Getting Advice from the Chronically Wrong

The other day on MSNBC, Tucker Carlson was with one of his conservative guests, telling us how to deal with the Iraq War as it spins further out of control.

Turning from the screen, something was bothering me. Then a thought occurred, and I realized what it was -

This fellow has been wrong about the Iraq War for three years. Every step of the way. Why is he on, analyzing "what we should do" now?

Flipping through channels, I passed by Fox News, and a panel of their crack conservative experts were discussing with Sean Hannity how the Iraq War should be handled.

A few days later, there was Kate O'Beirne analyzing the Iraq War on "Hardball."

Glenn Beck on CNBC was explaining how Saddam Hussein's execution would impact the Iraq War.

And the same thought reared its ugly head yet again.

It is borderline unfathomable that any network would invite these guests on or give airspace to these hosts to analyze the Iraq War. Their opinions as "experts" have been invalidated. You could have tossed a coin and been right more often than any of them have been. It's not that they've been wrong, they've been wrong while being the mouthpieces to help drag the country into its worst foreign relations disaster in history.

Consider:

Weeks after the Iraq War began, William Kristol was on NPR's "Fresh Air," and said dismissively:

"There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's been almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."

For 800 years Sunnis and Shias have been fighting each other. It's in all the history books, you can't miss it. Pages 147-162. Why does anyone still invite William Kristol to analyze...well, anything? He's that wrong. And it's not like he's gotten more accurate as things have gotten worse.

For three years, right-wing conservative commentators have been analyzing the Iraq War, telling us how it should be run, defending the Administration - and most have been wrong every time they've had a chance to be wrong. These ace commentators have been wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong since Day One and $400 billion and 3,000 American deaths later, with no good way out - wrong about a disaster that 75% of the country now believes is misguided.

And we're supposed to continue listening to these people analyze their own mistakes even further? It's like following a tour guide for the Historic Homes of Des Moines who gets so lost that he ends up leading his group through a desert, past a rain forest and into a murky swamp bog after eighteen days of hiking in the wrong direction, with no idea where on the planet they are, as total darkness and a miasma of fog covers the landscape - and then asking this same guide his advice how to get out.

How to get out?? He's the one who got you utterly lost with no way out in the first place. He thought the swamp bog was the way out. He was certain of it. And he demeaned anybody who so much as suggested going in another direction.

Who cares what William Kristol has to say about Iraq? Or Kate O'Beirne, or Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Ken Mehlman, Bay Buchanan, Rush Limbaugh, or on and on and on? Forget for a moment whether you like their general politics. They have discredited those very politics by demonstrating as spokesmen their breathtaking ability to be wrong on absolutely every decision on the Iraq War. For three years.

Okay, admittedly, that's a skill unto itself. Perfection is a rare commodity in life, and wherever you can find it, perfection must be paid its due. Even about being perfectly wrong. Give them a wing at the Smithsonian and set up research grants to study the phenomenon of wrongosity. Put up a protective window to let people stare, marveling at the wrongness on the other side of the glass. Eventually, though, gawkers lock the door at night and walk away, if only for their own sanity.

TV news-talk shows should start running stats graphics like for ballgames. Whenever an analyst speaks, their record of success would be displayed. Being 11 for 132 with eight ties, for instance, would give an .083 average and near the bottom of league standings. But even that would look like Hall of Fame numbers against 0-for-151.

There are a whole lot of 0-151-0 far-right wing analysts out there. Enough is enough. Bring in some new blood from the bench.

It diminishes the credibility of any network who puts on such consistently-wrong analysts as their "experts." But then, that's why God created the remote control. And reruns of "Scrubs."