Spew first and sweat the details later, or never. Speak loosely and carry a stick-thin collection of backup materials, or none at all. That’s the M.O. of the moment, familiar from the past but in particularly galling and profuse flower of late.

It has spread beyond the practiced rabble-rousers of the far right, and Democrats are exuberantly getting in on this unbecoming, corrosive game. For many years they bemoaned an unfair fight: Republicans were by and large willing to play faster, looser and flat-out nastier than they were. Is there as much credibility to that lament today?…

DO one tribe’s antics justify the other’s? Is this a road we really want to continue barreling down? We’re already on it, thanks in part to a presidential contest in which each candidate’s main pitch — I’m not half as awful as the other guy — points everything in a negative direction.