Graham-Cassidy and the Fog of War

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

To paraphrase a former secretary of defense: There are known knowns, there are known unknowns, and there are unknown unknowns.

In policy, as in military strategy, the first two epistemological categories are acceptable: People either know exactly how a policy will work, or they can make educated guesses based on data parameters they can’t quite know for certain. The unknown unknowns—what we don’t know we don’t know—are the problems, the things that could derail an entire policy and, in the process, ruin lives. Traditionally, the goal in lawmaking has been to eliminate the mystery from legislation so that there are as few unknown unknowns as possible. But, as it turns out, tradition can be easily broken.

Much has been made of the