Revenge of the ‘predictor’ caucus

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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It wasn’t enough to attack the motives of conservative politicians and activists who disagreed with them on the defund ObamaCare strategy, they also went after the “pundits” who had the audacity to point out that defunding Obamacare was unachievable.

This has plagued center-right journalists since the dawn of time. Because the MSM is so clearly biased, the assumption is that writers who are conservative should be equally in the tank for their “team.” Of course, asking us to betray our credibility would result in a very short-term gain for the right. The irony is that some of the same people who called me a “RINO” when I didn’t drink the Mitt Romney Kool-Aid are now saying that Barack Obama’s re-election (you know, the last chance to stop ObamaCare?) deserves an asterisk. Why? Because Romney was a weak candidate who invented ObamaCare!

Since the definition of RINO is conditional, any center-right journalist who is consistent will eventually be labeled one. Here’s the thing: Pundits and analysts are supposed to be intellectually honest — even when that is inconvenient for conservative purveyors of spin. More intellectual honest, by the way, would have come in handy during the Bush era — when conservative pundits and commentators too often went along with the game plan.

The Bush people may be gone, but independent writers must resist the same urge to please the new “in” crowd. Just because a different group is now demanding fealty doesn’t mean we should give it. Politicians may not believe it, but they actually benefit from having someone tell them the truth. God knows their staffs aren’t capable (or, more often, empowered) to do this.

Providing accurate analysis shouldn’t be confused with “surrender” or apostasy. I’m not sure why this so often arises. Does this happen in other journalistic endeavors? Just because someone predicts the Denver Broncos will defeat the Washington Redskins in a few weeks, doesn’t mean they want it to happen.

Of course, I’m not one to say “I told you so” (this is a lie), but over at the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin reminds everyone about what was said a few short days ago by the defund caucus …

“The shutdown squad said Democrats would blink. They didn’t.

“… The shutdown squad said public opposition to Obamacare would tip support in favor of the shutdown. Polls suggest this hasn’t happened.

“The shutdown advocates said the problem was Republicans. It never was; Democrats were the ones who refused to budge, a point Republicans are arguing today.

Unfortunately, people have short memories, and the bearer of bad news more often gets killed than praised. So the question is this: Assuming nothing changes, do we get credit — or blame — for being right?

Matt K. Lewis