Tea Leaves, Tarot Cards and Other Tools of the Punditry
The Democrats just can’t catch a break these days. First it was the embarrassing loss in Massachusetts. Then it was the realization that nearly a year’s worth of work on overhauling the health care system will probably go out the window. And now, with John Murtha’s death, the Democrats have lost one of their more moderate members and someone who gave them the “national security” credentials they seek so much.
It remains to be seen what will happen. The Democrats are in no danger of losing their majority in the House despite the special election but every time one of these circuses takes place, the press start chatting it up as a bellwether for the fortunes of the parties. It’s like using a team’s record at the All-Star break as an indicator of their final standing. Pretty much every year we see how ridiculous that is.
But, that doesn’t mean that pundits won’t continue to draw meaning from these useless statistics. Sure, sometimes they point you in the right direction. But more often than not they’re an anomaly or based on some fortuitous happenstance. If you play a four game series with the Pirates heading into the mid-way point of the season, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be riding a four game win streak when you hit the break as well.
John Murtha is gone. The Democrats have been making a pretty poor showing of it recently. But there are nine months before the mid-term elections so there’s probably not a whole lot to read into at this point. If you want a prediction, though, I have one for you. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Murtha’s home state of Pennsylvania will not be sending it’s Pirates to the World Series this year. Remember, you heard it here first.