Apr
28
2012

Politico: excusing in 2012 their lack of foresight about 2010?

I need to push back on this cover-their-rear statement by Politico on the ‘surprise’ flipping of the House of Representatives in 2010.

[House Speaker John] Boehner doesn’t play political prognosticator often. But when he does, those close to him say, there’s usually a calculated reason. In April 2010 — almost two years ago exactly — the then-House minority leader said in a radio interview that an astounding 100 seats were in play in that year’s midterm elections, a figure he said was broader than “anything we’ve seen around here during my 20 years” in the House.

Few from either party believed Boehner at the time, but his assessment proved accurate. Republicans put about 100 Democratic-held seats in play, ultimately winning 63 of them to seize the majority.

(Bolding mine) Actually, people who read RedState (or MoeLane) were prepared for that scenario. People who read Sean Trende at RCP were prepared for that scenario. People who read Hot Air and AoSHQ were at least prepared for the possibility.  In fact, people who were following the election using right-leaning sites and news sourcess were by and large prepared for what happened. But the people were relying on the Daily Beast or the Left-blogosphere or, well, Politico for their political content? …Yeah, those folks ended up being kind of surprised in November. Usually unpleasantly.

This is not quite pedantry on my part – although it’s certainly inside-baseball.  I’m bringing this up in order to get it on the record that in fact many people in the GOP took seriously the idea that up to 100 seats were in play in the House that year.  It wasn’t actually that hard to come to that conclusion: the trend was unmistakably going in the Republicans’ direction, the economy was (and still is) awful, unemployment ditto, Congress had just spent its entire political capital on a health care rationing program that was (and still is) loathed and despised, and it was just sinking in that the President had (and has) precisely zero ability to persuade people who don’t actually want to be persuaded.  But people – and sites! – that had an emotional investment in seeing the Left win did not want to come to the conclusion that the Democrats faced DOOM, so they allowed themselves to ignore all of that.  Which makes it awkward for them now, because they turned out to be so wrong, then.  So… best make everybody wrong at the time, right?

Sorry, but I am not going to subscribe to that narrative.  I assessed the situation properly*, it wasn’t a difficult assessment to make, and the Left has no excuse for assessing the situation wrongly.  They can jolly well deal with it.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Now watch: I’ll end up never being right again.

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