So I know what you're thinking. All the bloggers are recommending these Democracy Arsenal folks, but you're just one wo/man -- they're five highly educated foreign policy professionals! How can you head over to their site blind? Where would you even begin?

Calm down -- wonks are our friends, they should never scare you. But I realize you need a place to start, a test drive to decide if you'll buy, or at least copy-and-paste, the RSS feed. And I'm going to help by offering two superb places to begin:

Lorelei Kelly's Stepford Wonks:

Stepford Wonks are a vital feature of this echo chamber. Thirty years ago, conservatives decided that, because the left had academia, they needed to create an alternative universe for themselves. (Anybody who has worked in a university knows that academics are not remotely equipped for policy relevance, but anyway) Spun up conservatives proceeded to bankroll legions of organizations, think tanks, fellowships, institutions and the like, to carry forth the conservative message. A revolving door between the Republican party and these institutions ensured a ground truth perspective into politics and how to get things done.

The result is that, on the left, we have academics and operatives.(who don't communicate with each other) The right has academic operatives. Karl Rove is the prototype. Stepford Wonks are the ones who repeat the talking points on TV and radio. The academic operative fights in the gutter in the morning but then cleans up nicely for a Clausewitz lecture in the afternoon. Voila!

As they -- actually I -- say, read the whole thing.

Must-read number two is Heather Hulbert's 10-step program for getting Democrats back on the national security map. Yes, it really is as simple as she says. And yes, you are a bad Democrat if you don't read, and do your best to follow, her program.

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