Friday, May 23, 2008

Daniel Nichols’ predictions
After the Punch and Judy show is over, after Hillary Clinton has morphed into Ma Kettle and has been dragged kicking and screaming from the stage, spitting tobacco juice and swigging whisky and cussing...
I can see it.

I’m not sure if she really does have the old working-class RC Democratic vote or if it’s simply the dittoheads’ Operation Chaos (infiltrate, divide and conquer the Democrats) working; I suspect it’s the former so, right or wrong, she does have the chance against McCain that Obama doesn’t. (Paul Begala’s right: a coalition of blacks and self-consciously liberal whites wouldn’t cut it.)

I’m not so sure McCain will implode.
Whoever is nominated — Newtie? Mitt? Some lurking unknown? — will lose to Obama, who will weather an unprecedentedly negative campaign, not so much by the Republican nominee but by his surrogates in talk radio and the other media, solely by the force of his charm and by keeping his cool, which in this pitiful age will pass as gravitas. Selecting a vice president candidate who will appeal to, you know, hard working Americans, white Americans, will help as well. Jim Webb? Robert Casey Jr.? Mike Huckabee? I don’t know, but any other course would be stupid for him.

There will be no change in the status of abortion, as there would not have been if the Republicans and neocons had remained in power.
Coming decades will see an explosion of conversions to Islam...
I think Nichols, a Greek Catholic, might resent Rod Dreher for ’doxing (converting twice after spending many years in each former church does not speak badly for somebody’s character) but this prediction echoes the good point Drake Adams has made, that many semi-churched evangelicalish Americans with their simplistic, half-formed theology easily could be turned into Muslims (an equally simple religion).

Which church Dreher goes to is a matter he and I are impartial about; it doesn’t matter (he’s not an indifferentist but I don’t think he proselytises online). My problem with him is, like Bob Barr as described by the LRC blog, he’s essentially
a tamed down hawk and slightly less spendthrift Republican.
RC-Orthodox relations all hang on the question of exactly how the infallible church works. An important one; the Russians aren’t necessarily being nasty. (Un-Roman, un-Western ≠ anti-Roman, anti-Western.) As Owen White has said union would mean one side giving in, end of story. I do like much of what Nichols is saying, especially the Orthodox dropping the recently (in the past 40 years) adopted Protestant innovation on contraception. (Orthodoxy’s biggest problem because it’s about principle; the anti-Westernism is cultural effluvia.) The Patriarch of Constantinople has to answer to most of his flock, Greek-Americans, who are keeping him alive, literally, in hostile Turkey. (I’m told the Greek-Americans don’t like him either and would rather be independent like the people back in the patrida.) So they’re calling the shots; if they don’t want to go under Rome he won’t.
Iraq itself, after the inevitable American withdrawal — when in history has an invader defeated a native insurgency? — will descend into civil war, and eventually split into two nations, Kurdistan and Sunnistan. The Shi’a section will be absorbed by Iran, which will become the major power in the Middle East, thanks to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003.
True except Iraqis are Arabs and Iranians not so I don’t see union with Iran. Also, as others have said, the insurmountable Sunni-Shia division and the overwhelming Sunni majority in the Middle East mean Iran will never be top dog.

From Joshua Snyder.

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