Bill Kristol – the Gartman of Politics?
It has become a popular sport at Zerohedge to make fun of financial pundits who appear regularly on TV and tend to be consistently wrong with their market calls. While this Schadenfreude type reportage may strike some as a bit dubious, it should be noted that it is quite harmless compared to continually leading people astray with dodgy advice.
To answer the question posed in the picture with the benefit of hindsight: not really…. (look at the price)
These people should surely be considered fair game. Besides, following their multiple blunders is sometimes actually quite funny. The above depicted Dennis Gartman has become a favorite target, possibly due to the rather odd way in which he expresses himself (he sounds a bit like a time traveler who got lost, or a visitor from another planet). We don’t know if his wrong-way forecasts are cherry-picked, but if they are not, then he is truly a noteworthy phenomenon.
Most people are probably aware though that market predictions are usually not much better than flipping a coin anyway (a tip for aspiring pundits: when it comes to stocks, the safest course is to be always bullish, as the stock market historically rises 67% of the time). Arguably, some prominent political pundits should be considered more dangerous, especially if those who like beating the war drums.
We were quite astonished to find out that numerous pundits who came out in strong support of the Iraq war and didn’t even get a single thing right about that particular statist misadventure, continue to enjoy an apparently unblemished reputation as “foreign policy experts” as if nothing untoward had happened. One of the better known ones is Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, a stalwart of neo-conservatism who has apparently never come across a hapless third world country he didn’t want to see bombed on account of it harboring the second coming of Hitler.
Bill Kristol exercising his dubious punditry skills. He is actually the very last person one should ask… about anything.
ABC News screenshot
We always thought the man should by now be legendary for his uncanny ability to make 180 degree wrong forecasts. It turns out he actually is. Yesterday we looked at the results of the latest primaries, in which The Donald once again swept to a rather comprehensive victory. As our gaze wandered across a page depicting search results, we noticed a link to a Bill Kristol tweet and got curious.
It struck us as slightly odd that the tweet was originally posted on December 8 2015. We now know why it proves to be so persistent in search results….it is “the tweet that keeps on giving”…. and it has helped us to compose our own little Schadenfreude post.
Legendary Forecasting Abilities
Here is the tweet in question:
Actually a fairly typical Kristol prediction in terms of accuracy…
Replies to this tweet evidently continue to pour in to this day – here is a selection, grouped by sub-topics.
1 A few people notice that something has gone wrong:
Chris @mcduffiechrisAU Mar 1
@BillKristol @CFC_Kristoff Missed that one, huh?
Un Known @FrankandFroogle Feb 10
@BillKristol @UnitedCitizen01 Your Kristol ball is broken, no?
2 Some question Kristol’s qualification for the job of punditry and wonder how he can apparently still make a living from it. Some speculate what mysterious forces might be at work…and some realize that asking him questions may fail to yield satisfactory results regardless of the subject matter:
Uncle Ted @UncleTedK Mar 2
@BillKristol How do you still have a job?
@BillKristol Are you an actual expert in anything? Anything at all?
mini white Beyonce @ItsTonyNow Feb 10
What dark contract did you sign in blood that allows you to be wrong about everything and still get paid a shitload of money @BillKristol
Tom Hitchner @thitchner Feb 10
@ItsTonyNow @BillKristol In his attic there’s actually a portrait of him getting more and more correct and more and more penniless
Pith and Vinegar @TheSibylSpeaks Apr 20
@BillKristol I guess asking you “Where are my other glasses?” is out of the question now? #WhenPsychicsGoWrong
3 Numerous well-meaning people decide to helpfully provide Kristol with career and behavior-related advice:
CT Sports Arena (CSA @ctsportsarena Mar 2
@BillKristol flip a coin sometime, then you at least have a shot at being right.
Derek Valor @BoldValor Feb 10
@BillKristol @DeannaSands1 Please just retire from the prediction business, Bill; write poetry or something; paint still lives; go fishing
Mimi @mimimayesTN Feb 11
You really need to delete your account & start over. These old tweets are hilarious @BillKristol @Pjimmy18
Rev. Tim @_REV_TIM Feb 11
@BillKristol @CarmineZozzora (wait in the car Bill, we’ll call ya if we need you, and don’t play with the flashlight).
4 Here are a few tweets from the “general analysis/ questions” department:
Petroleum V. Nasby @PetroleumVNasby Feb 10
@BillKristol @missb62 Proudly maintaining a consistent record as the wrongest pundit in American politics.
Mr. Hand @GrayerDreams 9 Dec 2015
@BillKristol Dude, you are deeply delusional and living in a bubble. I’m amazed, reading your tweets.
Thomas Cantwell @AstoriaTom Mar 2
@BillKristol How are you not in a constant shame spiral? What was your Mother like? Did she teach you about shame?
Sunburn Cooter @Sunburncooter 11m
@BillKristol @MontyDraxel Mrs. Cleo predicted the future better than you. You Sir, are the Mel Kiper of political pundits.
[ed note: in case you don’t know who Mel Kiper is, click here]
5 Several people realize that Kristol has an unusual talent and ponder how to make use of it… humanity as a whole could well be helped if Kristol were to decide to actively avert major catastrophes. Even things normally considered utterly impossible might happen:
James Welton @jaimoe0 Feb 10
.@BillKristol @chrislhayes If you want to issue savvy predictions, read what Kristol is saying and then give voice to ANY OTHER SCENARIO.
Fantastic Julian @JulianLives Feb 10
@BillKristol @Bro_Pair If you predicted water would go downhill, I’d expect it to u-turn and soar up into the sky, Bill.
Hershell Bryant @Hershell_Bryant Feb 10
@BillKristol please predict that Earth will be hit by a meteor the size of Texas so that I can know we’ll be safe @chrislhayes
Lastly, someone remarks on the tweet’s general characteristic that already ensures its semi-immortality:
Cool A/C Bro @CoolACBro 2h
@BillKristol The Tweet That Keeps On Giving
Prescient Nemesis Gets the Last Word
To round things out, here is Bill Kristol’s new nemesis Donald Trump, rubbing it in with his own piece of advice. This was tweeted back in the summer of 2015 already – let us call it a prescient advance needling:
How to make the country soar, according to The Donald