The alleged job of America’s Very Serious Thinkers, both reporters and pundits, is to think — and to, presumably, think so hard that they get things, especially the big things, right.
Yet, just as nobody was ever disqualified from any DC cocktail parties for being wrong on Iraq, Shelby Steele’s getting Obama wrong will not threaten his punditorial status (or income):
Make room on the bookshelf — perhaps somewhere between “Dow 36,000” by Glassman and Hassett or “The End of History and the Last Man” by Fukuyama — for the unfortunately named “A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can’t Win” by Shelby Steele.
Many an author has come to incorrect conclusions, but only a few have had the courage to make a prediction in a title that could be directly contradicted.
Mr. Steele, a prolific author on racial issues in America and a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said he had had plenty of time to get used to the snickering about the title of his book, which was published late last year by the Free Press, part of Simon & Schuster, and officially contradicted last week.
“My feeling is that I stand by every word of the analysis — what is between the covers of the book,” he said in a telephone interview. “For the year I have had to apologize for the stupid, silly subtitle that was slapped on to the book.”
Is it just me, or do those last two grafs make absolutely no sense whatsoever?
No matter: Mr. Steele will continue to draw a paycheck for his yeoman service as the Hoover Institute’s token black man, the one they use to beat up on other black men — especially those who are to the left of Richard Mellon Scaife, who sits on the Executive Committee. As the SourceWatch entry for Hoover sez: "The Hoover Institution, within Stanford University, is a Republican public policy research center (think tank) devoted to advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy–both domestic and foreign–as well as international affairs. It has also been called the West’s citadel of anticommunism, or Bush ‘brain trust’."