|Cokie's Luxury Fishing Camp in Cocodrie, LA, via homeaway.|
The other day, in response to the David Brooks column describing the founding of Israel as
a historic achievement involving a historic wrong — the displacement of 700,000 PalestiniansI wrote that it was "a place where a little bothsiderism is welcome for a change."
This apparently presented a problem for some readers. I should have written something like the following:
Ex-conservative "centrists" like David Brooks and Matthew Dowd are frequently accused of what blogger Driftglass characterizes as "both siderism" (I close up the two words, others spell it with a hyphen), that is insisting in theory that everyone should always take care to see the good and bad on both sides of a partisan divide, but applying it in practice only to cases in which Republicans look bad (but Hillary is corrupt too! How about those emails?) or Democrats look good (but Ryan has a health care plan as well, tax-free savings accounts!).
This is not a misleading reference—I will never knowingly mislead you—to the hysterical centripetality of writers who always take every difference of opinion to be the endpoints of a spectrum on which they anxiously seek the centerpoint. Nor to Atrios's related concept introduced in 2007-08 of "high Broderism", after the magisterial above-it-all antipartisanship of the late Washington Post opinionist David Broder, which I don't generally use as a technical term (Broder died in 2011, and I kind of don't think anybody remembers who he was, and old jokes don't make good technical terms), and which means something overlapping but different, the belief that partisan differences are really an illusion and we all basically agree on everything if we'd just be sensible about it, as in this case, the earliest example I can find, 24 July 2007: