Dick Morris Nominee Awardgasm

The Dick Morris award "is given for stunningly wrong political, social and cultural predictions." A round-up of nominees:

"Here comes the landslide… The result was that the presidential race reached a tipping point. Reasonable voters saw that the voice of hope and optimism and positivism was Romney while the president was only a nitpicking, quarrelsome, negative figure. The contrast does not work in Obama’s favor," -  Dick Morris, The Hill.

"There is no denying the Republicans have the passion now, the enthusiasm. The Democrats do not. Independents are breaking for Romney. And there’s the thing about the yard signs. In Florida a few weeks ago I saw Romney signs, not Obama ones. From Ohio I hear the same. From tony Northwest Washington, D.C., I hear the same. Is it possible this whole thing is playing out before our eyes and we’re not really noticing because we’re too busy looking at data on paper instead of what’s in front of us? Maybe that’s the real distortion of the polls this year: They left us discounting the world around us," - Peggy Noonan, WSJ.

"In addition to the data, the anecdotal and intangible evidence—from crowd sizes to each side's closing arguments—give the sense that the odds favor Mr. Romney. They do. My prediction: Sometime after the cock crows on the morning of Nov. 7, Mitt Romney will be declared America's 45th president. Let's call it 51%-48%, with Mr. Romney carrying at least 279 Electoral College votes, probably more," - Karl Rove, WSJ.

"Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223. That sounds high for Romney. But he could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election. Fundamentals," - Michael Barone, Washington Examiner.

"Both political science and the political polls too often imply a scientific precision that I no longer think actually exists in American politics. I have slowly learned that politics is a lot more art than science than I once believed. Accordingly, what follows is a prediction based on my interpretation of the lay of the land. I know others see it differently–and they could very well be right, and I could be wrong. I think Mitt Romney is likely to win next Tuesday," - Jay Cost, Weekly Standard.

"Feels like 1980 to me: Same failed president, same crisis-plagued globe, same upbeat GOP nominee written off four years ago who won the key debate, same chance to get the Senate. Romney is the president-elect on Wednesday, with Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Colorado. Senate tied 50–50 after Ohio brings in Josh Mandel. Let the rebuilding begin," - Hugh Hewitt, National Review.

"Despite the pattern of skewed polls, most of the commissioned by the mainstream media, the overall electoral landscape is looking more and more favorable for Romney. But many others in the media project very favorable maps and projections for Obama but those doing so fail to realize or accept how heavily-skewed polls distort any average or analysis that relies on them,"- Dean Chambers, UnSkewedPolls.com.

"I'm projecting Minnesota to go for Romney. Now, that's the only state in the union, because Mondale held it — native son Mondale held it when Romney was — when Reagan was getting 49 states — the only state that's voted Democratic in nine consecutive elections. But this year, there's a marriage amendment on the ballot that will bring out the evangelicals and I think could make the difference. Romney: 321 Obama: 217," - George Will, Washington Post.

"Romney wins the Electoral College with room to spare — somewhere around 300 electors. All four marriage votes in the deepest of blue states (Washington, Maryland, Minnesota, and Maine) will be won by traditional-marriage supporters. This will happen even though supporters of same-sex marriage have outspent us by gargantuan amounts. … In Minnesota and Iowa, Mitt Romney will defy expectations and score truly historic wins. A state with longest track record of voting for Democratic presidential candidates — nine election cycles — will vote for a Republican. The marriage amendment will be part of the reason" - Brian S. Brown, National Organization For Marriage.

The Dick Morris Award

Scores of readers are echoing this one:

You wrote, regarding Dick Morris’ latest nomination:

He should really be ineligible for this award; the competition doesn’t stand a chance. No pundit is as relentlessly wrong as Morris.

This begs the question, why not rename the award “The Dick Morris” award? I’m a well-read political junkie and a 10-times-a-day Dish reader, and I still have no clue who Von Hoffman is.

Another points to a 2009 post from Ben Carlson:

New York Observer columnist Nicholas von Hoffman notoriously predicted American failure in Afghanistan in 2001, just as troops were marching into Kabul. Has the swing in fortunes in Afghanistan proven Nicholas von Hoffman right, warping the award’s original meaning?

Below are excerpts from von Hoffman’s 2001 piece, cited by Jonah Goldberg when the award was inaugurated:

“The war in Afghanistan, the one (Bush) should never have declared, has run into trouble. Just a few weeks into it and it’s obvious that the United States is fighting blind. The enemy is unknown, and the enemy’s country is terra incognita. We have virtually no one we can trust who can speak the languages of the people involved. With all our firepower and our technical assets and our spy satellites, it looks like we don’t know if we’re coming or going. … “We are mapless, we are lost, and we are distracted by gusts of wishful thinking. That our high command could believe the Afghani peasantry or even the Taliban would change sides after a few weeks of bombing! This is fantasizing in high places. … “Moreover, as hellish as the Taliban are, it appears that the ordinary people of Afghanistan prefer them to the brigands and bandits with whom we’ve been trying to make common cause … .”

Another cites a precedent for renaming the award:

Pollstar, the trade association for the concert industry, gives out annual awards for the top concert venues in the US. For years, every year, the winner of Best Outdoor Concert Venue was Red Rocks Amphitheater. Pollstar finally conceded that all things equal that Red Rocks would always win. It’s a fan and artist favorite … if you’ve been there you understand why. Now, the group splits the award into two: Best Small Outdoor and Best Major Outdoor. Except that the former is called the Red Rocks Award and the venue from which it gets its name is ineligible to win.

Change the name to the Dick Morris Award.


He is a contrarian indicator.  The more he is convinced about something, the more I am inclined to believe the exact opposite.

As further evidence, another points to Dick’s piece from Friday titled “It’s advantage Romney after Obama fails to move the needle [in Charlotte]”. Another:

On today’s lunchtime video Morris shrugs it off: “I was hoping that Obama wouldn’t get a bounce but he did.” But don’t worry, he reassures us, because Obama’s re-election is doomed! Making this a choice election will “absolutely destroy him” in the debates, ads and messaging.

One more:

Do you remember in 2008 when he thought that Obama was going to win Arkansas and Tennessee? The dude is a hack, and a stunningly bad one at that. He embodies the award. He is the award. The award should be him.

I’ve had an increasingly guilty conscience about keeping that award named after someone who in may ways got the future right – at least righter than I did. So fine. Let’s re-name the award for really bad predictions after this lardacious blowhard. You talked me into it.

Von Hoffman Award Nominee

by Patrick Appel

"I don’t think [Paul Ryan] has the slightest desire to be vice president. While it is a good stepping stone to the presidency even for those who don’t achieve the office through death of a president, I don’t think that is Ryan’s ambition," – Bruce Bartlett, in an article published yesterday titled, "Paul Ryan Will Not Be Mitt Romney’s Running Mate"

Von Hoffmann Award Nominee

A reader calls me out:

I love the Dish and all, but sorry – citing an American Bar Association survey is hardly "calling" the outcome. If you had come out in March and said, "Roberts will be the deciding vote in upholding the ACA," then that would have been calling it. Besides, what about your statement published at Reason last week?

[SCOTUS] will strike down the mandate alone.

If anything, you should nominate yourself up for a Von Hoffmann award on this one.

Busted. I'm not clairvoyant. And Reason forced me to predict something. But in the original, I cited the Dish, not me personally. And we did air and link to the argument that Roberts would save the ACA.

(A glossary of all the Dish Awards can be found here.)

Von Hoffmanns All Round! Ctd

A reader quotes me:

A friend told me last night over a Jager that I romanticized politics. I'm not sure I do. But predictions and narratives and personalities are integral to readable political journalism. It is a theater at times, and the performances require aesthetic and human judgments as well as technical and policy ones.

I don't know that you romanticise politics as a whole. But you do need your dragons to slay. There are many topics in which you are measured and consistent, pleased with incremental progress and able to recognise setbacks and their significance.

But when you recognise a dragon – a person you perceive to be a dangerous threat to the ideals you hold dear or to the body politic – well, you tend to kick the spurs in and charge, sword in one hand, lance in the other and the shield of common sense left behind. Palin is one; Hillary Clinton another, for large bits of the '90s and portions of the '08 campaign. Radical Islam was another, in the wake of 9/11. I wouldn't quite call it pure romance.

You are far more cognizant of the flaws in your heroes than the virtues of your enemies, and you seem to admit of other, neutral persons or institutions to which you attitude can be mixed and measured (the Church is your curate's egg of the moment). But for your dragons – there seems to be no madness they might not drive us, no annihilation they might not wreak, and thus any attack is permitted to defend against their depredations. Having a dragon to destroy seems to give you the vim needed to run your treadmill everyday. You can't quite work Robot Romney into one – he's too sane and bland, and it seems to depress you. I think that was part of your soft spot for Santorum – now there was an authentic nutter who could be counted on to breathe fire when provoked.

That's always been about the size of it, to me. Me with my PhD in Knowing Fuck All About Psychology. But nobody loves reading you for your cold logic, Andrew. All your fans are fans of your passion. Vim-less political writers all turn into Tom Friedman after a while, and thanks be praised, there's never a worry of that with you.

Von Hoffmanns All Round!

Jim Newell runs down all the worst primary predictions, including yours truly. Yes, my Palin paranoia got the better of me at times, but I did cop to my error (and was thrilled by it). Dish fave:

Bill Kristol, the publisher of the neoconservative Weekly Standard, is the most notoriously wrong-all-the-time political commentator in America.

The vocal advocate behind such hits as "the Iraq war will go swimmingly" and "Sarah Palin would be a great vice presidential candidate" typically spent most of this campaign season incorrectly speculating, or "reporting," on which candidates would join the race. In a way, this made Kristol useful. We knew, for example, that a Rudy Giuliani for President 2012 campaign — however unlikely that ever was — would definitely never materialize after Bill Kristol wrote this on June 8, 2011: "I’m told by two reliable sources that Rudy Giuliani intends to run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He may throw his hat in the ring soon."

A sad excuse: Romney was so obviously the likely candidate we hacks did our best to come up with other possible scenarios. It was called "keeping hope awake."