In eight months, I heard many, many staff discussions, but not three meaningful, substantive policy discussions....The lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking.This weekend, seven years after serving in the same White House at the same time as DiIulio, former Bush speechwriter David Frum finally decides that maybe DiIulio was right. What's more, after listening to Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee burble confidently on about absurdities, he concludes that just maybe the entire conservative movement bears some blame for this state of affairs:
Many of us on the conservative side have fed this monster. (Rightly) aghast at the abuse of expertise by liberal judges, liberal bureaucrats and liberal academics, we have sometimes over-reacted by denying the importance of expertise altogether.Welcome back to the reality-based community, Mr. Frum. Good luck reining in the beast you and your colleagues have spent the past three decades unchaining.
....So now instead of holes in our souls, we conservatives are getting candidates with holes in their heads.
Here's the lesson to learn: It's always important to respect the values and principles of the voters. But politicians who want to deliver effective government and positive results have to care about more than values and have to do more than check their guts. They need to study the problem, master the evidence, and face criticism.