Thursday, October 05, 2006

Broder Watch: Still Substance-Free, but Interesting Development

David Broder's got a new column up at the WaPo today, titled "New Star Among the Democrats," about rising Dem star Deval Patrick, who seems poised to win the governorship of Massachusetts.

In one respect, it's a typical Broder column: there's absolutely no reasoning in it. But today's op-ed marks a departure from textbook Broderism in that it doesn't contain any conclusory statements by Broder about what ails the republic (Democratic incivility) or What Must be Done (restore bi-partisanship by handing the reins of government over to independent-minded "moderate" pro-war right wingers like Maverick Saint John McCain and Joe Lieberman).

This is the essence of Broderism: a series of statements by Broder of his political preferences, for which he gives no reasons or supporting arguments, combined with quotations and descriptions that purport to document whether his preferences are on the way to being realized or not. By contrast, in his latest column, he doesn't state any political preferences, so readers are left with quotations and descriptions of Deval Patrick. Fair enough, but what's this doing on the op-ed page?

I'll say it again: it really says something about contemporary journalism and punditry that a guy as vacuous as David Broder can achieve near-universal recognition as the "Dean" of Washington journalists.

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