This weekend the annual Politicon political convention returns to Pasadena, California. There will be many panels and discussions but how seriously should we take them? Well, judging from Politicon 2016 perhaps we should take it all with a yuuuge grain of salt. A stroll down Memory Lane reveals that the discussions and most panelists were laughably off the mark especially as to anticipating what is now viewed as the greatest political upset in American political history a few months after that convention.
Let us now observe how the Politicon "experts" of 2016 opened themselves up to become the laughingstocks of 2017 starting with this observation by Democrat political strategist James Carville:
PASADENA >> Don’t interpret Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union as a sign of anything that will happen here, a prominent Democratic political strategist said Sunday at Politicon 2016.
“I don’t think America will look at what happened in Britain and say ‘That’s a good thing. We want some of that’,” James Carville said at Politicon, a offbeat gathering of political aficionados of all ideologies held at the Pasadena Convention Center.
Following last week’s vote by Britons to end a decades-old relationship with the EU, there’s been speculation that the same themes driving the anti-EU movement - anger at free trade and concern about immigration - would give a boost to presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has campaigned on an “America First” platform that champions border security and trade deals that don’t hurt blue-collar workers.
Speaking at a panel on the “Brexit,” Carville noted some differences between the British electorate and American voters. For starters, British voters are much whiter than the American populace...
Yeah, there can be no implications drawn from the Brexit vote to the presidential election a few months later. Right, James? At least Carville could take some solace from the fact that most of his fellow Politicon pundits were just as wrong as he was so he was not alone as you can see in this HuffPost Reflections on Politicon 2016:
The Republican Convention will highlight the party’s lack of unity, while the Democratic Convention will be like a Super Bowl party. Paul Begala, James Carville, S.E. Cupp, Van Jones, Michael Murphy, and Larry Wilmore participated in a lively discussion titled “Deconstructing ‘16.”
...During Wilmore’s “Keep it 100” segment, every panelist predicted a Hillary Clinton victory in November.
The funny thing is that a couple of those panelists, Carville and Begala, will return to Politicon 2017 this weekend at a panel titled DECONSTRUCTING: HOW TRUMP WON. Will Carville smash eggs on his face again? And where are rest of the 2016 panelists? Shouldn't they also be facing the embarrassing music?
CNN's Van Jones was also peered into his crystal ball at Politicon 2016 with this off the mark observation:
Jones referenced how 90-92% of African Americans have to vote Democratic for a Democrat to win, and a disciplined Republican candidate could take advantage of this, though Trump is not that candidate...
So far it appears that Jones won't be returning to Politicon this weekend. Punishment for referring to Jeff Zucker's extreme Trump-Russia collusion obsession as a "nothing burger?"
Glenn Beck proved at Politicon 2016 that you didn't have to be liberal to be laughably wrong with this piece of advice:
...legislators should vote on Merrick Garland because he may be the best candidate the Senate has to choose from for a while. [!!!]
At Politicon 2016 panelists discussed if Donald Trump was crazy:
Is Donald Trump a psychopath? Probably not, but he displays many narcissistic personality disorder traits according to a panel featuring speakers such as clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis and The Daily Show cocreator Lizz Winstead. Michaelis also explained the concept of authoritarianism as it applies to Trump supporters, stating that when a voting block feels threatened, voters look to a strong individual to lead them. Michaelis said Trump supporters generally have an authoritarian personality type, and it is the single biggest predictor of those who back Trump. The psychologist also discussed how those on the left politically tend to value traits such as empathy and equality, while those on the right value purity, loyalty and respect.
The good news for President Trump is that since he unexpectedly won the election despite what the Politicon 2016 "experts" predicted he has upgraded his position at Politicon 2017 to allow for the possibility that he might just be very smart as you can see at this panel this Saturday, TRUMP: GENIUS OR LUNATIC?
The Goldwater Rule stops psychiatrists from diagnosing a candidate for office that isn’t their client. Luckily we don’t have the same restrictions! So is Trump crazy, or crazy like a fox? Top strategists & politicos discuss the more controversial opinions and strategies that led to Trump’s unexpected win.
Leading the above discussion is CNN's sanity-challenged Sally Kohn.
An interesting note on Politicon 2016 is that it was generally observed that the panelists were all pretty much civil towards each other even if they had sharp political differences. Could it have been a case of liberals tolerating conservatives because they were absolutely certain that Trump was heading for defeat? Now that Trump is president and a very angry "resistance" mentality now prevalent among democrats and liberals, will they be as polite as last year? One big problem is that MSNBC will be running the show as you can read in MSNBC to Take Over POLITICON Los Angeles This July:
On Saturday, July 29th and Sunday, July 30th, MSNBC will take over POLITICON in Los Angeles, CA presenting a full slate of interactive, live and in-person programming for political enthusiasts from across the country. MSNBC journalists including Kasie Hunt, Steve Kornacki, Richard Lui, Ari Melber, Joy Reid and Jacob Soboroff will be front and center for a series of entertaining panels, engaging discussions and fan Q&A sessions to talk about their myriad of experience during an unprecedented election season and the extraordinary Trump Presidency.
Will the MSNBC crew be able to contain their rage over the fact that Trump is now president? We shall find out this weekend.
Exit question: Should Politicon 2017 add a discussion panel called "Keith Olbermann: Psychopath or Just Plain Nuts?"