Of course, pundits don't care about the real thing. They use Kabuki precisely because they and everyone else have only a hazy idea of the word's true meaning, and they can use it purely on the level of insinuation. They deploy Kabuki because:
1) It sounds funny.
2) It sounds childish.
3) It sounds foreign.
4) It sounds incomprehensible.
He's right: the way US pundits use this word is indefensible. They're simply parading their ignorance.
I don't have much to add except that kabuki is really an amazing theatrical tradition, and I wish more people associated the word with that rather than with political behavior.
Bonus: if you're one of my local Oregon readers (do I have any?), you can go see kabuki, in English, from April 16 to May 2 in Salem at Willamette University, or May 2 in Portland. Here's the info.