Steven Den Beste neatly encapsulates much of what I think about an Obama presidency, actually. It's not the end of the world; and as I expect Obama to be "Carter 2.0" (as I've said a number of times already) four years from now he'll be a lame duck.
As for the Republicans, it's hard to argue that they shot themselves in the foot--repeatedly--by listening to the moderate-to-liberal wing of the party, the "country club" Republicans. Why the hell the party listens to those bozos--when historically they have done nothing but make things harder for us--is a mystery.
Nixon and Ford were members of that wing of the party. Both Bushes were; and the current President's policies (particularly some aspects of his domestic agenda) have caused a lot of Republicans to sour on voting with their party. Republicans in general forgot that it's the Democrats who are into deficit spending and the growth of government, and the "Republican revolution" of 1994 has now been utterly wasted.
The best thing about Obama being President (starting next year) is that it should energize the Republican base.
The second best thing is that Limbaugh's show will be fun to listen to...at least until the Fairness Doctrine is re-enacted.
But Iran's going to get nuclear weapons, and there will be a war between Iran and Israel--I think Steven is right about that--and Obama's administration probably will not help Israel; I have seen enough reported about him to think that Israel will have a tough row to hoe in the next four years.
There'll be more fallout in the atmosphere by and by. Also, I would strongly recommend that you back up your data to optical media, just in case Iran gets really plucky and tries to EMP the US. Maybe they can't do it now, but what about four years from now? Obama said he'd talk to Iran "without preconditions", meaning that he's got approximately the same childish optimism that Chamberlain had about Hitler; he's going to be soft on defense (all Democrats since Johnson have been) and once we pull out of the middle east it's going to go to shit faster than you can say "Allahu akhbar".
Energy prices are going to "skyrocket" (to borrow a word from Glorious Leader himself) on purpose and with malice aforethought. The Democrats want energy to cost a lot.
It's really funny to see the batshit-insane lefties who think George W. Bush is going to declare martial law or something to keep Obama from being inaugurated. I'm going to enjoy rubbing their noses in it when they're wrong; and even better, they're so unhappy about everything in the world, they can't even spare a moment from their Bush Derangement Syndrome to enjoy the fact that their guy won.
* * *
So: end of the world? No. End of the US? No. Things are going to be inconvenient and messy, but Obama is merely "Jimmy Carter" with a tan--and we survived Carter. The entire purpose of the political structure of the US is to limit personal power; but it also works in reverse: it limits the damage that can be done by an incompetent boob.
Obama has no executive experience whatsoever. He has no long-term political experience, either, having been a one-term state-level politician and a less-than-one-term Senator. He ran on a nebulous platform of platitudes and good feelings; and now he has actually to do something instead of just sitting around and talking about it. There is no other position within the US that he can run for, either; he's reached the top of the pyramid. And he no longer has the luxury of voting "present".
When legislation crosses his desk, he'll have to sign it, or he'll have to veto it; he can't just say, "Well, I showed up for work today" and relax. If he fails to sign or veto, things won't happen, and the people will get angry--so now he has to stand up and do things even if he doesn't like how people will react to his actions. Or he has to be a damp rag and follow the focus groups and polls, a la Clinton. Either way, he's not going to enjoy the unadulterated love fests that he's become accustomed to.
If he gets his cap-and-trade scheme enacted, and "bankrupts" the coal industry, there are going to be real and serious consequences, not just for workers in the coal industry, but for everyone in the country. A lot of people will be seriously and negatively affected by the price of electricity, which Obama has said that he wants to "skyrocket". It won't hurt the rich liberals in California and New York and Chicago, but it will cause real pain for the millions of "little people" who Obama claims to want to protect. Everything he says he wants to do is going to make life harder for poor people, not easier.
He's not going to have a rubber-stamp Congress, either, because some people in Congress--Democrats included--will want to watch out for the interests of their constituents. Obama will have a hard time getting his cap-and-trade system past senators and representatives from states which rely on the coal industry. (And from states which are heavy on railroading. And from states which are heavy on steel production. And....) In fact the increase in energy prices that Obama wants will cause too much pain for industry to bear--and industry will make its wants known to Congress.
No, Obama won't get everything he wants. His free ride is over. Maybe not now, not until well after his inauguration...but his free ride will end, and once it does, the American people will understand what a mistake they made yesterday.
Congratulations, President-elect Obama. Enjoy the good stuff while it lasts. It won't be forever.