The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that the Obama Mystique has been ruined. Mostly by Obama himself, but I'm sure that somehow, we'll be hearing that Barack Obama failed because America is a racist nation that couldn't take a Black Man in the White House for about the next five decades or so. Several 'scholars' will make a few million bucks on worthless books that 'study' that premise, and a new generation of poverty pimps will have a new bloody shirt to wave, and the thing will have run it's natural course and ultimately, be forgotten.
But, I think the effect that Barack Obama has had, and will continue to have, is much more profound. To start, there's the matter of what damage he can manage to do to the apparatus of government, and the precedents he sets in exceeding Presidential authority, or even Constitutional restrictions regarding the separation of powers. There will be a lagging cultural residue of Obamania that will be noticeable for a while, but eventually will fade away as people begin to realize that the whole thing was rather silly to begin with. There will be a vocal minority that will continue to believe that Obama was the Savior of Us All, but they're mostly brainwashed Hippies, dopey College Kids who will eventually grow up, and Blacks so consumed by Hatred of Whitey that logic and reason can't find a way into their narrative of racism.
In the short term, The Obama Mystique will probably serve a few useful ends; from now on, for the foreseeable future, Americans will be much more circumspect about who they vote for. They'll want to get beyond the slick marketing and Chris Matthews' tingly leg, and want to stick to the Old Script: Experience, Competence, Knowledge, and Substance. If this disaster makes the American Voter a more careful shopper, we'll owe Mr. Obama a debt of gratitude for that at least.
On the minus side, though, I think Obama's failure (and it's mostly a failure of his own making) pretty much kills the idea of another Black President for a very long time. Even one with an 'R' next to his name. Obama's brand of Black-Liberation-Theology-Meets-Karl-Marx-Social-Justice-and-Alinsky-Style-Ninja-Activism, is probably dead, at least for as long as it takes for it's practitioners to take it back underground, give it a facelift, adapt it to a changing culture, and re-emerge in another two or three decades.
The death of that sort of political philosophy is probably the best thing that Barack Obama will ever accomplish, Nobel Prizes for being black, notwithstanding.