When that won’t work, there’s also the “just move on” method for handling the aftermath of more specific prophesies (which Gary North found handy after Y2K). Another fave of failed prophets is the “it actually happened just as I predicted, but nobody noticed” method recently favored by Harold Camping. (These both have multitudes of amusing variations.)
Creative editing centuries after the fact often helps to ensure the reputation of a less-than-accurate prophet.
H.L. Mencken clearly needs none of those tricks:
“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”
–H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
Only question is was he talking about God’s own chosen, aka Bush II, or Mr. Healing-the-Planet Obama? Or (I fear) about many even more dubious personages who’ll “lead” us to our downfall?