Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

My Exit Strategy

Posted by Dan Draney on July 1, 2005

Tomorrow, I’m off for a vacation, and so I feel I need to clearly lay out my exit strategy to the regular readers of Don’t Let Me Stop You. This urge is largely inspired by the Democrats (motto: “When the going gets tough, our strategy is to head for the exits”). They have really driven home the point that it’s not whether you win or lose but how quickly you can make your exit.

While I’m out, Ryne McClaren and Steve Donohue have promised to post here occasionally. The elusive, but brilliant, Voice of Modulation may even return with some more sound commentary.

But before we “tapper la route,” as the French don’t say, let’s take a short look at the pervasive influence of the exit strategy in history and popular culture:

  • Who can forget those classic words from Paul Simon (the singer, not the ears), “There must be 50 exit strategies for your lover?”
  • Chappaquiddick: Ted had a good exit strategy. Mary Jo–not so good.
  • Jack Kennedy: “We will pay any price, bear any burden, to implement our exit strategy.”
  • FDR: “We have nothing to fear but the lack of an exit strategy.”
  • Patrick Henry: “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me an exit strategy.”
  • Otto von Bismarck: “The people should never see how their laws or their exit strategies are made.”
  • Ronald Reagan famously said, “Mr. Gorbachev, build an exit in that wall.” Of course, it was ultimately Reagan’s Strategic Exit Initiative, dubbed “StarDoors” by its detractors, that won the Cold War.
  • The XYZ Affair: “Millions for our exit strategy, but not a penny for tribute.”
  • John Wooden: “An exit strategy doesn’t build character; it reveals it.”
  • Gen. McAuliffe at the Battle of the Bulge: “Nuts! I have an exit strategy!”
  • Winston Churchill: “However beautiful the exit strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
  • Calvin Coolidge: “After all, the chief business of the American people is our exit strategy.”
  • Abraham Lincoln: “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth about exit strategies and remove all doubt. “

What’s all this then?

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