Voice

Open domestic-international thread

I'm still on  vacation -- did anything of note happen over the weekend? 

Oh, I see:  "probably the biggest thing to become law in 50 years."  Well, so long as no one is engaging in hyperbole.

I have nothing to say about the content of the health care bill, but I do wonder whether there will be any positive or negative foreign policy externalities.  FP's Joshua Keating provided one humorous example of how the passage of the bill can reframe the Obama narrative on foreign policy in a positive way. 

On the other hand, Shadow Government's Dan Blumenthal correctly points out the ways in which Obama neglected foreign policy during the run-up to the bill's passage.  This is not surprising -- presidents turn  their fortunes around through domestic accomplishments and revived economic growth, not foreign policy achievements -- but it's a reality that Obama needs to confront going forward. 

The one thing health care passage might do for Obama is add a dollop of respect for Obama's political acumen among other world leaders.  Obama just got the #1 Democratic policy concern written into law after a year of long, drawn-out negotiations, and that's not nothing.  Allied leaders might be more willing to give the Obama administration the benefit of the doubt when dealing with long, drawn-out international negotiations. 

What do you think? 

Daniel W. Drezner

How geeks go on vacation

Your humble blogger will be blogging a bit less frequently over the next few days, as he heads off with his family to an undosclosed location thay may or may not involve beaches, lawn chairs, and drinks with fruit and umbrellas in them.  Please don't start a trade war while I'm gone.

[Say, what do geek IPE bloggers bring to read on their vacations?--ed.]  Why, I'm glad you asked!  Here's my light and not-so-light reading for the trip, in no particular order:

1)  Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff,  This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly

2)  Z.A. Recht, Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Saga

3)  Louis Menand, The Marketplace of Ideas:  Reform and Resistance in the American University

4)  Mark Lamster, Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens.

5)  Robert Jervis, System Effects:  Complexity in Political and Social Life.

6)  Christopher Golden, ed., The New Dead:  A Zombie Anthology

Readers are warmly encouraged to let me know the order in which I should read these books -- as well as the ones I'm missing on my must-read list.