Another important consequence of the recent elections is that, whether they wanted it or not, a significant number of Americans found themselves forced to think critically about public policy and where the parties/candidates stand on many issues. Credible journalism and actual facts rose in people's esteem while "fair and balanced" posers were outed like never before for their ongoing efforts to construct an alternate, hate-and-fear-based reality while they masqueraded as news outlets. Even though many folks are relieved America is past the 24/7 political news barrage compelling their attention, the issues and the politicians representing them remain much clearer to an electorate which expressed its preferences at the voting booth. The Republican Party was thrashed across the country, even in the House of Representatives where the overall vote for Democrats was actually higher than for Republicans who maintained a smaller majority due primarily to extreme gerrymandering they had engaged in at the state level.
Still, they imagine (falsely) that they can return to business as usual, probably partly because Fox "News" still receives a large viewership which is easily manipulated into Orwellian doublethink to forget what just happened in the election. (If they just believe harder, if they just pray harder, the living nightmare of an Obama Presidency will magically go away.) The GOP and their reality-denying pals at the Propaganda Ministry are doubling down on a failed hand without realizing there has been a sea change in understanding by lots of Americans about what's going on in these public policy debates. The jig is up and the Republican Party true believers refuse to acknowledge it. They will pay the price in 2014 for the predictable missteps they continue to make, starting now with any "fiscal cliff" hostage-taking.