The problem for Obama, however, is that to enact his economic plan he needs a landslide victory for both him and his party. The same can be said for Mitt Romney and Republicans. Neither of those outcomes are likely, nor is a return to bipartisan compromise.
Quite what that means for the elections of 2012 is unknown. What it means for the aftermath is clearer, if ominous: if there is no reconciliation of political divisions at the start of the new Administration and new Congress, another American "downgrade" becomes likely rather than possible.