I've just spent many hours grading 50 research papers (fortunately from upperclassmen) of considerably varying quality; accordingly my brain is oatmeal. Not the fancy steel-cut kind, but the store brand Instant kind that ends up looking like a cross between that paste they fed RoboCop and an amusement park vomit patch liberally sprinkled with sawdust. I have an Epic Funny that I planned to run today but it's just not gonna happen at the moment with two final exams to dish out and hurriedly grade starting at 8 AM tomorrow.

As an aside, I never feel bad about whining about having to get up before 8. I know a lot of you get up at 5 or 6, but I'll bet that those of you who do aren't up working until 2 AM every night. It's a fair tradeoff. But I digress. Is it possible to digress in a post about nothing?

Can we pretty much stick a fork in Obama at this point? Mike has the fancy high-end take on the recent "deal" he made over extending tax cuts to your corporate lords and masters, a deal in which, according to this much less intricate analysis, the serfs (surprisingly!) get reamed.

So, we all understand what the score is. Half the country thinks he is some combination of Satan, Osama bin Laden, and Stalin. His liberal base struggles mightily to resist the urge to puke every time he opens his mouth to explain why trading $25B in unemployment extension over 13 months for $200B in top-bracket tax cuts over two years was a good deal ("I agreed to buy the GOP a Ferrari, but it's a great deal for us because they said we can borrow it for a day. If they're not using it.") A lot of those enthusiastic new-ish voters who showed up in 2008 will never be seen again. What happens now?

The easy answer is that he gets his lunch handed to him, or more accurately that he loses Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida (not to mention ACC states like North Carolina and Virginia that he had no business winning in the first place). That's plausible.

Equally plausible is that, as usual, a good percentage of liberals, black & hispanic voters, young people, etc. – the usual Democratic suspects – will drag themselves to the polls to cast a vote for Obama with a profound sense of shame because, really, what else are you going to do? And if the GOP manages to nominate someone who is enough of an idiot (e.g. Palin) the "moderates" in the electorate will, with great disgust, cast Obama votes because they just can't stomach a country run by that idiot. Thus Obama, much like Bill Clinton, wins a second term even though no one much likes him, solely on the weakness of the alternatives.

When I see the list of ass clowns and retreads the GOP is kicking around for the 2012 nomination, the second option seems plausible. But if by some stroke of luck or strategy they can find and nominate a decent candidate, let's be honest: you can stick a fork in BO.

That said, lots can change in two years. We saw that between 2008 and 2010. By 2012 things could be…well, much worse.