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OPINION

2023-The Year In Preview

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Now that we’ve established the fact that 2022 sucked, it’s time to look forward to seeing what the new year might bring. What will happen in the next 12 months and how will that shape the future? It’s all guess work, of course, no one can know the future (as evidenced by how there aren’t any multiple mega-lottery winners) or time-travel (as evidenced by how there is no one with the lucky streak of a Biff Tannen from “Back to the Future 2”) but we can make semi-educated guessing based on experience. A lot of the present is just human beings having learned nothing from the past and, therefore, only slightly altering mistakes already made to suit the current situation. People, if not events, are wildly predictable. 

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So how should the future be viewed? The answer depends heavily on how you choose to view the world. If you’re an optimist, well, I don’t know what that’s like. I imagine it involves being disappointed regularly, though so many of you still seem happy. I’m not sure how that works – how you can hope for the best, expect it even, not get it and still have the thought that tomorrow it could work out. I’m jealous, to a certain extent, of how optimists get up every morning ready to take on the world no matter how badly the world kicked their ass just the day before.

If that leads you to think I’m cynical, you are correct. When you expect the worst, you’re rarely disappointed and oftentimes pleasantly surprised. Another way to look at it is “There’s nowhere to go but up.” It is with that thought we look forward to 2023.

There’s nowhere to go but up. 

We are at the halfway point of the Biden administration, which is like telling a kid terrified by a haunted house that it’s almost over, all they have to do is hang in there. Unfortunately, given the results of the last election – seeing people pass on the opportunity to toss out a bunch of leftists – the next election might not bring the relief we so desperately need. 

This year will go a long way toward setting the ground on which the 2024 election will be fought. Do you have a lot of faith that a Republican Party more interested in shooting down its own trench is going to get its act together, no matter who the nominee in 2024 is, in order to fight Democrats in the most effective way?

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This past year saw the GOP take the House, and thank God for that, but they just barely took it. Democrats are a hive mind, which means a single vote majority is enough for them to ram through whatever they want. Republicans aren’t like that, you have to actually wonder what many of the GOP Members truly believe sometimes. 

Then you have the “Purity GOP.” 

My heart is usually with those Members of Congress so annoyed by the rest of the GOP that they do or say something stupid out of frustration. But that doesn’t make what they do any less stupid.

Ultimatums are stupid, either in politics or the private sector, unless you’re willing to actually shoot the hostage. Say you’re going to quit if you don’t get your way and you don’t get your way…you have to quit or you’re a fraud. No matter how you try to rationalize your change, an ultimatum leaves no wiggle room. 

When some House conservatives promised to oppose anything and everything, any Senate Republicans who voted in favor of that horrible spending bill weren't very clear as to what that meant exactly. While that vote was terrible and it never should have passed, if those Senators support something good, are these House Members going to try to block it out of spite? Even if they support it, will they oppose it because it might be in line with one or more of those Senators? 

Acting or speaking without thinking is stupid. Words have meanings. You can’t argue against the left’s crusade to redefine words to suit their needs if you’re doing the same, even in a significantly saner way. 

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Realistically, Republicans only control the House. Horrible candidates and campaigns kept the Senate in the hands of Democrats. I would’ve much rather won the Senate to stop appointments, but this is the reality we’ve got. If the GOP can’t pull its head out of its rear end and recognize who the real enemy is (and I’m all for having the battle for the heart of “true conservatism” but only after liberalism is vanquished), you can expect them to blow any chance of winning in 2024. 

I fear 2023 will be the House GOP fighting among itself over symbolic votes that will go nowhere in the Senate. That’d be OK if GOP leadership could message the public, but they can’t. The RNC should be running issue ads now explaining the truth to the public the media won’t touch, but they’re too busy solidifying their positions within the party to do anything to expand it.

I predict if the House passes anything that passes the Senate it will be horrible for that very reason. All the promises to put pressure on the Biden administration to veto or even weigh in on hot button issues won’t materialize because Republicans suck at messaging. The Senate will be a legislative graveyard for whatever few things a disjointed GOP can pass, and no pressure will fall on the White House because Peter Doocy is the only member of the press who’d ask and he only gets so many questions per day. 

Sound cheery? I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt I am. I’ve seen this movie before. From 2011 till 2015 Republicans controlled the House and nothing else. Any conservative victories you can think of from that time? 

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Then, with the passage of the wildly unpopular Obamacare, Democrats seemed to be desperate to give control of the Senate away. Thanks to bad leadership, an inability to message to the American people about what Republicans wanted to do and what conservatism really is, and horrible candidates, the Senate remained in the hands of Democrats for 4 more years than it should have. Anyone have faith in the current GOP leadership to do anything differently?

I’m not saying Joe Biden is Barack Obama, as much as Joe Biden would love to be Barack Obama, he’s just not smart enough and far too old and white to pull it off with Democrats. But the GOP is still the GOP. If any group of people could go up against a wildly unpopular and destructive political party and lose for reasons so basic a child could see it, it’s them. The party of Lindsey Graham sticking his unwanted nose in every election across the country, or the geniuses who came up with the convoluted “Commitment to America” thinking a wordy, nonsensical “document” written by committee was going to win over anyone, is quite capable of blowing themselves up while making a sandwich, let alone rhetorical bombs. 

Maybe I’m too cynical, I don’t know, but I don’t think so. We’ve all seen this movie before, expecting a different ending this time would be insane, wouldn’t it? But we can hope. 

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses, and host of the weekly “Week in F*cking Review” podcast where the news is spoken about the way it deserves to be. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.

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