Imagine waking up Wednesday, Nov. 7, and learning that Mitt Romney will become the 45th President of the United States.
The spirit of the Grand Old Party ripples across the country like an American flag over amber waves of grain. Four long years of suffering Obama's "grand experiment" are over. "The people have spoken," Republicans will declare. "And now we must put aside our differences, and act on the Will of the People."
Then, four days before Mitt Romney is sworn into office, something horrible happens. Something which threatens to disenfranchise the Will of the People. A left-wing hate merchant utters the unthinkable.
"I hope Romney fails."
Outrage pours in from the right. Party leaders express puzzlement. "Why would anyone hope for the failure of America?"
By Jan. 30, ten days into the Romney presidency, top Democratic Party leaders are invited to the White House, for a civility summit. The president expresses private concern over the shrill tone, and argues the stakes are too high to continue as we've been; if the Dems truly want to fix the country, they'll need to work with Republicans.
Democrats don't take his condescension lightly. In force, they make television appearances and question the appropriateness of the president deciding what a hate merchant should or shouldn't be saying; it's a free country.
Further, they'll point out that the extremist views of the Republican Party -- they'll lead with "legitimate rape," are not in the best interest of the nation.
By October, one prominent Democrat will be quoted as saying, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for Mitt Romney to be a one-term president."
Four long years crawl by. Congress is in gridlock. People scream and yell at each other. Hateful Facebook memes sear the Internet. New political lows come at us daily on the wings of "he-did-it/said-it-first!" rationalizations.
Of course, this is a reasonable supposition for what Romney and the American people can expect in a Romney presidency, factually based on Obama's tenure. The Dems will "give" in the spirit of cooperation they received. I'm not saying it's particularly wise -- just that it's a reasonable thing to expect.
In fact, can anyone remember a time of greater short-sighted politicking than the one we're living through today?
I'm certain those who voted for Obama expected Republicans to respect their voices, just as those who will vote for Romney in November will expect. I'm certain those who voted for Obama expected Republicans to put economic recovery over political gain, just as those who vote for Romney in November will expect.
There is no wisdom in alienating roughly half the country, as both Republicans and Democrats do, to win votes, but they'll keep doing it, just as they're doing now.
For instance, Republicans built their entire convention on a "theme out of context," believing, apparently, that the ends justify the means. When Paul Ryan repeatedly stretched the truth beyond any reasonable definition of the word before a crowd of sycophants chanting "We Built That!", I kept looking for Joe Wilson to pop out and shout them all down with, "You lie!"
Well, what comes around goes around. We used to say, "You made your bed -- now sleep in it." Nowadays we say, "We built that."