For a crystalline example of what's wrong with American journalism, and the American political conversation, at this exact moment, go no farther than Sunday's 60 Minutes interview with President Obama, specifically to 7:12 in.
Steve Kroft begins his question with this sentence: "You're a student of history". The subject is the escalation in Afghanistan. The two examples of history Kroft cites: the British in America, the Americans in Vietnam.
Gee, it's too bad there aren't any historical examples of foreign nations invading Afghanistan for him to cite. They might have framed a more challenging question for the president. But, that's that damn history for you.