Every other issue has become a sideshow, particularly those outside the borders of America. The Afghanistan mission: of marginal interest. Protecting the environment: postponed. Peace in the Middle East: off in the distance. Sanctions against Iran: delayed. Europe: not even worth a trip.
The one remaining global superpower has succumbed to navel gazing. The nature of Obama’s hard-fought victory means little will change in the near future. On the contrary: Now he must explain to the country and to his own party why the entire health care journey, as all-encompassing as it turned out to be, was worth it in the end. He will have little time for anything else.
Such a realization should not spoil the celebration over health care for the Americans themselves. But the rest of the world won’t be joining the party quite so enthusiastically.
Obama and his supporters may have brief cause for celebration, but the decline of America’s stature in the world will affect not just the rest of the world, but ultimately America’s safety.