What to do After Whiffing on a Prediction?

Even though I’m a reasonable person, I admire those who go out on a limb to make bold predictions, even when those predictions are illogical and counter to the best evidence we have. Take this Huffpost entry for example:

I want to make sure that you heard it here first: Donald Trump will lose the New Hampshire primary tomorrow.

Bold words. I applaud the author for taking such a stand despite the fact that polls clearly showed Trump with a lead that greatly exceeded the polls’ margin of error.

What will the author do after being proved wrong, though?

Option 1 – Stick to his guns. Double down by railing against the voters convinced by Trumps’ message.

Option 2 – Admit his mistake.

Option 3 – Remain silent.

It’s hard to admire anyone who responds to defeat by being a bad sport or simply walking away from the table (see Newton, Cam). It’s also hard to respect someone who makes excuses.

Is the only reasonable choice to admit the mistake?

It’ll be interesting to see which choice Huffpost makes.

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Vox Agrees with Me

Is it a sign that I’m really reasonable if Vox.com agrees with me?

Uh …

Just found this post:

New Hampshire didn’t just hand Trump a win, it left him perfectly positioned to dominate in South Carolina, Nevada, and other future races.

Basically, the post makes the same points that I made here.

Trump vs. Sanders?

A fellow blogger posted today (here) that Trump vs. Sanders is “the political reality that we face.”

First of all, we only have results from two out of fifty states. Trump and Sanders have each won exactly one of those contests. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Another issue I have with the post:

President Obama is fully and solely responsible for the current political climate that created the Trump Sanders matchup we face in the fall.

Hmm. As a reasonable person, I think that, just as a quarterback gets too much blame for a loss and too much credit for a win, presidents’ actual impact is exaggerated a bit.

But this line, imo, hits the nail on the head:

Perhaps we should all be happy, left and right, that the political machines that make up the democratic and republican parties are taking the hardest hits this election season.

Yes!

The Single Worst Article I’ve Read Regarding Hillary’s Emails

As a reasonable person, I find the reporting on the Email Situation frustrating. If you go over to Fox News, you find that Hillary is in imminent danger of being shipped off to prison.  The other side of the spectrum is that the whole deal is a partisan witch hunt based off her forwarding a New York Times article on the drone program.

Which is it?

I have no idea. The more I read, the harder it is to discern what the heck is going on, especially when I encounter really, really poorly written and reasoned articles like the one Juan Williams penned here.

The article started out pretty well, introducing the fact that each side is representing very disparate points of view. After a few paragraphs, I’m thinking, “This guy understands the frustration I’m feeling.”

Nope.

Instead, the author expresses disdain for those who are even reporting about the issue.

Huh? This shouldn’t even be in the news? Why not?

His first point – The FBI is not actually investigating the emails.

The attacks continue like a steady rain even though the Times reported in August that Clinton is “not a target of the investigation.” In September, the Justice Department put out a brief saying even when Clinton deleted personal emails without “agency supervision,” it was appropriate and legal.

A week ago Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, reiterated that “officials have said… she is not the target of the investigation.”

I have to admit that I have a bit of advantage of hindsight here in that current headlines are all about the FBI officially acknowledging the investigation. Realistically, though, it seemed that, as of the 2/8/16 publication of the article, almost no one was still denying this fact.

His second point – That the two prior secretaries of state prior to Clinton did the same or worse.

Later last week, NBC News reported that emails that had been retroactively declared classified had also been sent to the personal email account of former secretary of State Colin Powell and to key aides of his successor, Condoleezza Rice.

C’mon, man. As a journalist, shouldn’t you try to at least give lip service to being objective? Both Powell and Rice issued strong denials. Fair enough if the author disagrees with those denials, but a reasonable person would at least acknowledge them.

His third point – People are tired of hearing about this issue.

None of it quieted critics. They responded by suggesting a White House cover-up even as an October poll by Monmouth found 59 percent of Americans were “tired of hearing about Clinton’s emails.”

I’m not sure why this is supposed to be a relevant point. If Hillary did break a law and that event could possibly derail her political aspirations, it’s news regardless of whether we’re tired of hearing about it or not.

His fourth point – Using a personal server isn’t a crime.

And of course there is still no evidence that she broke any law.

Legal analyst Dan Abrams recently reviewed the allegations and wrote on the LawNewz.com website that while Clinton was “foolish” to use a private server, “it is also indisputable that it was neither a crime nor even a violation of State Department procedure for Clinton to have used personal email for government business at that time.”

Huh? This one boggles my mind. Does the author have no understanding of the accusation of mishandling classified information? The question that has been raised is whether or not Hillary handled classified information in a way contrary to the way in which she was legally required to handle it.

He concludes by making this point:

The biggest newspapers and networks say they are just reporting the news while spreading baseless venom.

I have no idea whether Hillary did absolutely nothing wrong, whether she committed the equivalent of jaywalking, or whether she should immediately be locked up in Leavenworth. None of us will gain any true understanding of this until the FBI investigation is completed. When a person who has the potential to become the next President of the United States is under criminal investigation, however, it’s not reasonable to complain that the issue isn’t news.

Trump Couldn’t Have Scripted a Better Night

As a reasonable person, I often try to put myself in the shoes of others to consider their point of view. If I’m Donald Trump going into the New Hampshire Primary, I’m thinking, “Okay, this is what I want to happen …”

  1. Win in dominant fashion. Obviously.
  2. Have someone innocuous come in second.
  3. Keep the establishment lane jumbled.

So with the results pretty much in (based in CNN’s estimate of 97% reporting), how did The Donald do?

Step 1 – Win in dominant fashion

Check. 35% of the vote. That’s more than one third of voters in an eight horse race. His nearest challenger got less than half the votes he did.

Step 2 – Have someone innocuous come in second

Check. Other than Carson or Fiorina, neither of whom had a real shot, I don’t there was a better person from Trump’s perspective to finish runner up than Kasich. He’s got almost nothing in the bank and virtually no presence in the upcoming primary states. Talk about being in a woefully bad position to capitalize on momentum.

Step 3 – Keep the establishment lane jumbled

Check. I don’t know how Trump would fare one on one with a single candidate who had the full backing of the Republican party, but I do think most reasonable people would say that he is benefiting from that backing being fractured. If you’re Trump, you gotta love the establishment on establishment crime of Christie taking down Rubio. Instead of the highest placing Approved Candidate in Iowa capitalizing on momentum, you have him falling to the back of the legit contenders in New Hampshire. If Kasich had flopped, he’d probably be out of the race. Bush finished strong enough to keep him going forward but not high enough to produce a ton of momentum. Literally the only thing that could have gone a little better in this regard would have been for Christie to have drawn in some of Carson’s and Fiorina’s support in order to keep the governor around longer.

It’s a long race, and Trump by no means has anything sown up. But I don’t think you could have scripted a better night for him.