Hindsight, combined with a regret for the mistakes that were made and a desire for positive change, is a proven method of self-education.
But not everyone shares a talent for self-improvement through such insight.
Some of the less clever examples in recent public memory were Condoleezza Rice and her grudging admission that her husband...er, employer had a document placed in his hand that might have given reflective pause to one less incurious a month before everything changed.
Then, of course, we have the drowning of New Orleans, and once again in retrospect the crystal ball had grew cloudy in spite of clear signals of distress.
And now we have a new, more subjective example by which we can gauge an individual's self-insight and relative candor.
"There's nothing any of us could ever do," Mike Huckabee said Sunday on CNN when asked to reflect on the horrific outcome caused by [Dumond's] release. "None of us could've predicted what [Dumond] could've done when he got out."
But the confidential files obtained by the Huffington Post show that Huckabee was provided letters from several women who had been sexually assaulted by Dumond and who indeed predicted that he would rape again - and perhaps murder - if released.
It appears that among the myriad faults that might be assigned to the adherents of modern conservatism, we can now assume an overdependence on their own gimmicked magic 8-ball.
Because 'no one could have predicted...', you see.