I was reading this post by BTD and had a sudden realization.

Here it is. Policy wonks measure results by abstract data that deals with marginal improvements on a large scale, and voters measure results by large improvements on a personal scale.

There’s an obvious problem there, don’t you think? What have Democrats done that has made your life better, right now?

This is what they don’t get, and this is why we keep talking past each other.

6 thoughts on “Epiphany

  1. If you’re talking about wonky bloggers, I think you’re being too flattering. It’s about power. The wonks suck up to Obama and they’ll come up with any theory to support it. That’s the great thing about theories. They don’t have to reflect the real world in any way because it’s about changes in the future, the future that hasn’t happened yet.

    And when that future comes to hold people accountable for for their past assertions? Well, we know what the Friedman Unit taught us.

  2. We also don’t explain how policies impact people while the right lies about it. The estate tax debate is the quintessence of that dilemma. Republicans were quite happy to lead people to believe that their parents’ $150k estate was going to get wiped out by federal taxes. In all the panel debates I saw on the issue, I never once heard a Democrat address what the estate value needed to be for taxes to kick in. At the time, it was $675k – an amount that only a very small number rise to.

    We should have been driving home that point over and over again.

    As for Obama’s healthcare plan, I don’t see anything progressive about forcing ordinary people to buy health insurance from private companies. It’s as illiberal as it gets, if you ask me.

  3. It’s as illiberal as it gets, if you ask me.

    You ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until after November when the real crazies are in charge. You will see as illiberal as it really gets.

    There are people about to get elected like Joe Miller, Sharon Angle and others who not only want the government out of health care regulation but also out of the Medicare, Social Security, student loan and finance business. This is going to get ugly.

  4. Wonks in government are able to look at policy from an abstract rather than concrete standpoint precisely because they don’t need the concrete benefit of policy themselves. It’s a problem of privilege.

    The plain fact is that even the most liberal wonks in government today come from a place of astonishing privilige relative to the 70% or so of Americans who don’t/can’t obtain a bachelor’s degree, much less an Ivy League degree.

    White collarism more than anything else has destroyed what passes for liberalism in this country.

  5. Tax dividends for parents of people in college.
    I’m sincerely hoping these tax credits go towards people in school on their own.

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