May 13, 2006

The Great Pundit Meltdown of 2006

A reader comments:

You wrote: "Do you get the feeling the WSJ op-ed boys aren't on their game right now?"

It strikes me that a lot of pundits seem to be off their game lately, and some of them are in full-fledged meltdown mode, like Richard Cohen bashing Stephen Colbert for being mean to Bush or Mark Steyn writing the same columns he wrote in 2002.

In a way, the implosion of the Bush presidency has been worse for the pundits than for Bush. Sure, Bush would rather be popular than not, but no matter what his poll numbers are, he's President and no one can take that away from him (except by impeachment and nobody's going to do that), and he cares more about just being President than actually doing anything worthwhile. But the pundits look like complete fools: the conservative pundits who decided to become Bush cultists in 2002-4 are now forced to grapple with the fact that they've been defending a complete failure, and the milquetoast "liberal" pundits -- the ones who wrote that Bush was basically a good guy, beloved by all, and the Democrats needed to go along with the Iraq war but pledge to do it more competently (the TNR/Washington Post type of "liberals") -- are also looking like idiots.

Among the mainstream punditariat I'm now seeing a certain amount of incoherent rage, usually directed at the "isolationist right" (if the pundit's conservative) or the "angry left" (if the pundit's liberal). It's the rage of bubble-dwelling pundits who can't forgive the "extreme" left and right for having been right all along while they were busy writing about what a swell guy Bush is.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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