Thursday, April 24, 2003

Avoiding wonkiness

Liberal Oasis has an interesting discussion on the merit's of getting to wonky when discussing policy. His advice to the Democratic candidates: don't get bogged down in the details because the details will always change and, besides, wonk debates just bore the average voter. I agree with that sentiment. But do you want to have a nuanced debate over fiscal priorities and policy specifics at this stage of the game? Or do you want fight over who is displaying the most dedication, competence, principles and political savvy to get the job done? It really is about leadership and, unfortunately, I think Dean has a much better track-record on the question of leadership then does Gephardt. Gephardt's plan may cover more avenues then Dean's but Dean's is probably the more likely to actually get passed and thus make a real difference. Furthermore, I think Dean is more likely to stick by his original proposals then would Gephardt, who's primary motivation seems to be to find the best way to compromise himself and his party. I will say one positive thing about Bush's leadership style: he understands the value of sticking to what you want until the last possible moment. There will always be compromise in the end, but if you enter the room with the first question being, "what can I give up?" then you WILL lose in the end.


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