Barring divine intervention, it appears certain that Barack Obama will win tomorrow's presidential election in the USA.
No, that's not the pessimistic part -- I, in fact, hope that Obama wins, if only because he can't possibly be as bad as McCain and Bible Spice (Especially the latter. If she ever gets to sit in the Big Chair, I give civilization six months before she starts WWIII in the belief it will make Jesus return quicker). Being part of the 95% of the world that doesn't get to vote in this election, I'm not obliged to be better informed than that (even so, I still seem to be better informed than some of the folks who do get to vote).
The pessimistic part is this: I predict that Obama (or McCain, should that come to pass) will serve but a single term, and his presidency will be regarded as a failure. Which sucks in so many ways, only one of which is the comfort and encouragement it will give to those who say a black man should never be president of the United States. [Aside: If you're one of the people who refuse to vote for Obama because he's black, then you're a racist bigot, no matter how hard you pretend otherwise. If you're refusing to vote for him because he's a Muslim, then you're both stupid and a bigot, because he's not, and it shouldn't matter anyway. And if you're refusing to vote for him because he has a "Muslim name" then...there are no words for what you are. "Stupid bigotted mouth-breathing knuckle-dragging moron" doesn't even begin to cover it. Yeah, I realize none of the people that is addressed to read this blog, but I've been wanting to get that off my chest for a while. End digression.]
The reason for my pessimism is that, whoever takes office in January will inherit a mucking fess. There's the financial meltdown, a gift which will not cease giving for some time to come. On Iraq, Obama has the choice between allowing the troops to continue being slowly ground up to no good effect, or pulling out and taking the blame for the likely blood-letting that will follow. Afghanistan? Prospects aren't much better (and we still haven't found Bin Laden!). Then we have a looming oil shortage -- only postponed by the economic slump -- and the first harbingers of climate change. And, and, and. Some serious shit is going to hit the fan in the next few years.
And the incumbent, justly or not, will get blamed for it.
[PSA at Canadian Cynic goes on in the same vein at greater length and deeper depressivism]