In Law and Economics today I learned about the Drowning Man case. In this case, a man took a canoe into the middle of the lake. The canoe tipped over, and he could not swim. The Defendant saw him flailing in the water, calling for help... and did nothing. He just stood there for thirty minutes until the Plaintiff eventually drowned. The Plaintiff's estate sued... and lost!
That's right, as Americans, you are within your rights to stand by the side of a lake and watch a man drown, even if you have a jetpack and a rope in your possession. (So long as you didn't CAUSE him to be in that position).
One of the major reasons for this is that we don't want to incentivize others to do stupid things because they know they'll be saved. In other words, you have a duty to take care of your own safety. If you can't swim, don't go canoeing! The Park Service has seen the results of this, as lots of moron hikers have been heading into snowstorms because they know the Park Service will bail them out.
And yet, the Democrats responsibility to essentially Bail Out Iraq has become a stick to bludgeon them with. Democrats are supposed to "man up" to our mess in Iraq. We can't leave now, because the Republicans have created a situation where "early withdrawal would produce 'massive civilian casualties.'"
It's refreshing to play a make-believe game where, like a randomized war-strategy game, all the pieces were placed willy-nilly and the players have to do the best they can with the results. From this perspective, it seems bizaare to be in the middle of this Middle Eastern civil war. Who rolled those dice? Get out of there and pursue our actual financial and strategic interests.
But I guess Democrats need to take responsibility for the man in the lake. Because we have a duty to save them