No matter your political persuasion, your quality of life has improved already. For the first time in months, you can turn on TV, listen to the radio and open the mail without being harangued about Nancy Pelosi or claims that Republicans want to push Granny out of her wheelchair.
As predicted, the election was an old-fashioned whipping for Democrats, who lost control of the U.S. House and saw their grip weakened in the Senate. President Barack Obama, whose agenda had run out of gas prior to the November recess, can expect two years of legislative gridlock.
With their impressive gain in governorships, Republicans will have the upper hand in redrawing federal and state districts. After the Census Bureau releases 2010 population counts, they will shape voting districts across the country.
That should be of particular interest in South Carolina, which almost certainly will pick up a seventh congressman for the first time since the 1930s. With the defeat of U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., chairman of the House Budget Committee, and with U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., losing his role as majority whip, the Palmetto State will gain one vote but lose clout in the House.
It will be interesting to see whether the "Party of No" becomes the "Party of Hell No!" GOP leaders have already made clear their main objective for the next session is keeping Obama from being re-elected.
Two years is a long time, however, and campaign momentum will be difficult to sustain, especially if the economic recovery continues at its current snail's pace.
Congress' potential to improve that situation appears doubtful. Democrats lack the votes to push through another stimulus package, and it's unlikely the party's liberal wing would agree to preserve the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy Americans.
Republicans, on the other hand, will have to placate their tea party friends, who won't be satisfied until the federal government is dismantled and the lights are turned off inside the Beltway.
The loss of conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats such as Spratt bodes poorly for Congress. Although he was vilified for being too liberal, the 13-term congressman has been a conscientious steward of the public's pocketbook, respected on both sides of the aisle for his fiscal acumen. Not only will his skill with numbers be missed, but -- and more importantly -- he also had a reputation for finding common ground where the parties could work for the good of the country.
Lindsey Graham, senior senator from South Carolina, is the sole returning member of the delegation to have demonstrated similar statesmanship, but don't expect him to extend many olive branches to Democrats. Now that South Carolina Democrats have been chased from the seat of power, Graham increasingly will be in tea partiers' sights.
Republicans, who pandered to anti-government attitudes, face a dilemma. They can advocate measures to cut taxes or they can try to reduce the deficit, but they can't do both. America is like a patient suffering from congestive heart failure and failing kidneys. Doctors can't treat one condition aggressively without making the other worse.
Republicans must decide whether they want to help write the prescription for curing the nation's ills or to continue recommending placebos.
Because they have pledged not to cut Social Security, Medicare or the defense budget - which together make up most of the federal budget - both parties have painted themselves into a corner. Unless they are willing to meet halfway, it's hard to see things will change for the better.
Democrats took a beating on the economy, the "bailout" of Wall Street, health care and the president himself. TARP and other measures to shore up the nation's financial system are a done deal. Republicans won't have the votes to eliminate what they call "Obamacare," and their plan to block funding for elements of health care reform may backfire as millions of Americans realize they stand to lose benefits.
That leaves attacking Obama as the Republicans' only clear strategy, and even that has risks.
After listening to John Boehner, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin demonize him over for the next 24 months, voters may decide they could do worse in 2012.