Bruce Reed, was Bill Clinton's domestic policy adviser and is now president of the Democratic Leadership Council. So he clearly has his biases. And they show in this column, Bush's War Against Wonks: Why the president's policies are falling apart.
But he's also got a funny and insightful take on the distinctions between politicians and policy analysts, "hacks" and "wonks."
Hacks come to Washington because anywhere else they'd be bored to death. Wonks come here because nowhere else could we bore so many to death.
Some journalists are wonks, but most are hacks. Some columnists are hacks, but most are wonks. Lobbyists are hacks who make money pretending to be wonks.
We wonks think we're smarter than hacks. Hacks think that if being smart makes someone a wonk, they'd rather be stupid.
Wonks think all hacks are creatures from another planet, like James Carville. Hacks share Paul Begala's view that wonks are all "propeller heads," like Elroy on "The Jetsons."
Along with politics and ideology, these tribal differences are at work in the controversey over the Medicare cost estimates and the muzzling of the Chief Medicare Actuary.
Of course, there are no differences between hacks and wonks in Albany, right?