Looking back, did we really need to have this election?
Did we really need to spend an estimated $5.8 billion and more than two years on this?
Because in the end, not much changed.
The House of Representatives is still controlled by Republicans. The Senate is still controlled by Democrats. Our own Harry Reid will continue as majority leader, facing off with House Speaker John Boehner.
And, of course, Barack Obama is still president of the United States.
Even some of the issues haven’t changed: Will the George W. Bush-era tax cuts be extended for everyone, including the more well-off? Will we raise the debt ceiling next year?
All the factors that contributed to the gridlock of the last four years are still in place. Is there any reason to think they will suddenly change because the American people decisively re-elected Obama to the presidency?
Here in Nevada, it was the same: Democrats beat back some strong challenges to retain control of the state Senate by the exact same margin they control it now 11-10. Democrats will keep control of the Assembly, too, although they narrowly lost their future speaker, Marcus Conklin, in a close race.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval will still wield a veto pen in Carson City.
It’s doubtful that anybody on the conservative side will look at the election results and conclude that Americans selected the Democratic framing of the race — “we’re all in this together” — and rejected the Republican alternative. It’s doubtful that they’ll suddenly embrace Obama’s agenda, including his jobs program. And it’s just as unlikely that Obama will consider his victory a begrudging second chance from an American public weary of fighting and searching for compromise and progress on vexing issues.
In other words, we’re right back where we were when we started the campaign, minus the annoying super-PAC ads.