The beauty of democracy is that if it doesn't work, you can throw the bums out and try again with a different set of bums.

The beauty of the travel business is that it usually doesn't matter much who's running the government. When the economy is strong, the travel industry does well. When the economy is in the tank -- no matter which political party put it there -- the travel business does poorly.

Tax and regulatory policies have their effects, but in general our industry's overall health is more directly related to consumer attitudes and the state of the economy than anything the government does or fails to do.

Still, it helps to know when the winds are shifting. Last week's midterm election results clearly indicate such a shift, but by giving the Republicans control of the House, they also denote something even more important: a change in the chemistry of the government.

The conventional wisdom has it that a political party with control of the White House and majorities in Congress can get a lot done, but it's equally true that such a scenario galvanizes the opposition. Things get partisan, compromises become difficult and some things just don't get done.

We saw a lot of that in the past two years.

But with control of the House, the Republicans now have skin in the game. With power comes accountability. It's no longer enough to "just vote no."

What we hope to see now is what President Obama kept asking for in his first few months in office: a little cooperation, a little bipartisanship.
Who knows, maybe that will be just the thing to produce a long-term funding plan for the next-generation air traffic control system -- something everybody wants, but nobody has been able to do, yet.

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