A year ago, this column imprudently made political predictions for 2014. They met with mixed success.
Among the right ones were: Governor Steve Beshear gave up on efforts to expand gambling and offered no tax reform plan; Crit Luallen announced that she was not running for governor; Mitch McConnell easily won his U. S. Senate primary against Matt Bevin and beat Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes by more than he beat Bruce Lunsford by in 2008; Republicans won a U. S. Senate majority; and agriculture commissioner James Comer and former Louisville councilman Hal Heiner announced their candidacies for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and one of them (Heiner) has a female running mate.
Among the wrong ones were: President Obama did not tap Beshear as Obamacare czar; the Fed did not accelerate quantitative easing; the GOP did not capture the state House of Representatives; Israel did not attack Iran's nuclear facilities after Obama made a bad deal with the mullahs; Democratic congressman John Yarmuth did not have an Obamacare-related close call on reelection; and Republican Rand Paul has not yet announced that he will simultaneously seek the presidency and reelection to the U. S. Senate in 2016 or filed a lawsuit to permit him to be on the same ballot for both offices.
All things considered, your correspondent's prognostication average was not too far from the .341 batting average of Houston Astro star second baseman Jose Altuve, which led the major leagues. Accordingly, and unwisely, he once again dares to predict the future. Here is what will happen in politics during 2015.
Rand Paul announces that he is simultaneously running for President and for reelection as U. S. Senator in 2016. He tries hard to get the General Assembly to change the law that would prohibit him from being on the ballot for both offices, but after failing in that files or sponsors a lawsuit to strike down the statute as unconstitutional.
Paul's presidential prospects falter after devastating and coordinated attacks on America's computer and electric power systems and multiple "lone wolf" terrorist attacks. These events make GOP primary voters want more aggressive security and surveillance policies than Paul favors.
Louisville's Democratic mayor Greg Fischer sends strong signals that he will enter the Senate race against Paul or whatever Republican emerges after the Paul-related ballot uncertainty is sorted out. State auditor Adam Edelen's name is also in play.
At least one other Republican, and maybe two, enters the Kentucky governor's race, and the primary is the closest and most hotly contested GOP campaign here since Nunn beat Cook in 1967. It is decided by a similar margin of about 5,000 votes.
A Democrat from rural Kentucky who suffers from delusions of grandeur enters the Democratic race for governor to prevent it from being a coronation of state attorney general Jack Conway of Louisville. Conway wins the primary easily, but loses the general election after McConnell orchestrates a Republican reunification post-primary.
Because Republicans failed to field credible candidates for attorney general or auditor, the two most powerful state constitutional offices other than governor, Democrats Andy Beshear and Edelen, respectively, win by default. They are thereafter on a collision course for the governorship unless Edelen opts for a Senate bid.
Alison Lundergan Grimes fends off a GOP challenger to win reelection as secretary of state. The race for state agriculture commissioner between Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson and Republican Ryan Quarles is too close to call on Election Night.
Grimes uses her position as the state's chief election officer to declare her Democratic sister Lawson the winner. Quarles files an election contest case in court, but loses.
McConnell gets rave reviews from mainstream media for his performance as Senate majority leader. He does business with Obama on some issues, returns the body to its former and better ways of doing business, and brooks no nonsense from grandstanding tea party provocateurs like Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Republicans also praise McConnell for drawing clear distinctions with Democrats on big issues. This puts the GOP in good position for the presidential and Senate elections of 2016.
The U. S. Supreme Court rules that Obamacare as written does not allow insurance subsidies in states that did not set up their own exchanges. Amid the ensuing confusion, Obama purports to take executive action to provide for such subsidies, but that move spawns a constitutional crisis as the American health care system spirals into chaos.
The Supreme Court also accepts review of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding Kentucky's legal regime limiting marriage to one man and one woman. Doing what he does best, Justice Anthony Kennedy changes his mind and casts the deciding vote to affirm the appellate court and keep gay marriage illegal in Kentucky.
A loose alliance of America's adversaries pursue what amounts to a de facto World War III against it. Russia's Vladimir Putin is the public face and voice of this aggressive movement, but China, North Korea, Iran and its Shia allies, Sunni jihadists, and Central and South American Marxists and narco-terrorists are all involved.
All this having proved wrong, this columnist decides not to do a predictions column for 2016. Happy New Year!
John David Dyche is a Louisville attorney and a political commentator for WDRB.com. His e-mail is email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jddyche.