One of the aspects of today’s conservative-driven polarization that pains me personally the most is that what passes for a political “center” these days (at least beyond the bounds of the actual Democratic Party) is increasingly dominated by charlatans and concern trolls. And it’s getting worse: today Howard Kurtz regales us with a hilariously upbeat tale of the new consulting partnership between Fox Democrat Lanny Davis and semi-disgraced former RNC chair Michael Steele. They are calling their firm (and it’s a token of their actual intent that they have in fact formed a money-hustling firm, not an advocacy group or think tank) Purple Nation Solutions.

Now putting aside what we know about these two gents’ backgrounds, which are about as uplifting and enlightened as Bonnie and Clyde’s, Kurtz’ description of their conjoined distaste for political “demonization” doesn’t even pass the initial smell test. Davis is upset that he draws criticism from other Democrats for, well, urging them not to be Democrats any more. Steele was disgusted by the nastiness of the Republican presidential primaries. So even if you take their own statements seriously (as Jon Chait suggests we cannot), their main area of agreement seems to be that we should all get along skipping down a nice center-right path.

Sure looks to me like a combo designed to define the “respectable” elements of the two parties during a Romney administration, when perhaps a bogus “purple” will become the color of money.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.