Wayne Nash forecasts the future for American politics.

Congress faces a number of important issues, including tort reform, the war in Iraq and immigration.
Lottie and I just got back from the Louisiana drillers' convention. I figured I owed her a trip or something after the “Eat and Run” piece. I've been getting a fair amount of e-mail on that one; thanks, everybody.

Louisiana had a nice little show, and the seminars were well attended. For a small city, Alexandria sure is hard to get around; none of the roads seem to go where you want them to. We stopped on our way home at the “investment center” in Biloxi, Miss., to check on our retirement funds. Nope, they're not quite ready to part with them yet, so I reckon y'all will have to put up with me a little longer, at least 'til my ship comes in.

Last summer, during the primaries, I wrote a piece predicting the outcome of the elections and such. I got a pile of e-mail on that one. Most of it was good, but some of my readers responded with threats to turn over my trashcan and molest my dog. I had no idea there were any Democrat well drillers. Maybe they work for the guv'mint or something. One driller (from a blue state, no doubt) informed me that I had “the right to remain silent.” OK, I just don't have that ability! So, here goes.

Since my last predictions were pretty well on target, I figure I'll put my neck on the block again, dust off my crystal ball (or decanter) and prognosticate on where we're headed. As I watched the inauguration, I felt a certain sense of pride on being an American and glad that we had elected a man of his word who is not afraid to recognize a higher power. Sure beats being guided by polls and libido, like a recent predecessor. The inauguration ceremonies weren't even over before the Democrats started whining about how they lost the election because “they couldn't get their message out.” On the contrary, with most of the major media beating their drum for them, I think they got their message out pretty well. If they actually had been able to explain what they really stood for, the margin of victory would have been even larger. They immediately started typical obstructionist tactics with Condi Rice. Have they forgotten what happened to Tom Daschel?

GW has an ambitious plan to re-vamp the Ponzi scheme that is Social Security. Seems like a pretty good plan, but I don't think they can git-er-done before the mid-term elections. When the Republicans get a larger majority in Congress, maybe. It seems like the Republicans are having trouble figuring out that they are in the majority and need to start acting like it. Equally, the Democrats haven't figured out that they are no longer in charge and respond to every proposal with, “That won't work.” As the opposition party, why don't they come up with a few original ideas of their own? Or at least get some better leaders than Nancy Pilosi or Ted Kennedy? Some of these people are lost as a dog with a Bible!

As far as the war goes, it's going to take time and money. Think about it, we STILL have troops in Germany and Japan, 60 years later. It's a tough sell, but the alternative is not something I care to think about. Quitting is not an option, and if we're going to win, it needs to be decisive. Our adversaries have way more patience than the average American, who seems to have trouble sitting through more than a half-hour sitcom. They also have a sense of history that, while misguided, is long.

Immigration and border control: I disagree wholeheartedly with GW on this one. It looks like the tsunami of immigrants is not going to be staunched until we let in somebody that causes some real, immediate damage. The incremental Balkanization of the south and west already may be too far along to undo. Congress won't address the issue for two simple reasons: The Democrats want more voters, so they make grandiose promises (using our money) to buy votes, and the Republicans want somebody to do the jobs that Americans don't want.

Tort reform is another issue that needs to be addressed but probably is another ambitious non-starter because Congress is infested with lawyers. Where's Acme Pest Control when we need 'em?

These and other issues are the things that face the future of America. Whether we can get anything done or not, I don't know, but I'm glad we at least are working on them. This is the type of stuff I sit around and study up on when I'm not out drilling. I figure that even if I vote wrong, I'll have some idea of what I voting for.