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A foreign policy president

I wouldn't run the argument the same way Matt Yglesias does, but I definitely think you'll see a more foreign-policy-focused White House over the next two years. In some ways, the domestic and economic focus that the financial crisis forced on the White House was a bit of a surprise, as Barack Obama's candidacy was powered by his foreign-policy convictions, and that's what he seemed most comfortable and enthusiastic about during the campaign.

By Ezra Klein  | November 3, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
 
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Other than the mess in Iraq and the mess in Afghanistan, where are the foreign policy wins?
Americans are not interested in foreign policy. Americans are satisfied if they have good jobs.

Posted by: bakho | November 3, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Ezra wrote:

" . . .as Barack Obama's candidacy was powered by his foreign-policy convictions, and that's what he seemed most comfortable and enthusiastic about during the campaign."


Then why on earth did he spend 18 months fighting a battle on health care which no one thought was the major issue with the electorate in 2008?

Furthermore why did he think insuring 30 million currently uninsured in the long run, was a superior policy to working primarily on the problem of the 25 million people who currently have no insurance because they are unemployed or involuntarily part-time employed?

Posted by: 54465446 | November 3, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"I wouldn't run the argument the same way Matt Yglesias does, but I definitely think you'll see a more foreign-policy-focused White House over the next two years."

This makes me nervous.

I hope it's more of the "this time, I just know that we'll be able to get Isreal and Palestine to stop fighting" rather than "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran".

Obama clearly is better on this than McCain would have been, but Obama's comfort with ramping up the war effort in Afghanistan and striking Pakistan worries me. After all, even Dubya once said he opposed foreign interventions and nation building.

Posted by: justin84 | November 3, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Ezra wrote: "... In some ways, the domestic and economic focus that the financial crisis forced on the White House was a bit of a surprise. ..."

A BIT of a SURPRISE !? Ezra !!!! What are you smoking? The financial crisis struck WORLDWIDE. Have you been following what the UK is finding itself forced to do? Hmm? Have you followed the news of worker stoppages across the French economy's essential services, for weeks? .... the callout of military special assault teams !!?

Let's put the **current** governments of the global corporate-military-state-economic control system aside - - and assign the very unsurprising financial crisis to its source.

Don't we know that source by now? Of course readers will expect me to cite “anthropomorphically induced climate change” and yup, that matters more and more every comi. But as we were told time and time again in recent decades:

It’s the ECONOMY !

Look at the fact that bio-sci & chem-ecology has identified the current and accelerating mass extinctions of plant & animal species (which are many score times greater than any previous rate in the archaeological record, ever) as being caused by the polluting and raping of the world’s food baskets.

The global banking/trade-based capitalistic, or at least profiteering, "growth economy" which is scouring our Earth of its raw materials & its balanced ecologies is both "no surprise" to those who see human actions as interdependent with the living earth, but is also "a surprise" to the past centuries of conventional economists and governments which have been ignoring such laws of nature. World starvation, lack of water, destruction of livable habitations will clearly prevail without immediate plans.

Such waste and devastation is in the very **nature of the global economy** with its short term profit / bankruptcy / governmental safety recoveries; unpayable national debts; industry & factory farming; investment banking; etc.

Global resource depletions are NOT a surprise - - they are expected and even roughly predictable. Thus the economy keeps adapting and stretching its mechanisms to demand increasingly risky behaviors.

So what good does this knowledge do if we humans are strapped down and blinded into immobility by our Keynesian economic hoods & straitjackets? Nations are willfully or ignorantly unable to act at the source.

In America alone hundreds of extant communities, towns and cities are adequately aware of and unsurprised by the collapsing conventional economic system. They are acting on their own. Most of these are using the Transition ethos, to prepare for the unavoidable future of ultra high-cost fossil fuels as the easy-to-reach resources are depleted. They are using cooperative financial systems, creating local food economies, producing distributed power generation using multi-use systems.

Posted by: Bill_Marston | November 3, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Ya gotta be kiddin me! Even Obama's White House staff isn't that stupid. No, they will focus on the economy.

Posted by: etfmaven | November 3, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

What's he going to do? Follow Broder's advice,and the neo-cons, and bomb Iran?

Posted by: par4 | November 3, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

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