Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Why Do The Dems Like Bob Shrum

Bob Shrum enters this year's political contest with a record of 0-7 in the big time as a political consultant. He has gotten more second, third and fourth chances than Ryan Leaf did with the San Diego Chargers. He advised Al Gore in 2000. George W. Bush appreciates all his hard work.

Maureen "The Queen of Mean" Dowd lays into Bob Shrum with the blunt end of the shovel in a recent NY Times column. She wonders why Bill Clinton is performing the first aid on John F. Kerry. She describes the wistful longing that some Democratic insiders have for Howard Dean. Yes, that Howard Dean.

As much as I would like to gloat more, I don't believe this would be wise. John F. Kerry has hired a deep and talented bench behind Bob Shrum. Michael Whooley owns the state of Iowa. An example of his scullduggery follows.

In 2000, Michael Whooley, now a Kerry adviser, ordered volunteers to clog the highways to keep supporters of Bill Bradley from getting to the polls. After 40 years of first-in-the-nation primaries, voters have built up a resistance to and have an expectation for rough stuff - FoxNews.

James Carville has the reputation of speaking with a forked tongue and delivering bushels of votes. His nickname "serpenthead" is a measure of the respect/fear that his name inspires. It probably has nothing to do with the fact he looks like the perfect Hannibal Lechter understudy.

So with two of the most viscious and successful political hatchett-men on as retainers, why would Kerry hitch his star to Bob Shrum? I'm convinced that it is the core beliefs of Shrum. Shrum epitomizes the philosophy of the modern Democrat. He is an avatar of the modern liberal.

So as avatar and icon to the modern left, what exactly does Bob Shrum really stand for? I believe he supports the graveman of his thesis with three main arguments.

1) History is a class struggle. Democrats are drawn to issues like income disparity, poverty and health care. This expresses a certain underlying nobility. The liberal wants to help and look after the underdog.

Where they miss the boat back to rationality is their desire to take it out on someone else. John Edwards' "Two Americas" speech puts Bob Shrum's axiom of class warfare on steroids. He not only tells us how awful it is for those less forunate, but he tells us exactly who's mansion to go and storm with the torches and pitchforks. The Two Americas speech may be one of the strongest expression of popularism since William Jennings Bryant gave "The Cross Of Gold Speech."

2) Government is the key to prosperity and wellbeing. Bob Shrum channels FDR and thus the central thesis of the entire Kerry Platform is that government is on the way to help you. Pell Grants will expand, Health care will be nationalized and lots of government will make everything better because "Hope Is On The Way."

This Shrumian construction suffers from two major drawbacks.

a) After 4 years of Bushism, it's hard to differentiate the two platforms. We've already fed the seniors a bunch of drugs and left no children behind. If our government did much more, The Russians would have to invade and liberate our nation from socialism.

b) All of these proposals are aimed at expanding welfare to the Middle Class. Edwards claims the richest 4% can actually pay for all this largess. Mr. Logic is throwing the red flag on the field and calling for an instant replay. With our budget deficit at record levels, massive government spending is not only stupid, but also wrong. Promising to do more of what George W. Bush did massively wrong won't bring in the votes.

3) Our first responsibility is at home. We should stay out of other nations' affairs to avoid entanglement. This has a time-honored tradition in American History. When George Washington stepped away from The Presidency, he offered his admonitions in his farewell address. The watchword for his day was to avoid entangling alliances.

As brilliant and charismatic as George Washington was, his words still left room for popularist revision, and misinterpretation. George Washington was warning against letting treaties and obligations prevent us from acting on our behalf in trying times. He was never arguing for isolationism.

Shrum could push strong isolationist line successfully, but even then he struggles with his own party's contradictions.

a) You are not successfully isolated if your borders are an open flood gate. Economic protectionism and the preservation of national traditions cannot succeed in an environment where anyone or anything can be dragged over the border with a wink and a nod. James Trafficant wore out his welcome amongst the new Democrats for pointing this out in speeches like this one.

b) The world is integrated to the point where anyone can reach into our country and take pretty much anything we won't sell. Our copyrights, patents and intellectual property can basically be pillaged at will. An isolated America is an America that will eventually fall as far behind the global power curve as the modern Middle East. Fortress America is a as much of a fantasy as Patrick J. Buchanon's presidential aspirations.

Bob Shrum stays in charge of the Democrats because he represents what the John Kerrys of America genuinely believe. His philosophy is something they take to heart. They will remain for Bob Shrum's beliefs and cannot bring themselves to turn against them.

Bob Shrum will probably soon become 0-8 in bigtime elections. This is notbecause he doesn't care and it is not an indictment of his fundamental character. Bob Shrum is living proof that a human being can simultaneosly be morally decent and morally wrong.

Update I: Dean Esmay also wonders why Kerry hasn't pulled Shrum and gone to his bullpen.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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