Ezra Klein and the Wonkblog crew handed out their second annual Wonky awards today, “where we recognize outstanding achievements — and spectacular disasters — in policy wonkery.” It’s a surprisingly good list! By that, of course, I mean that I mostly agree with their picks, which is the way that most of us define “good,” right?
But I do have one big nit to pick: Grover Norquist as Wonk of the Year. Not because Norquist isn’t important. He obviously is. Not because he isn’t smart. And not because tax fights don’t deserve to be highlighted. I’m perplexed because Norquist isn’t a wonk. He’s got one simple message that he’s been hammering away at for decades: taxes should be as low as possible. That’s it. No speeches, no white papers, no Greek letter economics. Just an exercise of raw power in the service of low taxes. That makes him a player, but it doesn’t make him a wonk.
That aside, it’s a pretty interesting list. It’s worth a read.