The notion that the Democrats could have done better if they had concentrated more on the economy is about as dumb an argument as I’ve heard lately. Kevin Drum weighs in.

TIME FOR HEALING WATCH: “But if militant Christianist Republicans from inland backwaters believe that secular liberal Democrats from the big coastal cities look upon them with disdain, there’s a reason. We do, and all the more so after this election. … By any objective standard, you had to be spectacularly stupid to support Bush… So our guy lost the election. Why shouldn’t those of us on the coasts feel superior? We eat better, travel more, dress better, watch cooler movies, earn better salaries, meet more interesting people, listen to better music and know more about what’s going on in the world.” – Ted Rall, one small reason Kerry lost.

EMAIL OF THE DAY: “I was disappointed to see you participating in the dishonesty surrounding the idea of a flat tax. Like Steve Forbes during his presidential campaign, you refer to two completely distinct and unrelated issues, progressivity and simplification, as if they were the same. This bait-and-switch takes simplification of the tax code, which would benefit almost all Americans and is highly popular, and uses it as cover to argue for reducing the progressivity of the tax rates, which would benefit only the wealthiest Americans and which has little popular support. As you surely are aware, a tax code that had eliminated progressivity could be just as larded with complex deductions as the current system, while a tax code that had been radically simplified could still retain progressive tax rates (how hard is it to look up the tax you owe in a table?). If you’re in favor of simplification, argue for that reform. If you’re in favor of eliminating progressivity, make that case. If you want both, argue for both. But it’s a lie to pretend that one has anything to do with the other.” Well, I’m for both. But a single rate is simpler than multiple rates, however few the deductions. More feedback on the smartest Letters Page on the web.