A commenter at Uncommon Sense, giving unintentional support for that site’s title:
Why would Bush knowingly promote the WMD aspect when the success of that argument would cause him to send the military to uncover the fact he lied in the first place?
So the utter lack of “WMDs” (in scare quotes because the term is rife with dishonesty) is somehow proof that Bush & co. acted in good faith by insisting, over and over again, that there were such items in Iraq?
Let’s apply a little bit of Occam’s Razor here. Which is the simpler explanation for the conspicuous lack of Weapons of Mass Destruction (so-called) in Iraq?
A) The President of the United States acted forthrightly and honestly and presented the most accurate case established by American and allied intelligence, which as it turned was totally wrong, or
B) The whole “WMD” scheme was a cynical ploy to help sell this stupid war to conservatives, who blindly cheerlead this nonsense even after it’s been exposed for what it is.
You’d think that if a mistake of this caliber was made, the Republican end of the political spectrum would be just a tad outraged. I mean, let’s suppose that their dreams all come true and they get the war they want with Syria, or Iran, or whoever. If an ememy’s capabilities could be honestly overestimated to this degree, couldn’t they be underestimated as well? “Well, Mr. President, you know how we determined that the Iranians didn’t have nuclear weapons? That turns out to not be the case…”
The overwhelming silence on this matter is instructive. What that silence indicates is that not even the most true-blue O’Reilly Factor conservative out there thinks that this WMD fiasco was even one quarter based on reality. They wanted a war to avenge September 11th, never mind on who, and they got it. Now they can feel better about things.
So why rock the boat about dumb ol’ facts?
This one drop of stupidity serves as a lesson on the problem with mass politics. The reality of the situation is that facts don’t matter in mass politics, because the participants don’t pay a price for their own mistakes. This is in stark contrast to markets. A driver who holds on to the idea that his car can run just as well on water as on gasoline pays a signifigant price for his folly, and so his goofy notion is soon corrected. A voter who holds on to the idea that there are WMDs in Iraq is never corrected, because he gets the exact same government as everyone else does.
This is also why rational argumentation is usually futile at changing people’s political opinions. People are generally comfortable with their routine habits and thoughts. Changing that routine, even if it means dropping incorrect ideas in favor of correct ones, comes at a price of some discomfort. So why would the average person pay that price when there is no direct benefit to them?
Answer is that they won’t.
They’ll continue, despite reason or logic to the contrary, to hold wrong ideas. Again this is because they suffer no consequences for doing so: Bush voters got the same government that Kerry voters got, which happens to be the same government that nonvoters such as myself got.