The passage of the health reform bill has reversed perceptions of President Barack Obama’s weakness. He is now master of his own house and can perhaps out-achieve Lyndon Johnson’s and even Franklin Roosevelt’s agenda of domestic reforms. Foreign policy can also purr ahead. Very soon there will be a major nuclear arms accord with Russia, but one whose ratification would have quickly been bogged down in the senate had the president failed to muster the votes to approve healthcare. It gives him more room to manoeuvre and compromise with Iran, North Korea and the Taliban.
Above all, it should give him the muscle to push the Israelis to deal productively with the Palestinians. This is a Sisyphean task that has defeated