They write about mainstream America, and they write about mainstream America from the view of top-tier editorial newspaper columnists sitting in the very midst of the political powerbroker class, every one invited to the correct parties and appearing regularly on the same small set of television shows, and they tell us patiently that their view from this distant closed-circuit perch is much, much more illuminating than the view from our own cars and sidewalks and porches. Because we, living in that mainstream America, don't understand.
Of course, Tom's right about the second half of that, too. These incessant columns aren't directed at any of us, at all; they're directed at the other cocktail-party pundits opining on the exact same fuzzy images of what middle-class life must be like, an unending parlor game of theorizing and counter-theorizing about those odd little people that do not have columns in major newspapers or attend dinners with Colin Powell.
I read it first on Atrios, then followed the link to Kos and finally ended up here.