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June 24, 2007

Eviscerating Shrum and Last Chance on '08 Foreign Policy Message
Posted by Jerry Mayer

Just had my review of Bob Shrum's excuse-laden memoir, No Excuses, published in the Politico. It's fun writing for the popular press, but the length limits meant that some of my best arguments against Shrum, and what he represents in American politics, ended up cut. They left in the stuff about his avarice, but took out most of the stuff about how his constant infighting produces paralyzed decisionmaking and slow-moving campaigns. Oh well.

And since Shrum sells himself as a message guru, I guess this is as appropriate a time as any to issue a last plug for my '08 Foreign Policy Message Contest. Enter in comments to this post or to the previous one. I'm looking for 3-10 words that the Dems could use to characterize their foreign policy. We've got some decent slogans for Dems (and some wicked funny ones for Repubs) but I'm not carried away by a winner as yet. What should the Democrats call their foreign policy for '08? Prove that you are at least as good a message-meister as Bob Shrum...and remember, you do get a t-shirt if you win.


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Can you place your review here?

Hi Jonathan,

I think the link works, and Politico is free. Is there some problem? I doubt they want their content immediately available elsewhere. Or did you mean the full 1200 word version, pre-editing?

Lead By Example

Restoring America's Leadership, Ressurecting American Values

We're all better off when we're each better off.

Interdependence is the key. Acknowledging the changing, and dangerous world is a prerequisite for any serious presidential candidate. Having the political will and rhetorical skill to provide a compelling alternative grand strategy for dealing with that change and inherent danger - that's the standard for a candidate who can actually get us to somewhere better than where we are today. Between now and 2008, we're not going to be able to tamp down the public fear that's driving so much of the worst policymaking out there, but we can speak about lessons learned and better ways forward.

And the alternative Democratic vision that can drive that new foreign policy is something we're already deeply familiar with. It informs our social policy here at home, was the critical logic behind the presidential response to the civil rights movement, and fundamentally separates us from conservative narratives about crime and community.

It's the rationale that you can't build a wall high enough to keep us safe from hopelessness and frustration if it's nearby; and these days, the whole world's nearby. Not only is it moral to help your neighbor; if he's your neighbor, it's in your interest to help him, since his problems could soon become your own. The solution to growing proximity and the resulting interdependence isn't panic or hate and it isn't walls - it's recognizing the reality of community, and investing in that community to make the whole of it stronger, safer, more secure.

It's a recognition and fulfillment of a simple principle:

We're all better off when we're each better off.

We're all better off when we're each better off.

We're all better off when we're each better off

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