Three years later, Americans took it in stride as bipartisan fervor broke out again in Congress and a resounding 80% of representatives voted through a bill that continued the country's march towards a balanced budget and strong economy.
Nancy Pelosi commented on the situation after giving Ted Cruz a big hug as they passed in the Rotunda.
"It had been so hard putting on a partisan face all those years and not being able to discuss more than two opinions in a 535-person body. It's such a relief to be able to find the places where I agree with Ted here and not worry about my legs being taken out during the primaries."
Cruz laughed, fist-bumped Pelosi, and added, "turns out we have a lot in common and it's just so great not having to pretend I oppose literally every single thing that Nancy says. And she says a lot! Talking's a big part of our job!"
Mysteriously, in late 2015, bipartisanship started to increase. Intense debates over the future of the US medical system were followed up by ice cream socials--now tradition--in 2017 after a new batch of Congresspeople were elected with a new message: "hey, maybe the other party isn't actually dominated by people with severe brain damage, and we can learn something from them."
After putting aside bitter stalemates on abortion, guns, and gay marriage, Congress was free to forge tough joint efforts on government spending, job creation, and education reform.
It's not clear when the change began, but in 2016 there were hints of a changing electorate. "I started getting phone calls," mentions Paul Ryan, "where my constituents told me, 'Hey Paul, I'll still vote for you if you don't tell me that Democrats are trying to murder babies every two weeks. Actually, it's kindof annoying.' It was a real wake-up call. I didn't even realize how often we were doing it. Turns out really nobody except like 12 really angry people said abortion was their top priority."
Harry Reid clapped Ryan on the back and said, "yeah, we got similar feedback. We realized that Republicans weren't actually meeting in a dark room to update their strategy to prosecute a war on women, and our constituents realized it, too, and that made a big difference in our ability to work on the stuff that Americans hold to be a top priority."
After years of success, Congress' approval rating has passed 92%, making them now more popular than kittens, Taylor Swift, and the cure for cancer that was discovered last year. "At this rate, they should be more popular than oxygen in about 9 months," comments pollster Nate Silver.
Meanwhile, sales of Wedged: How You Became a Tool of the Partisan Political Establishment and How to Start Thinking for Yourself Again have dropped to zero as Americans have come to realize that partisan gridlock and extremism just aren't a problem anymore.