Before President Obama announced Bin Laden's death the big topic in Washington was the deficit. Pundits and politicians alike eagerly anticipated a possible "bi-partisan" budget-cutting deal forged by "selfless" Republicans and Democrats. Deficits will be the hot topic again after the excitement dies down. But Bin Laden's death is a timely reminder of what happened the last time Washington's leaders and pundits reached a "bi-partisan consensus."
Then, as now, we were told that their consensus viewpoint was clearly and objectively correct. Then, as now, dissenting voices were marginalized, mocked, or ignored. Then, as now, the media credulously took the biased statements of interested parties for the objective voice of reason. Then, as now, many politicians were either too fearful or self-serving to speak the truth. And then, as now, we were told that the consensus idea was bigger than the petty distinctions of "left" and "right."
What did we get for all of that? The war in Iraq. And then, as now, the ones being celebrated for their "courage" and "sacrifice" won't be the ones to pay the price.
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