Like a lot of political junkies, I both love/am addicted to and hate politics. I love grassroots politics and the volunteers who take time out of their lives to help causes they're passionate about. But I can't stand most people who actually work in politics.
I'm horribly addicted to wonky stuff like employment stats, polling data and think tank white papers about how certain policy decisions can steer our country in the right direction. But by a couple months before an election, I just want it to be over.
Normally, I’d be looking forward to the post-election period, where there is usually a bit of a break from the really nasty partisan garbage that peaks around Election Day.
I’m hoping some of the campaign bluster has been hyperbole. That Obama's second term will be better than his first. That Joe Biden might be right about GOP 'fever' breaking after an Obama win. Or that Romney will turn out more like version 2002 v. version 2012.
But I'd be surprised if any of those things actually happened.
If there is any silver lining here, it's that it appears highly unlikely that either party has much of a chance of simultaneously controlling the House, Senate and White House come early January. At least we're not going to see a repeat of the train wreck of 2009 and 2010 that pushed the American people to send the Democrats packing in the House, or 2000 to 2006, paving the way for Pelosi, Reid and Obama to have their chance at squandering power.
Speaking of Pelosi, if we're lucky, the Democrats might finally see the writing on the wall and drop her as their leader in the House. The only people who gain from her continuing presence at the top of the House Democratic caucus is the Republican party.
It doesn't seem likely, but the country would certainly benefit if Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell got the boot as well, as all he's accomplished is ensuring that not much has been accomplished the last couple years.
What we're hearing from Democratic and Republican party leaders doesn't bode well for future progress. Maybe facing down recessionary certainty will knock some sense into them, and get serious action on the Fiscal Cliff into gear.
But Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seems to have taken a page from his aforementioned Republican counterpart, McConnell, in saying that the idea that he and his fellow democrats will work with a president Romney, to "pass his 'severely conservative' agenda", is "laughable."
Of that, I have little doubt. It wasn't more than a few years ago when it was the Democrats that were breaking records on the use of the filibuster, only to see those records crushed by McConnell and company when they found themselves in the minority in the Senate again.
After Romney and Reid's harsh campaign rhetoric about each other, it's hard to picture anything but acrimony between the White House and part of the legislative branch going into 2013 — regardless of who's in the Oval Office.
Not to be left out of the partisan bomb throwing, House Republicans promise that if Obama wins the election and follows through with his promise to allow tax cuts on upper income brackets to expire it would amount to poisoning the well and doesn't make sense if "the goal is a productive second term." That threat would only have teeth to it if it didn't already seem clear that an Obama second term agenda would already be stonewalled by Republicans.
I'm not going to join in with the apocalyptic predictions that both sides are tossing around as if the country is going to burn to the ground if the other side wins. Neither of the men running for president is as bad as George W. Bush was, but neither is up to the task of leading the country well either.
Outside of the government, the economy will likely continue a slow improvement, and whoever is in office will pretend like it was them who made that happen. The country will survive, hopefully the major parties will take a hard look at their leadership and make some changes and maybe we'll have some better options on the ballot in 2016.