Thursday, February 25, 2016
Talking Head Twit-Of-The-Year Contest
The cluelessness of the GOP pundit class is infuriating, but may ultimately be our salvation. Nothing they say about anything is ever right, even accidentally.
This is making the TV news shows resemble Monty Python's "Upperclass Twit of the Year" contest. The twits don't notice the starting gun, run into one another, fall down, run themselves over with their own cars and, then, the remaining contestants all shoot themselves in the head.
Anyone who talks about politics on TV isn't going to win them all, but when your horse takes a dump in every single race, week after week, why should we listen to you next time?
If you tuned into ABC'S "This Week" the morning after Trump's tremendous victory in South Carolina, you'd find George Stephanopoulos promising analysis from a "powerhouse roundtable," by which I assume he was referring to the table itself.
He then turned to the sort of clueless morons who have gotten everything wrong for the past seven months so they could tell viewers "what's next."
I've picked these two "Republican strategists" at random for reasons of efficiency, but it could have been any of the Karl Rove-Matthew Dowd-Steve Hayes-Hugh Hewitt-George Will-Rich Lowry dream team.
Prepare to be dazzled by the analysis!
Republican strategist Sara Fagen:
-- July 26, 2015, NBC's "Meet the Press": "At the end of the day, (Trump) is not going to be the Republican nominee."
-- Aug. 9, 2015, ABC's "This Week": Trump "just feels like that summer fling in high school that your parents tell you not to do, but you can't help yourself. But by the time we get back to school, I think Donald is going to be fading well into the background of this race."
-- Sept. 13, 2015, NBC's "Meet the Press": "Ultimately, I believe a governor, a Jeb Bush or a Chris Christie or someone is going to emerge."
-- Nov. 1, 2015, ABC's "This Week": Jeb "has the most money. He has the most organization. He has the most endorsements, and ... he's been through the fire before. And that is incredibly valuable in the long run. ... He will be able to weather this storm, and I think he'll be stronger for it when he does."
-- Jan. 3, 2016, NBC's "Meet the Press": "As this field continues to narrow and it's Donald Trump versus one or two other candidates, that's when this race will really come into focus. ... After Iowa, this thing is going to jumble again. ... Christie to me is one that I would watch."
If you cut out words from a magazine and randomly pasted them on a piece of paper, you would produce a better analysis of what is happening in this election than anything said by Fagen.
Republican strategist Alex Castellanos:
-- Aug. 7, 2015, CNN's "Newsroom": "The Megyn Kelly moment ... killed Trump's opportunity for growth. The fire that is Donald Trump is now contained. It's not going anywhere. He is not growing. He was just going to hang on to that white-hot core. His numbers may dip or rise a tiny bit. He is no longer a huge threat to dominate and control the Republican Party."
-- Aug. 17, 2015, CNN's "Anderson Cooper": "In a general election, though, Trump is not going to be the nominee. When he leaves, he will be defeated by an anti-Trump. So, there will be a cleansing that will go on, once he is knocked out of primaries."
-- Aug. 23, 2015, NBC's "Meet the Press": "And Donald Trump -- who is not going to be the nominee ... Look, the average winner of a Republican primary caucus I think, first of all, gets what? -- 40, 41 percent. So Donald Trump is not going to grow to that."
-- Aug. 24, 2015, CNN's "Wolf": "Frankly, Jeb Bush has a majority Republican position on immigration, on securing the border, on not deporting four and a half million children who are U.S. citizens."
-- Aug. 26, 2015, CNN's "Newsroom": Trump's voters are "not a majority in the Republican Party. This may be the summer of Trump, but we vote in the winter."
-- Sept. 16, 2015, CNN's "New Day": Jeb is "still a Bush. He's still got 100 million bucks in the bank and TV. We are moving to a new phase of the campaign. Candidates are going to have TV ads now. So it's not just news media with Trump and debates."
-- Dec. 6, 2015, ABC's "This Week": "It's entirely possible that Donald Trump is the nominee." (By then, Trump had spent five months at No. 1 in the polls, and even CNN was calling him "the undisputed leader of the Republican presidential pack.")
-- Dec. 6, 2015, ABC's "This Week": "Marco Rubio is the future of the Republican Party, a different Republican Party, if there's a little shot that if this is a Trump-Rubio race, we could see the beginning of a better Republican ... But it's not about issues with Trump."
You will find the exact same idiocy on any other political program. For hours of fun, take a week off, call in sick, and search Nexis for the words, "Republican strategist" and "Trump."
Chimps throwing darts at a dictionary would be right more often. Why are these people still allowed in the building? The FCC ought to force the TV networks into a massive settlement for promoting snake oil salesmen.
If I were a career counselor, I'd tell my students to become "Republican strategists." You can be terrible at what you do -- and the phone will never stop ringing! In no other profession, even fields that require a fair amount of speculation like oil wildcatting or weather forecasting, can you be so consistently wrong and never lose work.
After Trump's huge victory in New Hampshire and then in South Carolina, did it occur to TV bookers to call any of the people who got it right?
Alex Marlow, editor in chief of Breitbart News, explained everything that was about to happen in this race back on the Sept. 14 edition of CNN's Erin Burnett show.
While all the other "strategists" gibbered about Trump losing the Hispanic vote, Marlow said: "Trump is growing the big tent. ... Trump's policies are appealing to blacks. There are even some polls out there, like a survey USA poll, saying Trump is actually doing fine with Latinos."
In the Nevada primary on Tuesday, Trump not only won the Hispanic vote; he not only won 17 points more of the Hispanic vote than his next closest rival; but his Latino vote nearly matched that of the two Latino candidates combined.
In one of the few times you might have heard this point expressed on television airwaves, Marlow said that the No. 1 issue for Breitbart News' 20 million readers, "has consistently been -- since last year -- immigration. They are looking for someone who is going to seal the border and prioritize border security as No. 1."
Obviously, Marlow was right about everything. According to Nexis, that was the last time he appeared on TV.
It would be as if, after discovering America, Christopher Columbus reported back to the King and Queen of Spain, but the booker for Ferdinand and Isabella decided that, instead of Columbus, she'd get the guy who never actually set sail for the New World because he was afraid he'd fall off the edge of the Earth into a fiery pit.
Fantastic -- that's great. You're going to be our go-to expert on the discovery of the New World. Can you be here early Sunday morning?