A reminder to pundits to stay humble, prior to tonight's 8pm CNN GOP debate (of which I shall tweet).
Here's Jonathan Tobin on the Commentary blog in August, cheering the press for ignoring Ron Paul -- but revealing the limits of his own prognosticatory powers in the process:
"…Unfortunately for the extremist candidate and his vocal fans the press is, at least in this one case, completely right. Though Paul has a devoted following, a lot of cash and will undoubtedly win some protest votes wherever his name appears on the ballot, his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination are as minimal as those of Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Thaddeus McCotter, Newt Gingrich [sic] and Jon Huntsman and maybe even less than some of them. If the press prefers to devote far more of their resources to covering the Republicans who have a reasonable shot at the nomination that is simply a case of giving their audiences what they want: more information about someone who might actually become president.
If that seems unfair to the libertarian crowd that follows Paul around cheering his every irresponsible statement, they’re just going to have to learn to live with it. If anything, Paul gets more than his fair share of attention at times simply because at every debate his outrageous statements can tend to be the focus of comment even though few outside of his immediate circle take him seriously. And that is as it should be…"
The tautological, bullying “He has no chance” mantra can be quite effective, I fear – but it’s not foolproof, much as people who have no other arguments might wish otherwise.