The year 2021 has been to normal years as Keurig is to real coffee: It happened fast with lots of hissing and splattering; and while there were some good parts, the overall effect has been hollow and is leaving a super weird aftertaste.
Maybe 2022 will be a perfect 4-minute French press—bright but with satisfying depth. (This would apply to my preferred coffee preparation and David’s newsletter.) Or maybe 2022 will be the last cup in the bottom of a scorched carafe at a gas station. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of gross creamer packets. Gingerbread/peppermint mocha scorchaccino anyone?
But what 2022 will certainly be is an election year. I understand why this fills many of you with a kind of icy dread. I also understand why my excitement and anticipation for the midterm year would make you regard me with concern and pity. But birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, election nerds gotta make Partisan Voting Index charts.
Since I joined The Dispatch in March, Sarah Isgur has very generously made room for some of my scribblings at the end of The Sweep. But with the coming rise in political coverage and, frankly, my need to space my writings out over the week, I will be taking these epistles down the road to Thursdays in a new newsletter, Stirewaltisms.
It will fly under a new Dispatch Politics banner and be part of expanded campaign and election coverage for 2022. I think there’s lots of interesting and worthwhile conversations to be had, so I’m looking very much forward to seeing what I can do to help make it sing. Political coverage generally shouldn’t be the main attraction in balanced news consumption. But it should always be clear, accessible to laypeople, and fair. And when the moments come to blow it out, we should be ready to impress with both our depth and foresight.
Starting next week, you’ll find me in your inbox on Thursdays with Dispatch Politics: Stirewaltisms. (For those of you who have been spared, the name comes from my tendency to make up words and my love for linguistic arcana … but holy crokano, you should have known that by now.) We’ll get the feeling for what you and I want it to be as we go forward, but generally expect some longer analyses and some quick takes. As we get closer to the election, lists will be listed and rankings will be ranked.
I’m grateful to Sarah for letting me crash on her couch while I found a place to set up my pretentious coffee equipment, and I’m excited for what the New Year will bring. The cycle is already amusing, and you don’t need me to tell you it will be important. I’m very glad to be on this ride with you.