At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson on consensus:

Consensus, with its suggestions of compromise and trans-partisanship, is an idea not at the apex of its career. On the left, progressives and populists spent years mocking and lamenting the so-called Washington Consensus, under the aegis of which such despised institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund clucked their tongues at the world’s poor countries, with their profligate governments and public debts. Who are these pointy-headed, green-eye-shaded bean-counters to tell the diverse nations of the world how to run their own affairs? During the debate over the grievously misnamed Affordable Care Act, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic saluted Barack Obama for finally taking “a stand against bipartisanship,” concluding: “The important thing is that Obama has drawn the line in the sand, with Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other.”

Rush Limbaugh sums up the Right’s ideas about seeking consensus: “To me, defeating, politically, people I disagree with is the order of the day, and I don’t think I defeat them by compromising with them.” There are many conservatives whose reverence for the Constitution approaches bibliomancy — they view it as a kind of magical item, to be sworn on, rather than a document — but the Constitution is itself famously the result of a series of difficult political compromises, some of them distasteful. We are fortunate that the men who negotiated it ultimately were able to turn their attention to projects other than defeating their political enemies, for instance building the national institutions of the country and its federal government.