Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bill's Eye

I like William Saletan. He's wrong on a regular basis, but he makes his points clearly and forcefully.

Here's the opening of his recent article in Slate about Netanyahu:

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is going out with a bang. Trailing in polls four days before Israel’s parliamentary election, he’s shedding his pretense of friendly relations with the United States. Finishing second next Tuesday won’t, by itself, destroy Netanyahu’s career. But the manner in which he’s doing it has made him toxic. His days as a credible representative of his country are over.

Saletan went out on a limb, which was then sawn off.  Still, I don't think this will ever replace his classic "Why Bush Is Toast" piece:

Since Labor Day, the media have released about 20 polls on the presidential race. Three show a dead heat, one shows George W. Bush leading by a single percentage point, and the rest show Al Gore leading by one to 10 points. In the latest polls, Gore leads by an average of five points. It's fashionable at this stage to caution that "anything can happen," that Bush is "retooling," and that the numbers can turn in Bush's favor just as easily as they turned against him. But they can't. The numbers are moving toward Gore because fundamental dynamics tilt the election in his favor. The only question has been how far those dynamics would carry him. Now that he has passed Bush, the race is over.

As we all know, there's no punishment for pundits getting things wrong.  They're generally no more accurate than guessing, and since they're allowed to choose what they look back on, they can even pretend they've got an impressive record.

So keep guessing, Bill.  The main thing is to remember that's what he's doing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big deal-He was right about Bibi except the line about winning the election.

Today Bush (W) is toast.

So he's right* in the long-run

* As in correct , not whacko

4:25 AM, March 19, 2015  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Wow. So if he said, for instance, that the capital of New York is not Albany, but Buffalo, he'd be right. The only part he got wrong was that Albany is the official and recognized capital of the state, but that's not important.

9:17 AM, March 19, 2015  

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