For a seduction to work, you need the cooperation of both parties.
Back in 2008, when Barack Obama was wooing the nation, he was saying all the things many of us wanted to hear. We were deep into Bush fatigue, especially toward the end when the economy collapsed (that’s right, it did happen during the Bush Administration, although it’s so easy to forget).
Here was a new face, telling us that he was going to come in like a fresh breeze, blow out the cobwebs, and change the way Washington did business. Of course, those of us who had been around long knew that they always say that. Nevertheless, we fell for the roses and chocolates because we so wanted to believe at that point.
In our fantasy world, opposing political parties could be made to work together for the betterment of their country rather than parochial interests. Obama would lay his hands upon the troubled waters. Under his calm, cool, collected guidance, politicians would be persuaded to give a little and take a little, and in the end, the republic would run smoothly for the greatest possible good.
Well, the line worked through Election Day, which was the point of the whole exercise. Nobody, however, was counting on congress to conduct an agenda of pure spite. In our naïveté, many of us thought that the country would accept an African American president once he was inaugurated. We thought the birthers and the Muslim-whisperers would be drowned out.
Everybody is older and wiser now. Gone are the sweet talk and the high-sounding phrases. This time, it’ll be hard, cold realpolitik, and battling at the nitty-gritty level. Our policies are better for you than theirs. Vote for them, and you’ll get screwed. They coddle the rich, while we’re looking out for you. They spend like drunken sailors, but we’ll protect the country for your grandchildren.
It’ll be quite ugly. Just like the old days.