Thursday, December 22, 2005

More Wonkery

Just to add to the earlier discussion, it wasn't all that long ago that Left Blogistan was dominated by boring boring repetitive wonky wonkery of the most wonkish kind - during the Social Security Bamboozlepalooza tour. The president was lying, the Trustees' various reports were based on contradictory internal assumptions, and journamalists didn't know what the hell was going. We came, we wonk'd, and we kicked some ass.

...adding, I wrote this before reading Max's post but he is of course absolutely right. It was something I left out of the earlier post but shouldn't have. While I don't see wonkery as an especially important part of the day to day public discourse - by pundits, bloggers, columnists, and even politicians - that doesn't mean that the Wonks in Exile shouldn't be toiling away in their wonky dungeons doing the FSM's work. Research should be done, policy proposals written, etc... I just don't think that, in general, such things are an especially important feature of our public debate at the moment. There are exceptions and having the wonky tools in place when they arise is crucial.

But even the social security debate was basically a defensive one. Such wonkery is necessary when those moments arise, but there's little point in having public debates about detailed policies which can't possibly pass, etc...