Politics is little more than a baseball game when you don’t need anything. Civility seems like a pressing matter when you already have everything else you require. Bipartisanship sounds like a good idea when ideas affect you in purely abstract ways—when your rights and your power and your wealth and your standard of living will all be fine no matter what Congress does. This describes the situation of the vast majority of the pundit and political class bent on promoting bipartisanship. When all of the important things in your life are peachy, it is easy for surface matters like manners to take on an outsized importance. Why be so partisan, when it’s all a game? Why be so mad at each other about politics that we can no longer have nice parties? Aren’t we all here, primarily, to party?
Everything in politics cannot be solved by compromise. Abortion is legal, or it’s not. That awful Supreme Court justice is confirmed, or he’s not. Pollution is properly regulated, or it’s not. Our tax system is sufficiently progressive, or it’s not. We go to war, or we don’t. Every one of these choices is ultimately a statement of morality—a conviction about what is right and wrong. Valuing “bipartisanship” on the really important issues is an admission that you have no real beliefs.
Hamilton Nolan on pundit baseball.