Dover Bitch

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Misunderestimated Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan has taken quite a few hits already for forgetting how he vilified people who were against the Iraq war -- before becoming one of them. And DB never tried to pile on.

But Sullivan just won't quit coming up with transparently shallow ways of trying to retain a feeling of superiority. Take his Quote of the Day III from Monday:

"Liberals' assertion that they 'knew all along' that the war in Iraq would go badly are guilty of the hindsight bias. This is not to say that they didn't always think that the war was a bad idea. It is to say that after it was apparent that the war was going badly, they assert that they would have assigned a higher probability to that outcome than they really would have assigned beforehand," - Hal Arkes, a psychologist at Ohio State University, who has studied "hindsight bias" and how to overcome it.

He's like someone who lost his house in Vegas, mocking people who play the lottery.

OK, first of all "hindsight bias?" You mean rose-colored glasses? Ohio State pays a guy to study that? Clearly if anybody should be judging "liberals" it's Hal Arkes.

At least he can acknowledge that some people legitimately thought invading Iraq was a bad idea. But anybody who thought it was going to be this screwed up has to be lying. Feel better yet, Andrew?

Here's the problem: The Cheney administration said it was going to be a cakewalk. Anybody who thought it was going to be tough was light years ahead of the people for whom Sullivan was clapping. And part of the reason it is so completely screwed up is precisely because of the fact that they all thought it was going to be easy. If there's any truth to what Arkes is saying at all, it's that nobody could have known just how genuinely off their rocker, I'll-fire-anybody-who-says-we-need-a-post-war-plan nuts this administration actually was.

So go ahead Andrew, comfort yourself by knowing that even the people who were most adamant about the wrongness of your thinking couldn't possibly have predicted just how completely fucked we'd be by taking your advice.

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