Monday, August 15, 2011

Both Thomas Sowell and George Will Strike Out on Pawlenty

Now with Pawlenty out of the race, two pundits look a bit silly. One of them is someone who usually gets things more right than wrong and wrote a book about the folly of intellectual hubris (Sowell).

Thomas Sowell:
"Among the other announced Republican presidential candidates, former governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota talks the most sense and shows the most courage. When you tell people in a corn-producing state like Iowa that you want to cut back on Ethanol subsidies, that takes guts, because Iowa will also produce the first results in next year's primary campaign season. And first results, like other first impressions, carry a lot of weight."
. . .
"Politicians and the media may want a candidate with verbal fireworks but the people want jobs. As Tim Pawlenty put it: 'Fluffy promises of hope and change don't buy our groceries, make our mortgage payments, put gas in our cars, or pay for our children's clothes.'"
Unfortunately Governor Pawlenty didn't show sufficient courage to stay in the race until actual voting began.

George Will went out on the limb even further and said the 2012 winner would be Obama, Pawlenty or Mitch Daniels.

It reminds me of Dr. Sowell's point in Intellectuals and Society that intellectuals usually are not held to account for wrong counsel. Whereas an architect whose building has problems or a doctor whose treatment does not heal are held responsible for bad advice, intellectuals (and pundits) rarely feel chastened and humbled when they get it wrong. But, they should, and that should inform their future willingness to comment. Unfortunately, it rarely does because there are no real consequences to being wrong for intellectuals.
"Innumerable other wrong predictions, about everything from the price of gasoline to the outcome of Cold War policies, have left innumerable other false prophets with just as much honor as if they had been truly prophetic.

"In short, constraints which apply to people in most other fields do not apply even approximately equal to intellectuals. It would be surprising if this did not lead to different behavior. Among those differences are the ways they see the world and the way they see themselves in relation to their fellow human beings and the societies in which they live." (Intellectuals and Society, p. 9)


MAX Redline said...

The singular thing that the Ames poll is good at doing is determining who will not become the eventual nominee.

T. D. said...

Interesting that it weeds more than feeds.

Thanks for stopping by MAX R!