To be fair to IBM, I'm not sure it was "purely political". The way things have panned out is unfortunate, and IBM could certainly have handled things better, but there are certainly reasons for it.
I think the real sticking point here was that IBM, being IBM, wanted to preserve the right to support their existing customers under exactly the same terms. Previously, they licensed the code from Sun / Oracle, and as such could do what they wanted with it. When Oracle ditched OOo, IBM were left in the position of either buying the copyright outright or else somehow persuading Oracle to release the code under a sufficiently liberal license to continue to allow IBM to ship code minus any source to their own clients. Swapping out an "under license from Oracle Corp" note for an Apache license isn't very disruptive, but switching to the MPL may have been because of its weak copyleft.
Assuming that this is the case (rcweir is probably the one here with the most information on exactly what happened), I'm sure the larger community would have been okay with it if IBM had been up-front about it. Unfortunately, they instead decided to astroturf it by using Apache as a proxy.
But what's done is done. Short of another huge relicensing drive from LibreOffice, there are going to be two code bases for the foreseeable future. Due to owning the trademark and, crucially, the domain name, AOO is going to continue to attract significant interest from the wider public, but so did Netscape for years while Mozilla and later Firefox emerged. That may or may not change in the years to come. The history of competing liberally-licensed and copyleft seems to suggest that the majority of independent contributors will strongly favour the copyleft code base, so I doubt LibreOffice is going to go away. Meanwhile, IBM has done the free software community a great deal of good by orchestrating the release of such a massive amount of code.