Applied lessons in unpredictability, 2008 primary season edition

One of my favorite TATWTESBTISBAs — Truths About The World That Everyone Should Be Taught In School But Aren’t — is that the real world is a wildly unpredictable place, and that most interesting or important things that happen aren’t predictable, because there are simply too many moving parts and unknown factors at play.

Consider the last several months.

On the Democratic side, first, everyone said Hillary had a lock on the nomination. Then Obama steamrolled her in Iowa and his inevitability was widely agreed upon byall experts all through the weekend. And tonight, Hillary wins in New Hampshire, counter to all the polls, including her own internal polls, which had her losing by 11 points.

On the Republican side, first, McCain had a lock on the nomination. Then he completely blew up over a confluence of Iraq and immigration, and was regarded by everyone as done, cooked, over. Meanwhile, Huckabee was widely viewed as a joke who undoubtedly couldn’t win so much as a bingo game. Huckabee cleans up in Iowa, surprising everyone. Then McCain comes back in New Hampshire and once again is being widely viewed as the presumptive nominee.

The moral of the story: in the immortal words of William Goldman, nobody knows nothing.

If the world were a sane and just place, every pundit, commentator, expert, and reporter who predicted the things that didn’t happen and missed the things that did — which is to say, all of them — would resign their jobs tonight.

Since that won’t happen, the only logical response is to put one’s hands over one’s ears and say “Nanananananananananananana” every time one sees them on television from here on out.

They know nothing.