Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Thursday, March 31, 2005
 
Foreign Policy Ten Step Program

Matthew Yglesias gives a superlative reccommendation to a new foreign policy blog, DemocracyAresenal.org:
I, like many people, am a bit tired of complaining about Democrats' national security problems and ready to start doing something about it. . . .There's been a really productive interplay between netroots activist types, more journalistic types (i.e., me), and wonky folks on the economic policy front out here in the blogosphere that has, I think, played a modest but crucial role in the social security debate. Building that kind of engagement on the national security front would be an excellent first step.
The "productive interplay between netroots activist types" clause is what piques my interest. Comments-less though he is, it seems like Josh Marshall at TalkingPointsMemo has created a sticky community of readers who can leverage the information they get from his blog into the kind of participation and political pressure that actually gets people in Congress to change their position. I'd get on board if we can bring that kind of participatory dynamic to the national security and foreign policy arena, issues I find both juicier and more truly pressing.

The mission is getting Democrats to be the party of National Security. Over at DemocracyArsenal, Heather Hurlburt has a ten-step program. It's a bit convoluted for marching orders, so I'm summarizing it and reframing it a bit more positively:

1) Educate progressive activists, don't blame them.
2) Understand the real positions of both progressives and the general public, don't caricature them.
3) Force party leaders to educated themselves on foreign policy.
4) Create insititutions focused on so educating said party leaders.
5) Force foreign policy experts to spend time on the campaign trail, not necessarily during the campaign season. (Matthew Yglesias, that means a road trip for you!)
6) Educate yourself about the military with determination. (Might I recommend Intel-Dump and Armchair Generalist for that purpose?)
7) Create a coherent, consistent Democratic foreign policy narrative.
8) Frame that narrative appealingly.
9) Integrate that narrative with an overall policy narrative and produce candidates accordingly.
10) All of us, get into this.
J. and Praktike have already weighed in asking for more showing, not telling, which I'm taking to mean fastforward through steps 1-8 and really tackle 9 and 10. I most interested in extending 9 and 10 past the election cycle (which we're not in yet, and which isn't actually what this is all about) into the work of actually overseeing our government. Informed popular participation, applying real pressure to the legislative and executive branches, throughout the year, should also translate into better electoral results.
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
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Dark Days Ahead
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Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
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Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

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Scott McCloud


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