Excellent summary of the election from the New Yorker.
I think the issues are deeper than the writers want to admit. Capitalism itself is in deep crisis, so is the empire. The use of US power-military, economic and political, has been a force for viscousness (Indonesia, Zaire, the Philipines, Haiti, Vietnam, Laos, Guatemala, Iran, Chile, I could go on...) for over 100 years at least and most people in the United States do not want to come to terms with the actual facts or our (the people) complicity. At home we have a system based on inequality and credit. The US decline will be faster than say Japan's because of this. The middling classes are leveraged to the hilt as well is the government, so there will be less consumer demand on the way down and more bankruptcy. The bill will have to be paid now, the bill collectors are now calling (China, Japan, et al...). How can this be done? By lowering wages or through inflation, or both or by shutting down the empire. The problem with both is that the voting classes are not in the mood for a reality check and they like the empire. They also benefit from it-the only real thing we make these days are planes, tanks and bombs, if we stop that we will have no industrial base.
Obama is a smart guy but even a cross between Nehru/Lincoln and Stephen J. Hawking can not get us out of this pickle.
I hope I am wrong.