An army marches on its stomach.
Everything that everyone is afraid of has already happened: The fragility of capitalism, which we don't want to admit the loss of the empire of the United States and American exceptionalism. In fact, American exceptionalism is that we are exceptionally backward in about fifteen different categories, from education to infrastructure.
Obama seemed poised to realign American politics after his stunning 2008 victory. But the economy remains worse than even the administration's worst-case scenarios, and the long legislative battles over health care reform, financial services reform and the national debt and deficit have taken their toll. Obama no longer looks invincible.