I don’t know, Rachael , if I were the Democrats, I wouldn’t waste my good stationary on a thank-you note for this one. Given the loss of the House, the president and his party would probably be better off losing control of the legislative branch entirely. That kind of gridlock would play much better in 2012, galvanizing the base and offering up a nice scapegoat for failures and setbacks. From a purely political view of the next cycle, a Democratic Senate may be a Pyrrhic victory.
As for the small matter of actually governing the country, much as it may pain anyone to concede truth in the rhetoric of John Boehner, a divided government may indeed be “a victory for all Americans.” History suggests better economic times when neither party is in control. More importantly, there are only two things in government that are easy: hindsight and criticism. The Republicans have enjoyed a full two years of wallowing in both. Now, even if their control is only in the House, they’re going to have to step up with something more constructive than no and no and no again. When-if-the parties find compromise, we all benefit. Of course, it doesn’t look like compromise is on the agenda just yet. Maybe things will look different in January.