No matter what happens, the Republicans win
While the 2012 presidential election has been one of the most interesting and hotly-contested political elections in recent memory, its results probably won’t matter.
Either way, Democrats lose.
Worst-case scenario for Republicans: Let's say President Barack Obama wins and assumes the presidency for another four years.
Even if they do not win majority in Congress, as most polls suggest, the GOP has controlled the House since 2010’s mid-term elections and will have enough clout in the Senate to complicate Obama’s agenda.
An Obama win will unanimously translate into a stagnant economy, slow economic growth and lethargic gains for another four years. Has he given us any reason to believe his second term will be immensely different from his last? Has he told us he'd change his government-loving national embellishment?
At most, Obama will get his two cents with the Supreme Court by nominating a liberal-leaning justice.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: The presidential race is not as important as voters think it is. Though the presidency and its enumerated powers have greatly expanded to an inconceivable degree, that is not where the heart of American politics is. The heart of American power lies within the legislative branch, a branch that is closest to the people it represents.
But what will America look like after another four years of Obama?
The Democratic presidential candidates after Obama won’t be able to shy away from political scandals like Solyndra or Operation Fast and Furious. What successes will they be able to tout after Obama’s years of economic stagnancy?
Obama will have done exactly what former President George W. Bush did for him in 2008: He will guarantee a victory to the opposing political party's candidate.
Republicans will be able to do exactly what the Democrats did to them in 2008. They will successfully link Obama with 2016’s Democratic presidential candidate. Future Republican candidates will also campaign on a different kind of “hope” and “change.”
Not only could this be true, but 2016 could spell a Republican majority in both the House — where I do not see them losing any seats — and even the Senate — where I believe they will be able to gain some ground.
The Democrats will fall back into their roles as the criticizers — not the initiators.
Never before has such outright partisanship and clashing ideological precepts helped define the future of our country.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow at him sean_mccauley
Want to join the conversation? Send an email to email@example.com. Keep letters under 300 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.