In the wake of the 2012 election — when voters sent to Washington a Republican-controlled House, a Democrat-controlled Senate, and a Democrat president — many pundits scrambled to explain what it meant that Americans chose a divided government.
Was anyone given a clear policy mandate? Can anyone claim one now, nearly a year removed from the election and in the midst of a gridlock that has led to a partial shutdown of the federal government?
The answer to such questions is less complicated than many expect, and more obvious than most realize: Republicans and Democrats have a mandate from the electorate to work together.
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