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.