This isn't a particularly dynamic cartoon, but, then, it isn't a very dynamic government, either, so the cartoon works in a weird, depressing way, and David Horsey's accompanying essay gets it right: Nothing is going to be changed by what happens in this year's elections.
He's always worth reading, but -- to save you the time -- the basics are this: The House will remain GOP, the Senate could go either way and it really doesn't matter because they can't (won't) pass legislation now and so owning the legislature won't matter unless the GOP gets a veto-proof majority and that isn't going to happen.
Which you probably knew.
Our system of checks and balances theoretically avoids a flaw of the parliamentary system, in that the legislative majority cannot simply impose all sorts of madcap policies unchecked, though I think most parliamentary systems have some kind of House of Lords/Senate to keep the really insane stuff from happening.
(There was a time when our Senate was appointed to act as a sort of sea anchor on the House, but we changed that.)
The American system has traditionally resisted the party discipline that is part of parliamentary governments, and, until fairly recently, the labels "Democrat" and "Republican" denoted tendencies and philosophies but were not predictive of every vote.
That traditional independence of thought, however, has been disappearing over the past couple of decades, and party-line votes are now becoming the norm, at least on the right side of the aisle.
This, in turn, encourages party-line voting at the polling booth, which I don't think is good for democracy, or, at least, it's not good for our form of democracy.
And the supposed watch-dogs of the media have either gone rabid or lost their teeth entirely.
Example: With all the wars and rumors of war and ebola and financial disaster going on in the world, Brian Williams last night ate up several minutes of the NBC Nightly News interviewing Ben Affleck about almost nothing.
One has to assume that Affleck's new movie has a substantial commercial budget to spend, or that Williams has lost his mind. Possibly both.
But he's not alone in failing to advance the national dialogue.
In one of many thoughtful conversations at Kenosha last week, I confessed that there are a small number of political cartoonists whose work I don't bother to follow: A couple on the right who are simply hatemongers detached from any serious analysis of current events, and a couple on the left whose utter lack of pragmatic knowledge of How Anything Actually Works makes their commentary nonsensical.
However, we're in a bit of a drought even among normally intelligent, thoughtful commentators, who are either drawing pointless gags about White House intruders, making party-line comments about the departure of Eric Holder, continuing the variations of silly "boots on the ground" jokes or -- from the right -- ridiculing Obama for relying on intelligence that dismissed Isis a few months ago, perhaps forgetting how many thousands of American kids died over faulty or phony intelligence reports on phantom WMDs and the purported alliance of Saddam Hussein with al Qaeda.
And those cynical non-voters whose response is a fatalistic, nihilistic "it doesn't matter who's in charge" are ignoring the fact that our final check-and-balance, the Supreme Court, has become as relentlessly, dependably, predictably party-line as our legislature or the commentators of the watch-dog press.
However, there are far greater issues that America must deal with before it bothers with campaign finance reform, voting rights or any of that stuff.
Some historical perspective:
By the way, those now calling for a Declaration of War should realize that Congress hasn't declared war on anybody in nearly 75 years.
That train has left the station and they've since torn up the tracks.
These days, we go to war via "resolutions" and I'm not sure what the technical difference is, because it's still Congress saying, "yeah, let's do it!," which is all the Constitution demands, but we just passed by a 50th Anniversary during which we might well have paused to consider not the technical differences but the practical ones.
After all, Dick Cheney didn't invent bad intelligence briefings or gullible patriotism.
Or wars against ill-defined ad-hoc groups with no flag to capture or capital city to seize: