A recrimination made in advance of some expected event or outcome. [Blend of pre- and recrimination.]
A former Republican leader burst forth into print yesterday and asked what the hell went wrong. A lot of them are doing it these days.
It was all about Republican losses in the mid-term elections and how the so-called Republican revolution that started in 1994 had gone so badly wrong.
What's wrong with this picture? Well, the elections for control of the US Congress are still a week away. Votes are yet to be cast and counted.
No matter, welcome to the latest political trend in Washington, dubbed "precriminations" or "pre-mortems".
"The 2006 mid-term elections will be a success for the Democrats," says Dick Armey, a leading "precriminator", in The Washington Post.
—Geoff Elliott, "Mid-term precriminations," The Australian, October 31, 2006
National Review Editor Rich Lowry recently noted an explosion of "precriminations" among Republicans looking to assign blame for GOP losses in advance of Election Day. Blogger Glenn Reynolds offered a "pre-mortem" along similar lines. And the media have already started "pre-celebrating" the Democratic victory they expect Nov. 7. In the same spirit, let me offer a "pre-bunking" of the liberal gloating should the Democrats win big.
—Jonah Goldberg, "These are Democrats?," The Salt Lake Tribune, October 28, 2006
And then there's the historical advantage enjoyed by the opposition in the elections midway through an incumbent president's second term. To some, this might be cause for celebration. But not to Democrats. Beaten in the last three election cycles, the party has a serious insecurity complex. Convinced they will face another disappointment in November, Democrats are already busy figuring out who among them should be blamed for the inevitable defeat. Here's a guide for handicapping the Democratic precriminations.
—Dana Milbank, "Precriminations," The Washington Post, February 19, 2006