All that for nothing. It was the billion-dollar election that did not decide one single damned thing.
Republicans control the House. Democrats control the Senate. And the White House remains in Democratic hands with absolutely no mandate whatsoever.
Another four years with no hope of change.
In this environment with this economy and all the gravely important matters pressing against the very existence of this country, it should have been a tsunami election. It should have been a landslide that sent President Obama into the dust heap of failed presidencies. Instead, the election was about Big Bird.
It was the rape election. The contraception election. The binders full of women election.
It was about who was born where and whether she really could claim to be a Cherokee Indian.
It was about former President George W. Bush. And it was about gay marriage.
It was about the 1 percent and the 99 percent and the 47 percent.
It was about dancing freaking horses, for crying out loud!
Just about the only thing the election wasn’t about was the economy, which everyone agrees was the only thing voters actually cared about. People tend to really care about the economy when real unemployment reaches double digits, welfare rolls fatten by one-third, politicians rack up $16 trillion in national debt and the largest tax hike in the history of the world looms just weeks away.
Yet that obviously is not what decided this election. Politicians were too busy talking all about Big Bird, rape and dancing horses.
The most disturbing issue of the election was how President Obama managed to win re-election in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan by talking about the highly unpopular bailout of General Motors. By taking billions of dollars in hard-earned money from taxpayers during a deep recession and giving it to a couple of huge companies, Mr. Obama managed to buy the votes he needed to eke out re-election. Taxpayers remain on the hook to the tune of $25 billion.
This is the Achilles heel of a democracy. Politicians simply tax those who do not support them and give the money to those who do. Or give the money to those they would like to have support them. It is the end of the line. Game over.
The weeks to come will feature endless finger-pointing and blame about how Republicans do not know how to speak to non-white voters and women and all that nonsense.
What happened Tuesday night is the same thing that has been happening for decades in America. Politicians deploy all this highly precise technology to slice and dice voters into little micro-groups and then talk to them all about dancing horses or Big Bird.
The result is you have all these states vote for one side and all these other states vote for the other side and it all comes down to Florida and Ohio. You could have given me a lot less than a billion dollars and I could have told you that.
The only way this gridlock is finally broken is when politicians grow up and decide to put away Big Bird and dancing horses and seriously address like adults the $16 trillion in debts they have racked up on our credit card.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.