I mentioned this in the Sunday Drill earlier this week, but it’s a fairly slow news day and I’m saving some national security coverage for Disposal Day tomorrow, so I’ll go into more detail about it today.
My friend Gabe, always a valuable source of lesser-known information, told me last week of “a magazine for wonks” he thought I’d like, known as Miller-McCune. He was right. I’ve only read it online so far as I haven’t seen a printed copy at any bookstore in my area, but that has been enough for me to see that this is the magazine of my wildest dreams: heavily research-based, non-ideological and, as Gabe said, so wonkish that they make me look like Perez Hilton.
On their advertiser page, they say that “Miller-McCune draws on academic research and other definitive sources to provide reasoned policy options and solutions for today’s pressing issues.” The only way I can really illustrate this magazine’s depth is by posting samples from its Politics section:
- “Adventures in Capitolism [sic]: Federal plans for a green economic revolution need more discipline – and a long-term partnership with the venture capitalists who know startup winners from losers.”
- “Might Health Care Reform Address Minority Gap? Beyond the humanity, there’s a business case for tackling the persistent gap in health for most U.S. minorities.”
- “Showing Initiative (the Door): In states where ballot initiatives are common, recent studies suggest they foster a low opinion of government leadership.”
One of the sources of inspiration for this column was a quote from Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, which complained in chapter 1 that the majority of political coverage was “about process and horse race and not about policy.” I doubt Miller-McCune drew its vision from that quote, but it drew the same sentiment from somewhere. While they are not completely immune from discussing process, they do so in the same high-minded tone used in their research articles.
I can’t comment on the credibility of the many pieces of research they cite, other than to say the majority come from U.S. universities. I can say the concept is good because it uses rational arguments and scientific evidence to sway opinions, instead of waxing ideological about whichever issue. Most pundits might not bother with that, but they should. If I was a politician, I’d look to this as a primer before a major vote.