A simple question: Why is politics the only arena where those who turned out to be right still get flayed as outcasts, while those who are known to be utterly wrong get rewarded as visionaries? In business, if you make the wrong calls, you lose money and, most often, lose your job. If you make the right call, you make a lot of money, and you usually get promoted. There are exceptions to this axiom, of course - but it generally works this way. In politics, it generally works the opposite way. The people who make the right call on the big issues are punished with elite vitiriol, and those who repeatedly make the wrong calls on such issues are vaulted into the highest echelons of the Establishment.
Nowhere was this more obvious than on the Iraq War. As Jebediah Reed at Radar Magazine has shown in detail, most of the major pundits who led the cheering section for the war have been rewarded with promotions, while those writers who actually accurately predicted the war as a disaster have been cast aside like pieces of garbage.
This has also happened when it comes to "free" trade. Despite the fact that NAFTA and China PNTR have helped destroy American wages and jobs; have increased our trade deficit to crisis proportions; and have been a key weapon in preventing global environmental and human rights standards, the people who predicted such outcomes are still regarded with contempt and berated with false attacks, while the people who championed such awful policies are considered the legitimate voices of reason. Jeff Faux spells this out particularly well today over at TPM Cafe