"With [a] recession deepening,...'debate' [is] more dangerous than ever and fairness yet more explosive." [Walter Karp, Buried Alive, p. 222]
Elections, and even this last election which has been touted in the media as of momentous importance, can serve in this republic as a narcotic, as an opiate by which the people, the "masses" are lulled to sleep so that the political establishment can preserve its power. This works as follows.
As the situation in the country worsens, the possibility of an explosion, a political explosion, grows, as evidenced these days by the Tea Party "movement." So, as noted in the above quote, debate, that is, real or genuine debate becomes dangerous. And this means dangerous to, among others, what may be called the Democratic Party "syndicate," the few who control the party, ala' Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. As the system fails and these failures grow and are exposed, it is more and more likely that the people will demand change, i.e., real change, which would involve a change in personnel. And this poses a problem for the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid: Would these people really want to give up their places of power and privilege in the Democratic Party for the sake of real change? Probably not. So, they would rather see the Republicans win control of the Congress - or at least a part of it - than give up their roles as "leading Democrats."
Besides, as an added benefit, a Republican victory, especially if it is of impressive proportions or can be made to seem that way in the media, allows the Democrats to claim that they have to "go along" with the Republicans. This is touted as only "realistic" or as the only realistic alternative the Democrats have before them. In this way, they also will "calm" - actually "pacify" or lull - the people, thereby saving their perks and privileges and power by laying to rest any possible insurrection or republican rebellion meant to restore some semblance of popular control on the government. This is made all the easier when the media play along by concocting stories about how, in just two short years, the electorate has become "more conservative." Oh, those fickle masses. First, they seem to be liberal and then, shortly thereafter, they seem to be conservative. No wonder we need elites to govern us.
So, the great election of 2010 has served, in its own way, to fortify the forces of the few in both the parties [the Tea Party is being blamed now by some Republicans for costing that party the Senate. Surprise, surprise!] but especially in the Democratic Party. Order - or is it "oligarchy"? - has been or is being restored and the danger of a republican insurrection or rebellion has been short circuited for the time being. But, strangely, this only serves to confirm the wisdom of Jefferson when he wrote that revolutions in politics are necessary and beneficial, because without them republics cease to exist and "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" vanishes into thin air.