FORESEEN CONSEQUENCES

Posted in Rants on May 16th, 2017 by Ed

Of all the styles of pundit writing the most loathsome is the "You can't blame me for failing to foresee this, as nobody could have foreseen it!" self-absolution. And when this three-ring shitshow in the White House meets its tragi-comic end, whether on schedule in January 2021 or earlier, it will take a great deal of fortitude to plow through the inevitable hand-wringing pieces from Republicans who fancy themselves Serious People without projectile vomiting our spleens onto the ashes of whatever is left of us by then.

Circa 2005 when it became so obvious that the Iraq War was a poorly thought-out, poorly executed misadventure in imbecilic optimism as a one-to-one replacement for strategy and legitimate cause, Very Serious People on the right began lining up to purge themselves all over our eyes. What was once the very best idea suddenly became the worst foreign policy disaster in American history, but lest the gentle reader entertain thoughts of questioning the judgment of people like George Will it must be pointed out that no one – no one at all – could have foreseen in 2003 that the invasion could possibly turn out in any way other than Super Great. No one could have known, for example, that the White House cherry-picked intel, placed huge amounts of political pressure on agencies to reach predetermined conclusions, and generally had no goddamn idea whatsoever to do once it used the military to smash Saddam Hussein's regime into dust other than "They'll hail us as their liberators and everything will be great." Never mind that all of this was widely recognized and shouted until hoarse for 18 months leading up to the war. Nobody could have known.

And now we will have to read the same masturbatory thinkpieces all over again. Because clearly nobody could have predicted that taking a person with obvious personality disorders who has never had a job before and is proud of the fact that he has no idea what he is doing and making that person president would turn out poorly.

It would not surprise me if a lot of the Republicans and conservative media figures have their "the day after Trump is gone" pieces in the can already. Even Fox News has to be planning ahead despite their comical efforts to keep this unfolding disaster away from the dead octogenarian eyes of their remaining viewers; a slew of "What went wrong and why are we not at fault for failing to mention any of this before it actually went wrong?" pieces exist in the ethers, awaiting only the push of a button to be unleashed and accepted unquestioningly. Revisionist history as absolution is the only thing the right does as effectively as phony moral outrage and IOKIYAR-ism.

Spare us. That's all I ask. Living with the consequences is punishment enough. Don't double down by telling us that an honest person had no idea how this was going to turn out.