Another Day, Another Letdown

Speaking of cold showers, I need another one after just three paragraphs of today’s David Moats op-ed in The Washington Post. Check out the lede graf:

Vermonters are shaking their heads in astonishment at the surge of their former governor to the front rank of Democratic presidential contenders. Even those who think of Howard Dean as a skilled and intelligent leader are unaccustomed to the thought that a politician from Vermont might take center stage in the national arena.

Oooooh — from-the-hustings polibabble! Just the kind of intro to get the political junkie looking for a clean spoon. The next graf is even meatier:

After all, the story of the past 40 years has been about the rise of the Sun Belt and the political power of Texas, California and Florida. From the point of view of New England, the shift of power toward the South that began with the rise of Barry Goldwater has seemed like an unstoppable tide.

YES! Give me numbers, give me precinct-by-precinct polling. Give me longterm historical voting trends. Give me some cogent, near-precient, analysis! But don’t give me this tired refrain:

Yet Dean’s candidacy raises two questions: Why should New England, or Vermont, be seen as more marginal or idiosyncratic than, say, Arkansas? And if someone is to challenge the present Republican marriage of religious fundamentalism and rapacious capitalism, from where should we expect that challenge to come?

And I just stopped reading.

Although I could probably best be described as a Republican-leaning independent (to borrow Virginia Postrel‘s description of herself), I try not to paint all Republicans as saints and all Democrats as devils. So when other people paint with the bold strokes I try so hard to avoid, I just lose interest.

Unless, of course, it’s an actual candidate speaking — but that’s different. Analysts and writers ought to be held to a higher standard.

And when they fail to meet that standard? Just click the little X on the top-right corner of your browser window.