The psychology gurus suggest that any good professional take inventory of the mistakes he or she made at the end of every year. I'm happy to let my record -- hundreds of thousands of words -- speak for itself. Nonetheless, my analytic assertions didn't always turn out to be...shall we say... on point. To clear the decks for 2010, I hereby present to you a list of the Major Things I Got Wrong in 2009.
On health care, I did not anticipate that Obama would have more problems corralling liberals than moderate Democrats. And I assumed that liberals would cave more easily than...they will.
I did not anticipate the degree of substantive criticism directed at Obama by progressives -- a healthy development for Obama, if not for the White House.
I did not anticipate the degree to which the
inherent polarization of our politics would manifest itself so quickly
after the 2008 elections.
I assumed that this
White House, led by Rahm Emanuel, would figure out a way to scare
institutional actors and throw its power around. No one is afraid of
the White House now.
I assumed that President Obama's speech at Ft. Hood
would be remembered as the best of his presidency so far; I completely
missed the significance of his Oslo Nobel Prize speech until well after
he gave it.
I supposed that early support for
the president's economic agenda would remain solid; I did not
anticipate that independents would begin to turn away, as they did.
In my first post about prospective Supreme Court nominees, I failed to mention
I didn't think
that Bobby Jindal's tepidly-reviewed response to the State of the Union speech would jeopardize his presidential aspirations.
Charlie Crist's support among Florida Republicans.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.
is an Atlantic
contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One
, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week