On the tenth anniversary of the war in Iraq it is worth remembering how many people were deeply wrong. Top politicians in both parties, administration officials, reporters, columnists, and even many bloggers. They were wrong about the weapons of mass destruction, about the links to Al-Qaeda, and about how quickly the war would end. Over the past decade basically none of these people have faced any repercussions for being so wrong. In fact many of them are still working at their same jobs or have much better jobs.
Over a hundred thousand civilians were killed, thousands of Americans servicemen died, many more were grievously wounded, and billions of tax dollars were wasted. Yet almost no one responsible faced anything worse than an election loss, which led to a high paying lobbying job.
The important thing is that “everyone,” and by that I mean everyone who is defined by the Beltway/MSM as a serious person, was wrong together. There are zero penalties for making a huge mistake in our current political/media system as long as all the important people agreed at the time it was a good idea. A broad bipartisan consensus basically provides immunity from any sin, no matter how egregious.
This is why certain people in Washington and a select group of very big donors are obsessed with bipartisanship and grand bargains. If “everyone” agreeing to something can provide them with immunity for the deaths of thousands of people than it can surely protect them from being held responsible for needlessly making many senior citizens poorer.
The bipartisan fetish isn’t about making everyone a big happy family, it’s about protecting people from basic accountability.
Photo by DVIDSHUB released under Creative Commons License