The tension between my understanding of good education policy--driven by a deep commitment to equity and the belief that an outstanding education can transform lives, and this country--and what is right for my daughters makes me both a better policy wonk
and a better father.
After two decades in Washington as a wonk
working among hacks, I have come to the conclusion that the gap between Republicans and Democrats is as nothing compared to the one between these two tribes.
For example, one of the latest laughers from the Book of Wonks
' rather silly, supercilious and condescending epistles on the Gospel According to Barack Obama, comes from my favorite policy clown, Lord of the Wonks
, Ezra Klein.
I'm told that a wonk
is, in recent collegiate slang, an earnest, hard-working student who is determined to master the arcane details of his or her discipline--a computer wonk
, for example, or an astrophysics wonk
BENJAMIN BARBER'S VERY NICE book offers insight into Bill Clinton, the wonk
He's a policy wonk
who mentions privatizing Social Security in nearly every speech.
starves, meets a British hooker named Zoe, who introduces him to "Deputy Secretary X" who mentors him along until he lands a wonk
staff job at New Terrain, a wee but potent policy rag lorded over by one Tobias Goldenstein.
Though no policy wonk
in the Hillary mold, Tipper passionately cares about her causes--expanding the acceptance and treatment of mental illness, and treating the homeless with respect.
The proper wonk
approach to this kind of book is to skip past the sex stuff to get to the policy discussion, but a few words about the former are to the point.
If the monologist Spalding Gray were a Washington policy wonk
, this is what he would sound like.
Described today by those who know him as the ultimate policy wonk
, Dilkes left his native Philadelphia in 1960 to study biology at Occidental College, with plans to go on to medical school.
This perception might be discounted as the lament of a frustrated policy wonk
And even though the high-tech dialogue often gets bewildering, there's a good degree of Tom Clancy-style wonk
interest to the premise.
Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks
Parties mustn't be led by wonks
, lecturers and think-tanks.