Eight years of unrelieved ugliness are almost over.
Perhaps the most important thing, in the long run, is that the Republicans return to sanity so that we have two reasonably responsible parties, as any well-functioning democracy needs. They have been stark raving mad for 14 years now, relentlessly undermining civil society and seeking to destroy honest public discourse along with the rule of law. I am very pessimistic about this in the short run, but more hopeful as one looks past, say, 2012.
Some important things, perhaps healthcare reform, arguably can be accomplished by just one party. Likewise, rejecting endless war, to the utter exclusion of moral suasion and "soft power," as our primary foreign policy tool. Other important goals, such as addressing the fiscal gap, clearly do require both parties. And still others, such as fundamental tax reform, ain't gonna happen nohow anyway.
In any event, however, kicking them out tonight was a start.