Right after the 2008 elections, I sat down and wrote my first report on the new world to come. And it was as if we futurologists could see for miles and miles and miles into a sunlit future.
The new team in Washington, I wrote, would move quickly to clean up the worst messes created by the Bush administration. They would close down Guantanamo and reverse the U.S. position on torture. They would begin the long process of withdrawing troops from Iraq. They would initiate dialogue with Iran and continue engagement with North Korea. They would sit down with Chavez and Castro and even Hamas and Hezbollah. They would sign Kyoto. They would defeat the Taliban and finally capture bin Laden. They would repeal the tax cuts for the wealthy and renegotiate the free trade agreements, and launch an Apollo-style program to develop alternative energies.
Of course, my pessimistic brethren in the profession countered with their own "end is nigh" predictions. The new team wouldn't be able to fulfill any of their promises. It was too late. We stood one minute before midnight on the Doomsday clock, and when that moment passed we wouldn't be at noon, and there would be no Hollywood endings.
As it turned out, we were all wrong