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May 04, 2006

The secret thoughts of a Maryland School of Public Policy prof

No wonk has ever won a vote, yet we're the ones who rule.
For us, the whole of Washington's become a kind of school.
The politicos are our students; they show up from the sticks
With shiny smiles, fancy suits, and campaign-finance tricks.
But when we talk cost/benefit, chi-squared, or Freddie Mac,
Their brains feel slow, their spirits, low; their mouths look kinda slack.
"You profs,” they drawl, "it seems y’all know exactly what to do.
You write the bill, just as you will, and tell us when you're through."

In College Park, we've students, too; they're the ones who pay us.
But they don't exactly have the clout to make us into playahs.
That's why we love the World Bank, C-SPAN, or a think tank,
Anywhere that cameras roll and the offices are swank.

Civic engagement? Sounds like a drag.
Public deliberation? Don't make me gag.
A populist revolt? Not in our time.
The people only care about celebrities and crime.

Youth are dumb and selfish, but that's really no surprise.
Their parents can't detect the most patronizing lies.
Voting's overrated: I've hardly ever done it.
As for the government, who'd really want to run it?
And while I'm getting all of this off my panting chest,
What about the folks who think that Maryland's the best?
Please, a Terp is a turtle with his head up in his ... shell.
Against a Blue Devil, he's got a snowball's chance in hell.

The Terps are meek, the ozone's weak, our troops are up a creek.
Philosophy's obsolescent and the future's looking bleak.
Net intelligence is constant, but the population keeps on growing.
We're out of cash, ideas, and friends, but the mess is still ongoing.
The end is near, I sadly fear, for planet, country, school.
But I get paid for opinions, so my future's looking cool!

Posted by peterlevine at May 4, 2006 09:00 AM


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