POLITICS IS CONFLICT. I see David Broder has penned yet another paean to the "bold" Unity '08 project. (Broder's next column: it would be a really "bold" idea to have a sitcom in which a dumb fat guy is married to a supermodel.) This whole thing is so stupid that it almost lends it too much dignity to even criticize it, but it is instructive of the way in which High Broderism simply can't understand that people strongly disagreeing isn't some sort of social crisis -- it is simply inherent to politics. If it's too hard to get things done, that's about American political institutions, not ineluctable "partisan bickering." It must be said, however, that this iteration does contain one new twist. Normally, the affluent male pundits who are the only people who care about Unity '08 suggest candidates that are real fiscal conservatives and nominal social liberals, assuming (quite erroneously) that the majority position among pundits is the majority position of the electorate. This is presumably why Broder, in naming Democratic and GOP candidates whose nomination by their respective parties would undercut the rationale for a Unity '08 alternative, touts the notably shy and conflict-averse Rudy Giuliani. But Broder also argues that the same thing might be achieved by ... flat-out right-winger Mike Huckabee. Yeah, partisan conflicts sure would vanish the day he become president....

--Scott Lemieux

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