I would be a great pundit. I have all of the qualifications: I am alive, I have the ability to say a complete sentence without long pauses, and I own a suit. Hell, I even have some stylish vests. I look pretty sharp in them, if I do say so myself (modesty is not a pundit requirement- thank God!).
Now, I know what you’re saying. Donald, you have no background in political science, have never appeared on television, and have never worked within a political campaign. All of this is true. It is irrelevant. You see, I am excellent, one might even say truly gifted, when it comes to giving opinions and giving them in a strong, firm voice. I have a basic grasp of facts, but that’s a bonus, not a requirement. I am also an expert on Donald Trump because I read his Twitter feed. That alone skyrockets me to the top of the list when it comes to being an ideal pundit candidate. I don’t mean to sound egotistical, but I’m thinking Charles Krauthammer should be watching out for me; I might soon be taking his place on The O’Reilly Factor. Ol’ Bill loves talking about Trump and I am down to talk about the Donald any day of the week. And, to spice it up even more, Trump and I share the same first name, making me the number one expert on the current Republican frontrunner.
And yet again, I know what you’re saying (see how well I understand people?): Donald, this is a gross exaggeration of pundits. One might even say offensive. Many pundits are on target and give out smart political takes.
Do they, though? Is that actually something I need to worry about if I want to be an A-grade political pundit? I took a look to see if it was and, boy, did I find the results encouraging.
Let’s start with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, writer of the stone cold political classic Hardball. Last summer, Matthews stated that Rand Paul is going to be the Republican nominee, with Matthews even adding that we should believe him because he does political punditry for a living. The latter is indeed a correct statement. Sadly, the first statement is not. Rand Paul’s campaign crashed and burned right after the Iowa caucus, although it was floundering well beforehand. More recently, Matthews has speculated that we might see a Clinton/Kasich “unity” ticket. Why he would think this when Clinton is trying to come across as liberal and Kasich wants to be the Republican Party’s rising star is a bit of a mystery. I hate to say it, but it seems that Matthews is throwing out ideas in the hopes that something, anything manages to land. After all, one of the benefits of being a pundit on cable television is never having to own up to your past mistakes. No matter how incorrect a pundit might be, apologizing is never in the cards. Politics is just a game, after all. For them (perhaps soon I’ll be able to say for us), the political results won’t actually affect them like they will working class Americans. Therefore, there’s no real reason to worry about the impact of the political game. It’s just like putting together your Fantasy Football team with the boys down at the bar!
Just take a look at Karl Rove for an example of the “No Apologies Needed” stance. Poor Karl has had a terrible history on Fox News of being wrong about, well, everything. In 2012, Rove had a hilarious meltdown when he tried to claim the Fox News team was wrong in calling certain states for Obama (they turned out to be correct) and it quickly became clear that poor Karl simply couldn’t handle the reality that Mitt Romney lost. Rove’s incompetence struck again during this year’s primary when he tried to make a case for Rubio winning Virginia and, in the midst of this argument, Trump was announced the winner of the state’s primary. Poor Karl! If you think that Rove is going to face any blowback from his massive fuck-ups, however, then I have a bathrobe once used by George C. Scott to sell you.
Thanks to the loose grasp on accuracy needed for the job, smart and talented people in the media are moving into the field of punditry. Look no further than Brian Williams. Lyin’ Brian had a bad 2014 when it was revealed he’d lied about being in a helicopter that was shot down (and, possibly, about twelve other things but one doesn’t need to do research to become a pundit). But he’s a smart guy. “What should I do now?” he asked himself, sitting alone in a dark NBC studio. “Where does my life go from here? I’ve been humiliated and shown to be a fraud.” The solution became apparent pretty darn quickly. Like Edison when he discovered electricity, Williams no doubt exclaimed, “I shall become a POLITICAL PUNDIT.” Lucky for him, MSNBC welcomed him with open arms and now Brian is doing the Lord’s work over there, a place where he doesn’t need to worry about having a fully functioning recollection of events.
No discussion of punditry is complete, however, without mention of the biggest, most pathetic, most ill-informed pundit of our time: the one and only William Kristol. Given a platform solely because of his famous father, Kristol has been wrong on almost every issue he’s spoken about, from the Iraq War to the belief Sarah Palin would be embraced by Americans in 2008 to the rise of Donald Trump. If Kristol makes a prediction, you should head over to Las Vegas and bet your life savings on the opposite outcome. Like an addict, Kristol still can’t stop making predictions; it’d be an embarrassing spectacle if Kristol’s predictions weren’t justifying so much destruction. So far, Kristol has faced no blowback for his history of misunderstanding America’s political landscape time and again. In fact, he has failed upwards. Kristol is currently a contributor to This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. For reasons unknown, George seems to put some stock in Kristol’s read on current events. This would be like going to Dr. Frankenstein when you wanted to create a docile servant.
The thing is, I am more than capable of doing Kristol’s job AND I’d likely have a higher accuracy percentage (at least 10%). I even predicted that Trump would be in it for the long haul back in July (don’t ask for proof). In terms of the ability to be a pundit, I think we can all agree I’m a shoo-in for the position.
The next question that’s popping into your head must be why I would want to be a political pundit. Why would I want to spend time around such people who I clearly have no respect for? The answer to that is simple, my friends. I would earn a fucking metric ton of money. Donald Trump tells me it’d be one great ass deal. I want to be rich rich rich rich rich! So sign me up. I’ll be a terrorist expert or an expert on economics; I don’t care! I’m not choosey. I just want to be part of that great 24/7 news cycle.
I should be careful, though. You see, I don’t want to be an activist. I don’t want to write articles about what political actions should be taken to solve problems. That’s no good. That takes too much time and effort and the pay doesn’t compare. I just want to be an insider in the game of politics and call events like I see ‘em. All politicians will be my friend. We’ll hang out in DC, have a few beers together, and then I’ll tell you who I think has a shot because I don’t want to put you through the unneeded hassle of thinking for yourself. I also don’t want to tell you who has the more effective and moral positions; I might pick a side but my suit and tie will assure you that I’m still just here to call balls and strikes. I’m not interested in being Matt Bruenig or Glenn Greenwald. I just want to tell you how I think the game of politics is played, where I think it’ll go next depending on whatever factors I decide are relevant, and remind you that this is all just a political funhouse. There’s nothing else worth paying attention to. The details of legislation, the statistics of poverty, the effects of war, none of those things matter unless it might impact the game. Save your cries about protests and how the “common people” don’t really have a voice in government. That’s not my problem and it’s certainly not something I plan to bring up on Anderson Cooper’s show unless I absolutely have to. Should such a catastrophic occasion arise, I’ll speak on it with a weary voice, lamenting how the people who complain simply don’t understand the political system like I do.
What makes me personally so knowledgeable about the political system, you ask, slowly becoming resigned to the fact that I’m a stellar candidate. Are you really someone anyone will listen to?
Well, haven’t you been paying attention? If I’m on cable news then I am therefore a political genius that you have to listen to. The proof is in the pudding, my friends.