I still can't tell how much of the relief that I'm feeling is due to Obama's being especially good, and how much to his simply being apparently very different from Bush, Palin, et al.
The outgoing administration may, in spite of everything, also have taught us a valuable lesson or two. If Bush hadn't invaded Iraq, for instance, I'm sure quite a few of us would still be preoccupied with the potential benefits -- and blind to the potential costs -- of going for it.
Of course Iraq was also, in some small part, Bush's attempt to redeem us from the disgrace of Vietnam. I hate to think of what craziness we might get involved in, 30 or 40 years down the line, to redeem us from the disgraces of Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo, Plamegate, the 2008 recession, etc., etc., etc.