The Washington Post asked several political pundits: “What will be the biggest political surprise of 2011?” Here are some of the wild cards of U.S. politics this year:
- Public-sector labor strikes and demonstrations as state/local governments cut budgets. “The same kind of protests that have rocked Paris, London and Rome could erupt in California, New York and Illinois.”
- Efforts to repeal the big health care reform legislation will have the unintended effect of educating the public about the good things in it.
- The consensus that marked the lame-duck congressional session will continue in the new year (e.g., the DREAM immigration act could be passed).
- The emergence of a potentially serious third-party candidate for president in 2012.
- President Obama will definitely end the war in Afghanistan, while Republicans will have the unpopular position of supporting open-ended commitment.