How’s that wrongy, predicty thing workin’ out for ya?


It’s too commonplace to be surprising anymore:

1) Prominent author / pundit makes unequivocal statement about important topic of the day
2) Subsequent events prove him / her not merely wrong but spectacularly, undeniably and comprehensively wrong
3) Prominent author / pundit retains status as expert on the topic in question and continues to receive giant megaphone for wholly suspect views

The above summarizes the careers of William Kristol, Marc Thiessen, Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks, Fred Barnes, Tom Friedman and many others, all of whom were 100% wrong on the Iraq war and yet are still taken seriously as “experts” on the topic.

The same is true of Shelby Steele, the African American conservative who wrote A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can’t Win. In that hilarious-in-retrospect 2007 tome, Steele explained that it was absolutely impossible for Obama to win the presidency because he’s “mired in an ideology of racial victimhood and separatism.”

Since ensuing events have proved Steele massively wrong, he naturally receives a prominent perch at the Wall Street Journal to declaim further on the topic about which he was so profoundly uninsightful.

Today, Steele opines that Obama embraces “liberal, big government” initiatives not because he believes in the power of the government to make positive changes but because he needs to achieve “big things” to validate his place in history as America’s first black president.

The old fashioned, big government liberalism that Mr. Obama uses to make himself history-making also alienates him in the center-right America of today. It makes him the most divisive president in memory—a president who elicits narcissistic identification on the one hand and an enraged tea party movement on the other.

Steele must have a pretty short fucking memory—from the moment George W. Bush received the presidency from a partisan-split Supreme Court decision, this was a divided country. (Although to be fair, Bush eventually united approximately 75% of Americans in the belief that his was the most disastrous administration in living memory and that they couldn’t wait to put it behind them.)

Steele goes on to be wrong about many more things: an assumption that the centrist RomneyCare HCR bill is a wild-eyed leftist power grab, an insistence that it was mainly white guilt that propelled Obama to the presidency, etc. The column is jam-packed with wrong.

But unfortunately, the answer to the question I posed in the title is this: “Fine, thanks!” Did leading purveyors of FAIL ever have the decency to just shut the fuck up when overtaken by events, or is this an unprecedented Golden Age of Wrong?

I honestly don’t know. You’d think the existence of Google, with its ability to put example after example of full-metal FAIL at everyone’s fingertips, would have a dampening effect on the chronically wrong among us. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Posted by Betty Cracker on 03/31/10 at 04:41 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaBedwettersBushCoEditorialsElection '08NuttersOur Stupid Media

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Editors and publishers accurately judge the attention span of their readers.  Nobody even remembers that these guys were wrong about everything they espoused.  Ever.  Since time began.  And a lot of people believe that if you write for a publication automatically you have credibility.

I do take some pleasure in the fact that Kristol, at least, got fired by the NY Times.

This practise is so entrenched that we have a specific term for it over here in Great Tabloidia:

There is a technical term in the newspaper business for the moment when a newspaper, having reported an event with great conviction one week, says the opposite the following week with equal conviction. It is called a “reverse ferret”.

A refinement is the double reverse ferret (with optional backflip, pike, and tuck).

it was absolutely impossible for Obama to win the presidency because he’s “mired in an ideology of racial victimhood and separatism”

And who’s mired in “racial victimhood” now? Tea Baggers, innocent victims of accusations of racism.

Where does the “separatism” come from? Nowhere on the left.

Laugh all you want, but I’m now stuck with my 800-page manuscript for “Obama: The Powerless, Bumper-Sticker President Progressives Stumped and the GOP Pwned”—which, had I sold the fucking thing two weeks ago, would have guaranteed me a lifetime of guest shots on Hannity and Meet the Press.

Now, it’s back to that fucking dragon novel. Farts.

Betty, posts like this are why I love this blog.

You are absofarkinglutely spot on.

I went in search of the Content of Mr. Steele’s bunghole and found that it contained only his own cranium.

What is it with tragically wrong GOP black dudes named “Steele,” anyway?

YAFB, I will also now be using “reverse ferret” in conversation all the time. You betcha! (“Cry havoc, and reverse the ferrets of war!”)

This rather cements the impression of the GOP which is building - that rather than the Party of No, they have become the Party of Duh.

Did leading purveyors of FAIL ever have the decency to just shut the fuck up when overtaken by events, or is this an unprecedented Golden Age of Wrong?

To quote from a column by George Orwell, written in 1943:

Experts of various schools were telling us in 1939 that the Maginot Line was impregnable, and that the Russo-German Pact had put an end to Hitler’s eastwards expansion; in early 1940 they were telling us that the days of tank warfare were over; in mid 1940 they were telling us that the Germans would invade Britain forthwith; in mid 1941 that the Red army would fold up in six weeks; in December 1941, that Japan would collapse after ninety days; in July 1942, that Egypt was lost and so on, more or less indefinitely.—- Where now are the men who told us those things? Still on the job, drawing fat salaries. Instead of the unsinkable battleship we have the unsinkable Military Expert.

So it looks like no, they never had the decency to shut up.

Remember these articles early last year?

“Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Dow”

Also from the Hoover Institute. Someone should do a complete retrospective anthology of wrongheaded wingnuttery regarding Obama’s 16 months in office;  but then again who has 176 days to kill to compile such a thing?

Comment by pwb on 04/01/10 at 06:38 PM
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