republicans in Indiana are plowing new ground with all of the road construction projects underway. One would think this a good thing-a sign of progress….until you realize that county officials are spending close to $10 million per minute saved in getting around River City with a new “beltway”. Running out of former elected heroes’ names ironically the new $20 million beltway will be named for the most conservative official to have ever served in the county. Problem is, she’s a Democrat. I propose to you “Konya Highway”. Ultimately she’ll decline the honor because lettering on the sign would cost more than simply “7th”.
It's the Economy Stupid
Speaking of pork barrel spending, Republicans will bring it to a halt once they arrive on the Hill. Then they’ll realize that waste was paving their roads and paying for their police. The economy will bump ever so slowly upward-some will say it is the result of the continuing Bush-era tax cuts, which is why the economy is in such a robust state today, others will say it is because of stimulus spending, and still others will say there is no recovery. This prediction’s accuracy depends on where you get your information. If it is from Mitch and Obama-we’re doing great, if it is from the Tea Party, Mitch's Budget Office, and Republicans on Capitol Hill-we need change.
Both the Lincoln Highway and Historic Michigan Road will gain state byway status this year, not only bringing new economic opportunities to more than 50 Indiana communities, but for the first time bringing this heritage tourism tool to the northern half of the state. In the same breath I think it is safe to predict that one metropolitan planning organization will have mucho egg on their face for being the only group to not endorse the byways, proving that their purview of “regional initiatives” is nothing but lip service and road blocks.
The Great Reformation
More weight will be given to the Kernan-Shepard report as Indiana legislators and the Governor attempt to streamline government by consolidating power doing away with unnecessary democracy. As a GOP vs. GOP battle ensues the realization will be that we shouldn’t stop with doing away with township government and portions of county government, but we can probably do away with a fair amount of state government. It reminds me of “first they came for the trustees, but I didn’t care, I wasn’t a trustee, then they came for the commissioners, but I didn’t care, I wasn’t a commissioner, then they came for me and I looked around and there was no one to defend me”.
Indiana's E(ab)d(i)ucation System
Anytime I hear some form of education reform rolled out I think our kids get a little dumber. Can someone tell me why with all of the reform of the last 20 years our kids continue to fall further and further behind? Can someone explain why teachers spend more time being tested than teaching? Indiana will finally figure out they need to let teachers teach-a true epiphany. Any principal or administrator worth their salt will know if a teacher is failing in the classroom-but they can’t do that if teachers aren’t able to spend time actually teaching.