There need to be consequences for this. Once the Mueller report appears and it becomes incontrovertible that, whatever his faults, Donald Trump did not collude with the Russians, the many people who’ve persistently claimed on the basis of no evidence that he did collude with the Russians must be punished. Not indicted or imprisoned, but thoroughly shamed and forced to apologize. If Republicans spent three full years falsely claiming that Barack Obama colluded with the government of Iran, would those who claimed it, ever work in politics or media again? That’s a rhetorical question.

Lying and recklessness should never be ignored. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq on the premise that Saddam Hussein possessed massive stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. Many of us believed it. But the claim was false. Thousands of Americans died. Trillions were wasted. Nobody was punished. To this day, Max Boot takes a paycheck from the Washington Post. Bill Kristol appears on MSNBC. John Bolton is this country’s National Security Advisor. There were no consequences to their foolishness and dishonesty. None. And so we started a series of eerily similar wars, all with entirely predictable results. Nobody learned anything.