Why instant political analysis on Twitter is often wrong
*** On Twitter and instant analysis: We’ll make one more point about Hagel’s hearing yesterday: Twitter and all the instant analysis made a bad performance look even worse — just like Twitter and instant analysis made Romney’s Ford Field speech, Donald Verrilli’s Supreme Court oral argument, and Barack Obama’s first debate all seem worse. And what eventually happened in those instances? Romney went on to win the GOP nomination, the Supreme Court upheld the health-care law, and Obama won the general election by four percentage points. So those things are a reminder that while Twitter and instant analysis can get the style right, they’re not as good when evaluating the substance or the overall political reality. And that’s a good lesson for all of us to keep in mind. Speaking of substance, NBC’s Sarah Blackwill counts that there were 38 references to “Afghanistan” or “Afghan” in yesterday’s hearing, versus 178 mentions of “Israel” or “Israeli.” Just an amazing lack of questioning of Hagel on the current war America’s involved in, let alone significant questions about the new battles in North Africa. Meanwhile, if you needed an example of why cutting budgets are so politically hard in Congress, notice how many of them (from both sides of the aisle) were sure to bring up whatever local military or defense installation is in their state to Hagel. And they asked him to make sure he understands how important (fill in the blank) is to our national security.