The a lot of reasons why there's not much talk in Serious Circles anymore about the hideous disaster that was, and is, the Iraqi Adventure. But one such reason that deserves attention is that the only way Serious People ever discuss any fucking thing ever nowadays is in terms of bullshit competitions of at most a week's duration -- and where yesterday is garbage.
Here look. Duncan is totally right that Richard Cohen is very good at what he does, even when you can look back and want to throw up upon contemplating what he did.
But the key here is not simply what Cohen did or said; sure he was a dick. But he was hardly alone in this madness. The point is to identify the reasons why this madness took hold so powerfully among the class to which Cohen belonged.
And you can't forget that while to the vast majority of the inhabitants of this planet the clever turns of phrase of people like Cohen are utterly meaningless, in the intimate world of the Village Cohen likely dined out for years on "fools and Frenchmen."
These people compete very intensely against each other. The New York Times and WaPo opinion pages are not meant to inform anyone of anything. They are lists in which morons don elaborate heraldry to engage in fancypants shitheaded jousts.
In such competitions the prizes are awarded, say, weekly. Being proved right ten years later? Who the fuck cares about ten years later?
I agree with everything Scott says here. I remember the dsquared post referenced vividly; I remember reading the original and thinking "I knew that from Irish history, and also from trying to get contractors to give honest quotes on the roof, that the Iraq war was stupid."
The insight here is not that "fibbers lies are useless," but that "people who want to 'win the week' need to shut the fuck up about policy."
They won't. But what's poignant is that these contests aren't even over money.
They are over the weird Rules of Who Rules Pundit Mountain.