THE BOMBTHROWERS' LEARNING CURVE. One more brief thing on Amy Sullivan's piece. On the question of Gingrich-style bomb-throwing and oppositional PR tactics, Amy emphasizes the degree to which Democrats have improved in the last year without getting much credit for it. While I'm on record calling out the Democrats for some residual lameness on the ethics fight specifically, there's no question that this improvement is real, and is hardly ever remarked upon. Major scandal stories erupt without anyone crediting Democratic bomb-throwers for instigating them. The Dubai ports deal was a genuinely debilitating blow to Republicans; it was a story because Chuck Schumer decided to make a media stunt out of it. Nobody seems aware that he's responsible.
Now, needless to say, as effective as the Democrats might get at this kind of stuff, they'll never hold a candle to the sweet, sweet scandal-mongering that TAP regularly deploys through its investigative pieces. (Recall that Joe Conason is the magazine's investigative editor.) Apologies for breaking the editors' promise, but here's one last request (really!): Subscribe to the Prospect, and/or help us out a bit. You'll be better for it.