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Michael Kinsley on Anne Wexler and Beltway Idealism


Michael Kinsley today complains that the recently departed Anne Wexler devoted most of her career to the fine of art of flackdom, for anyone willing to pay her fee. Right, left, it mattered not: Show her the money and she was your newest best friend forever on the Hill, at the White House, wherever. And Kinsley genuinely is unhappy about this: Just think of all that she could have accomplished “for causes that she really believed in if she hadn’t spent the last three decades of her life taking on any cause that walked in the door with a checkbook in hand?”

Precisely what those hidden passions were is not something that Kinsley bothers to tell us. And of course this is the Michael Kinsley who, as best as I can remember in my old age, has never opposed a big government program designed to (or with the obvious effect of) transferring wealth among individuals and groups. And so petitioning the government for a redress of grievances is the natural handmaiden of government growth, an observation hardly original here and which Kinsley surely knows. It is the pressures of Mr. Kinsley and his allies that allow the Wexlers of the world to do very, very well while not pretending to do good at all, a bit of honesty quite refreshing for observers of the Beltway. May Ms. Wexler rest in peace knowing that her prostitution was wholly respectable. The same cannot be said for Kinsley’s phony lack of self-awareness.

Benjamin Zycher is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.