Jonah Goldberg wrote a book about cliches used by the Left, and the Left is full of cliched responses which substitute poorly for thought. One cliche that's been used by both sides is that elections have consequences. I supposed it's true, but it shouldn't be.
The political class thinks in these terms because they know that to the victor go the spoils. This is why we are 17 trillion dollars in debt with 80 or so trillion of unfunded spoils staring us down in the future. Those who gain control of our powerful State, Republicans or Democrats, see it as a cash machine to build power bases and expand their future influence. Many representatives see the State machine as a path to power, riches and influence, in the present and in the future when they leave government. Companies in the private sector need valuable insiders who can help them navigate the byzantine ways of our interventionist government, and the companies will pay big money if the ex-representatives or functionaries can help them either get an advantage over their competition or simply get in the game.
The political elite are gatekeepers and their aim is to control the game and profit from the game. They are doing a good job of controlling and profitting so far, even if their interventions and manipulations are destroying our economy. There's no wonder that billions are now spent by both sides, far more than has ever been spent, to win elections. The spoils are great, and there's still some left -- not as much, but still enough left to battle over.