KRESKIN

Posted in Quick Hits on May 4th, 2011 by Ed

You know how I feel about making predictions. There is relatively little to be gained by being correct and quite a bit of embarrassment to be endured on account of a spectacularly incorrect prediction. Sometimes the effects of bad predictions are greatly magnified by proximity to the event that disproves them. Did the lauded economist Irving Fisher ever live down saying "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau" three days before the great crash of 1929? Can you imagine how many times George Will has been taunted for having written "Liberalization is a ploy…the Wall will remain" on Nov. 9, 1989 – the day the Berlin Wall came down? Talk about humiliating.

Now imagine that you are a law professor who turns the opportunity to write an op-ed for syndication and you use this opportunity to go on an extended bitch session about the failures of the current President. Then imagine that you say something like this…

Meanwhile, on foreign policy – another Carter weak point – Obama also looks worse. Carter blew it with Iran, encouraging the Iranian armed forces to stay in their barracks, while Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's radical Islamists (whom Carter thought of as "reformers") took power, and then approved the ill-conceived hostage rescue mission that ended with ignominious failure in the desert. Obama, by contrast, could only wish for such success.

…and the column was published on the same day that the President authorized a high-risk mission that ended up accomplishing something George Bush tried to do nine years ago. I bet you'd feel pretty embarrassed. Unless of course you're Ol' Perfesser Dumbass, who inhabits a world in which facts are so irrelevant that butchering them is of no consequence to the smug perception of one's own brilliance.