Predictions you can't bank on

Posted: December 31, 2009

Here are my predictions for 2010:

Iran. Let's start with some good news for President Obama. This year the confrontation with Iran I've been warning about for four years will come to a head, but not in the form of Israeli air strikes.

That's not because the Iranian program has passed the point of no return, the Iranian sites are safe from Israeli air strikes, or the United States is refusing to cooperate with Israel. No, an Israeli attack is not in the cards because Israel knows this would help the corrupt Iranian regime hold on to the power that is slowly, surely slipping from its hands.

Iran's Green Revolution is real. It continues to grow despite Obama's lack of support and his ongoing endorsement of the current dangerous regime. (Protesters last month chanted, "Obama, are you with us or against us?") Its killing of protesters last week during the Shiite high holy day of Ashura could be the beginning of the end for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs. Iran will be engaged in a revolution next year, and Obama's actions will determine the winner.

Health Care. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have convinced some of their "moderates" that they must pass this 2,000-page, $2.4 trillion, freedom-robbing, government takeover of our private health-care system or the Democratic base will not show up for the November elections. The other conscientious objectors will go the way of Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) as Obama will use as many of your tax dollars as necessary to buy them off to procure his place in history.

Absent massive voter protests over the next few weeks, a bill that will do great harm to America will pass Congress.

The 2010 midterms. Unfortunately for Democrats, their liberal base already sees this bill for what it is: a Faustian bargain with Washington special interests and pork-driven lawmakers at the expense of real reform. Should this pass, "Repeal" will be the slogan and impassioned Republicans and disillusioned independents - not frustrated Democrats - will vote in droves in November.

This will cost Democrats 30 to 50 seats in the House, three to six seats in the Senate and five to eight governorships. Pennsylvania will play a major role as Republicans will pick up three or four House seats east of the Susquehanna and one or two out west.

Pennsylvania's Senate race. I have long thought U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak would knock off Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary. Over the past eight months, however, Specter has successfully positioned himself to Sestak's left. It's funny how easily Specter has moved to the far left to win a Democratic primary, but was never comfortable doing the opposite to win a Republican primary. I spoke with him last week. He seems physically and emotionally prepared for the Sestak challenge. His leap to the left wins him the primary, but costs him the general to Pat Toomey.

Pennsylvania governor's race. The Democratic primary will be the most interesting free-for-all since 1978. Then, maverick Democrat Pete Flaherty defeated two party favorites, the real Bob Casey and Lt. Gov. Ernie Kline. The maverick in this year's primary race also happens to be a well-funded one, Tom Knox. But any winner of the Democratic primary will likely receive little more than 30 percent of the vote and have outgoing Gov. Rendell as an anchor latched to his ankle. Attorney General Tom Corbett will easily win the Republican primary. Then we will see more history repeat itself with Corbett, like another tough prosecutor from Pittsburgh, Dick Thornburgh, taking back the state house after eight years of being governed by a Democrat from Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Wide World of Sports. The Eagles get as far as the NFC Championship game. The Chargers win the Super Bowl. The Flyers make the playoffs; lose to the Penguins, who defend their Cup by beating the Blackhawks in five. And it's Groundhog Day for the Phillies as they lose to the Yanks in six.

Please don't bet the ranch on any of these picks. I've never mustered the kind of certainty like the Al Gores of the world, who tell people to spend trillions of their hard-earned dollars on things that are nearly impossible to predict.

Rick Santorum (rsantorum@phillynews.com) will guest host for Bill Bennett on WNTP-AM (990) tomorrow and every Friday from 6 to 9 a.m.

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