The second term seems to amount to two years of a choreographed effort by politicians and media to firmly divide the people for the midterm election, usually with some sort of major issue. Sadly, in this administration it was the death of four Americans in Libya. This one was particularly horrible as usually, the scandals don't involve the loss of life. So the first two years of the second term amount to two years of "frustration" waiting for the midterm election to change majority with a scandal, that the media can really sink their teeth into. Think Watergate, Iran Contra, or Monica . . . Bush 43 has his own paragraph.
Then the midterm election through the president's second term guarantees lameduck and gridlock, with everyone talking about working together . . . "talking" being the operative. When the president is in his second term, the rumbles of the next presidential campaign begin the the day after the midterm. Presidential campaigns now last nearly 2 years. Since it's gridlock, half of the Senate can be on the campaign trail . . . If I remember correctly, 10 Senators were running in the primaries in '07 - '08.
As for the second term of Bush 43. He had so much going on most of the time, that he didn't really need a specific scandal, and it wasn't until after the midterm election of his second term that most of America realized the economic calamity that was already occurring. With the war in Iraq still so new, re-election in 2004, especially against Kerry or Edwards seemed pretty simple. The democrats simply had no worthy opponent against Bush in '04. Six years of controversy still brought about the usual midterm party majority switch, lameduck, and gridlock. Then for real hope and change to be ushered in, we had economic collapse with loss in housing values and the auto industry . . .
The last two presidential campaigns have seemed quite orchestrated. The republicans chose, both times, to run a candidate that their own party had rejected in an earlier primary. John McCain lost to G.W. in 2000 and Romney lost to John McCain in 2008. The intention to give Obama no competition was obvious. While Obama is changing the landscape of America from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the business background is undoubtedly changing with the other party in the private sector. The elected officials are just doing what the highest bidder tells them to do.
When it's said and done, the pattern has been pretty much the same in over 50 years of American politics, and very consistent in the last 20 some. I'm not suggesting that everyone should stop voting, I'm just saying I see no real change of direction, regardless of the vote. Rearrange the deck chairs on the sinking ship while hoping a new captain will magically change the fact the ship is taking on water and sinking, doesn't seem to be working. Unlike sea captains, America's politically elite don't go down with the ship.
. . . and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee. Torah of Holy Scripture