The long national nightmare of the mid-term elections is now behind us -- and the 2012 presidential race has already begun. The voters just can't win.
Last week's election was a resounding victory for Republicans all across the country. In Idaho, if you had a "D" behind your name, it stood for "Dead." For the first time in memory, every state and federal position in Idaho is now held exclusively by one party.
At the national level, there are ominous signs that neither political party really understood what the voters were telling them.
Democrats seemed determined to retain Nancy Pelosi as their leader in the House of Representatives. Some Democrats want her to step down, but the GOP landslide in Congress probably eliminated the vast majority of anti-Pelosi Democrats, so our guess is, she'll keep the job. And in the Senate, Harry Reid is likely to stay on as the party's leader there, despite the fact he barely survived a challenge from one of the crazier candidates running this year. Had a truly viable candidate run against him, he'd be on the outside looking in today. Retaining party leadership that drew the ire of voters across the nation does not seem very smart.
But on the other side of the aisle, the Republicans seem poised to make the same kind of arrogant mistakes the Democrats did when they took over two years ago -- and which led to their demise.
The GOP leadership has indicated it's top priority will be making sure the president's agenda is blocked at every turn, in order to regain the White House in 2012. Get ready for even greater gridlock and partisan politics than we had over the last two years.
Jobs and the economy were not the highest priority on the agendas listed by any of the GOP leadership. Regaining power is their priority.
Apparently, nobody who got elected seemed to understand that the historic switch in power in the House reflected massive voter dissatisfaction with "the way things are."
Voters are tired of gridlock. They are tired of partisan politics. They want our elected leaders to get down to the business of finding ways to make things work, not just playing the power game. If those who came to power in the GOP landslide don't understand that, come 2012 all those gains could be reversed.
It's time our elected leaders, in both parties, started actually listening to what the citizens of this nation really want. But early indications are that neither one did.