Susan Schulten recalls the Crittenden Compromise, which hoped to avoid civil war "through a geographical and constitutional 'solution' to the slavery crisis." Seth Masket ponders the counterfactual:

It's interesting to imagine, though, what would have happened if [the compromise] had succeeded and actually prevented war. Lincoln surely would have been pilloried by the abolitionists but praised by whomever the 1860 equivalent of David Broder was. And, no doubt, Lincoln's refusal to compromise was, in some sense, reckless, hastening war. But 150 years later, Lincoln's partisanship and obstinance seem like the proper course; bipartisanship would have been immoral.

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