Lets say the economy starts to crumble over the next 6 months and the unthinkable happens and Mitt Romney is elected President. If he is elected, it will mean Republicans retained control of the House and took over control of the Senate.
Here is what I think will happen. Romney and the Republicans will immediately find a way to stimulate the economy and cut taxes at the the same time. It will be back to deficits don't matter and more tax cuts for the rich. Further, they will start encouraging the Fed to take action to improve unemployment, instead of their current recommendation of doing nothing (or preferably sabotaging things). We can expect QE3 next year if Romney is elected. Of course, that will cause the economy to start growing rapidly. Of course, they will double down on tax cuts for the wealthy further ballooning the deficits (which, of course don't matter in their world when they are in power...) More on that in a bit
They will be able to crow "see Obama and Democrats are awful and Obama was the worst President in American history" and you know what? Many will buy it. They will contrast the economic performance and conclude that it was Obama's fault for the slow recovery after the recession. They will further reward Republicans in 2014 with more solid majorities in the House and Senate. Democrats would be very hard put to avoid that outcome.
Now more about the deficits. The economy will boom, but if the deficits balloon and they do nothing about them, it will cause big problems down the road. Combined with printing more money, such deficit spending (I am thinking $2 trillion deficits for several years) could actually lead to the kind of currency crisis that some deluded Republicans and economic crackpots are suggesting. Pretty scary, but in the meantime, Romney and the Republicans will be riding high.
So what does that say about our political system that a party could be handsomely rewarded for purposely sabotaging the American economy? Think about all they have done and not done to do this? They manufacture a debt crisis and look for reasons to not pass disaster relief without offsets. Of course, they want to cut back on unemployment benefits and food stamps to further hamstring the economy. What they are not doing is equally harmful. They wouldn't even consider further stimulating the economy through the American Jobs Act. Believe me, there is plenty more to say here but it can wait for another diary.
Here is what I think it says.
Our form of constitutional democracy in fundamentally flawed. The system of checks and balances (including odd things like the filibuster rule, which is not in the Constitution and is merely a Senate rule) can be used to destroy a President if they are also willing to damage the economy. They have used every trick, found every loophole to ruin the Obama administration all the while heaping a constant barrage of blame on him. They pass laws to defund parts of previously passed legislation, they refuse to confirm officials to agencies to prevent legislation from coming into effect, they purposely attach poison pill after poison bill to any legislation that might improve the economy (unless it was a complete giveaway like the alleged "Jobs Act" for small business. This was just a jelly donut for some Republican cronies and will produce next to no jobs...) If Romney wins it is proof positive that you can be rewarded for sabotaging the country. I doubt our founding fathers conceived of a situation where one party or group would damage the country to win. It also shows that you must have bipartisanship in order for our system to work, but there is no mechanism to enforce such cooperation. Unless they are held responsible for their actions by the electorate, there is no good political reason to cooperate. In our current environment, cooperation is the equivalent of treason by giving aid and succor to your enemy.
So what would be a better way? Of course, there is no current way to implement this, but moving to a parliamentary system without some nutty 60 vote filibuster rule in the Senate would solve many of these problems. It would ensure majority rule so that elections couldn't be undermined/undone through complete obstruction.
Regardless of the outcome of this election, working toward such a system can only help preserve democracy in the US.