Emmett Tyrell, a conservative columnist for the Washington Examiner, ruminates today on the success and failure of his predictions for 2012. I know that he is a conservative columnist because one of his predictions was that liberalism would be dead. He also proclaimed the death of crony capitalism. And now we get to the heart of the matter: “So was I always right in 2011?” asks Tyrell. “Unfortunately, not at all. Those who noticed the optimistic tone of my pronouncements regarding Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s chances for the presidency in late spring and early summer must know I was too optimistic by half. In fact, I was dead wrong. Let me be man enough to admit it. Back then, I saw Perry declaring his candidacy by the end of August, and so far, so good. I said he would be very impressive, speaking authoritatively and sonorously on all the important issues of the day to us conservatives. “By January 2012, he would have swept the field. Only a well-heeled Gov. Mitt Romney would be prepared to challenge him, and perhaps the indefatigable Rep. Ron Paul. It would be a pathetic sight, with a smiling, congenial Perry proceeding to the summer Republican convention and taking the nomination. “Well, Perry did not sweep into 2012. He tripped repeatedly in the fall after a promising declaration of candidacy. He faltered in debate and had those embarrassing brain seizures in front of the cameras, where all could see. He was a solid conservative, but on some things he was too solid, and he was rarely well-informed. “Frankly, I came to the conclusion that in the summer sometime he awoke and thought he should be president, so why not make a run for it? His state was rightly being boomed as the economy that works in contrast to California, the economy that had failed, that hated business, that was an economy without a purpose. “Perry had been good for Texas and could be good for America. The 2012 election was going to be about the economy, and the governor of Texas was the man to take on Obama. “Actually, he might well be a man to take on Obama, but he has shown himself not to be prepared for the race just yet. It is said of him that in Texas, he never won a debate and never lost a race. “Yet he is beyond Texas now. Today he is campaigning for the presidency, and he entered the race as though it were a lark. He has shown the capacity to learn on the campaign trail, but I am not sure the trail is long enough. We shall soon see.” * * * * If it makes Mr. Tyrell feel any better, a bunch of us Texans were thinking the same thing, the difference being we were terrified that he might win. Still are. I even wrote a 7,000 word article explaining how and why he could do it. As for liberalism being dead: It’s not possible. It’s like colors. You can’t have blue without yellow and red. If liberalism did not exist, conservatives would have to invent it. But you’re partly right. Liberalism doesn’t exist–in Texas, that is.
Politics & Policy