Nov 2nd, 2010 was the foreseeable future, like a storm far out to sea barreling towards your spot on a lonely shore. You were always going to get wet and cold and you knew it. The only uncertainty was whether you would be knocked on your posterior or swept away.
In 2008, Barack Obama, when asked to fix the mess, smiled and waved like Shane and then stood up and (I think) did his level best to serve a country that spat on him, called him a foreign-born Muslim, and called his beautiful wife a chimpanzee.
Even Jackie Robinson was not as patient or as dignified. This Robinson-Shane moved a mountain called health-care. It was not enough.
Two years is a very long time to sustain desperate hopes, and in our distracted times, it is an eternity. The little I know of human nature tells me that the only thing that can follow the disappointment of desperate hope is blind rage. The country is crowded with hungry, unhappy people who need to face their children, their spouses, themselves every day with a believable account of why and how they have lost their houses, their jobs, their brilliant futures.
"I did my best' wears thin when you're sleeping on your brother-in-law's sofa next to your bewildered kids.
And still...no one really understands how or why the lending companies destroyed their own country out of simple greed, or why or how no one has been held accountable -and then hanged in public- for the theft of our nation's and of our children's prosperity.
The easiest thing to do is to listen to the voice of anger that swirls through the land "from the Grand Coolee Damn to the Capital." It is an idiot wind and last night it spoke.
So what has happened?
The formerly disenfranchised Republicans outspent their opponents, and were swept back to power-sharing by this wind-with-no-memory. Once again they have a stake in the success of government, and once again they are in hock to everyone who gave them the money to win this election.
Will they continue to obstruct all efforts to clean the mess of debt and despair out of America's public spaces?
It's up to them now and the blame that attached to President Obama will now attach to them.
From this day forth, anything that does not get done will be the responsibility of the hung-congress, and the hung-congress is the GOP.
The GOP is now responsible for oil-spill in Louisiana. The GOP is now responsible for the war in Afghanistan. The GOP is now responsible (again) for the financial melt-down and the crisis of the national debt that will wear down the United States until it becomes North America's Greece or Portugal.
So there may be a second term in store for Obama-Shane-Robinson, after all. It all now hangs on the Republicans' willingness to cut deals with a Senate whose very structure favors obstruction and delay, but which also remains majority Democrat.
My personal feeling is not to expect any miracles from the GOP. Like the poet said: "they are idiots, babe. It's a wonder they can even feed themselves."