You have to admire conservatives’ consistency. They’re consistently wrong. (More)
I admire consistency. That’s why I offered 100% Guaranteed Predictions for 2014, followed that up with 100% Guaranteed Super Bowl Predictions, and another 100% Guaranteed Prediction after Rep. Eric Cantor’s Virginia primary defeat. So I’m a bit annoyed that conservatives are stealing my schtick.
Take former Vice President Dick Cheney. He and his daughter Liz penned their usual pro-war screed for The Weekly Standard, and they set a new bar for wrongness:
It is undisputed, and has been confirmed repeatedly in Iraqi government documents captured after the invasion, that Saddam had deep, longstanding, far-reaching relationships with terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda and its affiliates. It is undisputed that Saddam’s Iraq was a state based on terror, overseeing a coordinated program to support global jihadist terrorist organizations.
In fact, the 9/11 Commission disputed it 10 years ago.
Early in its best-selling final report, the independent, bipartisan commission rendered a judgment on Osama bin Laden’s relationship with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, rooted in a rigorous review of intelligence reports, that differs flatly from the Cheneys’ view: “The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides’ hatred of the United States. But to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.”
Team Cheney even reprise the pre-war claim about Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction:
It is also undisputed that Saddam Hussein had the technology, equipment, facilities, and scientists in place to construct the world’s worst weapons. We know he intended to reconstitute these programs as soon as the international sanctions regime collapsed. He had an advanced nuclear program in place prior to Operation Desert Storm in 1991. In 1998, he kicked the international weapons inspectors out of Iraq. He violated every one of the 17 U.N. Security Council Resolutions passed against him.
Although they later backtrack, and then backflip:
As we know now, Saddam did not have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. However, it requires a willing suspension of disbelief and a desire to put politics above safety to assert that the absence of stockpiles meant the absence of a threat to the United States. David Kay, who led the international Iraq Survey Group tasked with finding Saddam’s stockpiles, said this: “I actually think that what we learned during the inspections made Iraq a more dangerous place, potentially, than in fact we had thought before the war.”
Did you catch that? They admit Hussein had no WMDs, and then claim he was even more dangerous without WMDs. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf took them to task:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney failed to anticipate the September 11 terrorist attacks and responded to them by urging the catastrophic invasion of Iraq, which will cost $6 trillion, roughly 5,000 American lives, and tens of thousands of serious injuries. In hindsight, it’s clear that Cheney’s assessment of pre-war intelligence was inept if not dishonest; that his predictions about how Iraqis would react to the U.S. invasion were dreadful; that his estimate of the cost to Americans was wildly inaccurate; and that he was partly responsible for an occupation as negligent as, say, a man on a duck hunt who shoots another man in the face.
The chutzpah required of them to opine on Iraq at all is noteworthy. To continue doing so without acknowledging or grappling with the serious errors he has made in the past betrays a lack of either self-awareness or honor.
The Cheneys’ solution is for the U.S. to “get back on offense” – reoccupy Iraq, invade and occupy Syria, stop negotiating with Iran and threaten to attack them if they don’t dismantle their nuclear power program, keep troops in Afghanistan and, most importantly, crank military spending back up. Well, all of that would be offensive….
Then there’s CNBC analyst Rick Santelli, whose 2009 rant against struggling homeowners is widely cited as kick-starting the Tea Party. Yesterday Santelli got a dose of his own from fellow CNBC analyst Steve Liesman:
It’s impossible for you to have been more wrong, Rick. Your call for inflation, the destruction of the dollar, the failure of the US economy to rebound. Rick, it’s impossible for you to have been more wrong. Every single bit of advice you gave would have lost people money, Rick. Lost people money, Rick. Every single bit of advice. There is no piece of advice that you’ve given that’s worked, Rick. There is no piece of advice that you’ve given that’s worked, Rick. Not a single one. Not a single one, Rick. The higher interest rates never came, the inability of the U.S. to sell bonds never happened, the dollar never crashed, Rick. There isn’t a single one that’s worked for you.
But here’s the thing: before Liesman started, Santelli yelled that he had been right all along – and some of the traders started applauding.
Think about that: Liesman is of course right about Santelli’s record, and as I’ve pointed out many times this goes for all the inflationistas. So any trader who believed him would have lost money hand over fist. So why the applause?
Basically, I think, it’s because Santelli is their kind of guy; he hates the poors, he hates people who want to help the poors, he was trashing Janet Yellen for suggesting that she actually cares about the plight of the unemployed. And the traders feel the same way. So they like Santelli even though he’s been wrong about everything.
The Brad Blog’s Brad Friedman concludes:
While I’d happily bet against the yutz Santelli on just about anything, the rest of his network has also been notoriously wrong in just about every bit of corporate log-rolling and back-slapping they’ve engaged in over the last decade or more.
Kinda like the neocon war drum line at The Weekly Standard. And none of them pays me royalties on my 100% Guaranteed Predictions routine.
Good day and good nuts