Essay: On Getting It Wrong

On Getting It Wrong

"Nothing ever gets settled in this town," George Shultz once said of Washington. "The debate never stops." Which is why no one can ever decide which side won. It takes so long for the consequences of a critical policy -- say, welfare -- to become apparent, and the results are so murky, that in the end few can remember who said what, assuming those who said anything are still living.

Not so the Persian Gulf war. Rarely in the life of a nation is a question so vital settled so decisively. The gulf debate is the closest politics gets to a...

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