His promising career in politics having come to an inglorious – and no doubt temporary – end, Anthony Weiner has turned to punditry. In his first column for Business Insider, his subject is the controversy over the Tesla automobile and the campaign by its maker to sell directly to the consumer rather than through dealers as required by myriad state laws. This passage is a fair example of his prose style:
Coverage of this fight in the tech press seems to have toed the Tesla line that these regulations are a roadblock to innovation designed to protect entrenched interests and reward the car dealers’ lobby for the cash they’ve thrown around over the years. I think that’s missing the point and I’ve been surprised that anyone is all that shocked by the opposition Tesla’s seen to their plan.
Okay. So he could use a shot of literary steroids. But what about his willingness to engage? To stake a controversial claim?
How about this?
Reasonable people may think regulations that get in the way of tech companies are all just bad laws. In Tesla’s case, some might consider bans on direct auto sales to be part of a protectionist regime set up by a powerful lobby — neighborhood car dealers — and unchallenged by a lazy industry that didn't want to antagonize its sales force. Still, dismissing all existing regulations out of hand without recognizing them as the product of reasoning and careful consideration isn’t the answer.
Maybe he should have stuck to Twitter.