How many times does a person have to prove himself wrong about a situation before a booking agent suggests to his or her boss, “You know, maybe we should find someone else to talk to about this?” If your name is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the answer is never. Likewise, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Ditto ex-Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith. And former Press Secretary under the Bush administration Ari Fleischer. And conservative writer, TV commentator, and master of the awkward smile Bill Kristol. Not to be outdone, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who played the role of Geppetto during the Bush administration.
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Each of these men were dead wrong about pushing the country in to invading Iraq on faulty evidence and logic, but that hasn’t stopped them from going out of their way to further criticize President Barack Obama‘s handling of a war none of us should have ever had to contend with. Joining them is former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair who is as defiant about being wrong as hell as the aforementioned. In a personal essay, Blair rejected any responsibility in the state of Iraq due to the invasion.
“The reality is that the whole of the Middle East and beyond is going through a huge, agonising and protracted transition. We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this. We haven’t. We can argue as to whether our policies at points have helped or not; and whether action or inaction is the best policy and there is a lot to be said on both sides. But the fundamental cause of the crisis lies within the region not outside it.”
Did you get that? “We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ have caused this.” We being the people absolutely responsible for everything. This is the part where you should picture me recreating the GIF of Rihanna rolling her eyes and subsequently rolling up her car’s windows to escape the ridiculousness of what she has unfortunately been subjected to.
That said, Tony Blair has the right to be as wrong as he wants on his personal website. However, why are we continuing to provide a platform to the architects of a war that we didn’t have to enter that was totally mishandled throughout the time it was their war to run? More importantly, why aren’t the people who voted against the Iraqi war being given more attention?
On Monday, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) whether or not he’d gotten requests to do TV interviews given he took such a “tough vote” at the time. Meeks answered, “Which amazes me why each and every time they go right to John McCain. I don’t know when John McCain has had it right. Thank God the American people were smart enough not to elect him President of the United States.”
Meeks went on to add, “Why does the news media go to John McCain to ask him any time there’s anything happening because you know he’s going to be, ‘go to war, send troops.’ It just doesn’t make sense.”
I can think of a few reasons: An older White man is the grand slam champion of Sunday morning political shows. And he has a military background and loves to give a soundbite? Maybe that caters to the predominant audience, but it does nothing in the way of providing credible in sight into important issues of the day.
At least there are other hosts like Melissa Harris-Perry, who have sought interviews with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) who voted against military action in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the sort of perspective that should be featured. Not Waldorf, Statler, and Sgt. Slaughter.
McCain and co. haven’t learned from their 2002 mistakes, when there were a whole lot of folks in Congress living with regret. As MSNBC’s Ed Schultz made clear, “They should not be treated as experts because they aren’t.” Indeed, John McCain has been allowed to coast on being a war monger and attention whore for far too long. It’s time his mic get turned off. Do him like LaTavia and LeToya on the day of the “Say My Name” shoot. CC: The rest of those neocons.
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And add to that Dick Cheney, who has his nerve writing a scathing op-ed for the Wall Street Journal criticizing Obama for “seizing defeat from the jaws of victory” about Iraq. While I’m not sure that FOX News’ Megyn Kelly “grilled” Cheney as publicized, I will say she did right by directly informing Cheney, “Time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir.”
She also asked, “What do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?” The answer is the same for all of them which is why we shouldn’t be talking to them at all.
Michael Arceneaux blogs at thecynicalones.com, tweets at @youngsinick, and praises Beyoncé’s name everywhere he goes.