Michael Kinsley: The Great Pundit Pivot





Michael Kinsley, a former editorial page editor at The Times, is a Bloomberg View columnist.

Wednesday is the day of the Great Pundit Pivot. It happens every four years, the day after a presidential election. Before the election, every commentator wants to be Michael Barone. Afterward, everyone wants to be Oswald Spengler....

Barone is out. Spengler (1880-1936, philosopher and author of "The Decline of the West," which I've never read either) is in. On TV, on opinion pages, the political consultants are escorted off the premises and in come the historians.

Whereas before the election, the goal of punditry was to narrow the group of people who are responsible for the result (citizens of Ohio, soccer moms, undecided voters, black Republicans, Irish Catholics in Iowa and so on), after the election the goal is to produce a theory that implicates the entire nation, or indeed the world and known universe in the result, whatever it may be. And it matters even less whether you are right or wrong than it did before the election. Whether you're right or wrong won't be known for at least 100 years or so anyway....

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