All of us Democrats are bracing for an election day massacre. One can grasp at straws -- I was speaking to a friend whose working for a Congressman I had personally left for dead, and she was shockingly confident (especially given that a few months ago she was essentially passing out resumes). She told me that GOTV will be their salvation. It's a thin reed, but not a non-existent one, given the well-documented split between registered and likely voter screens. A campaign that successfully gets out some "unlikely voters" may shock some folks. But I wouldn't get one's hopes up.
The other weird thing is everyone's (I include myself) focus on absolute gains versus the relative balance of power. The consensus outcome for this election seems to be a narrow Democratic majority in the Senate, and a narrow Republican majority in the House. Since this will replace a status quo of massive Democratic majorities in both, that will require an impressive absolute number of GOP wins. But at the end of the day, what does it signify? A nation that is roughly evenly divided. Give the GOP some credit for overcoming incumbent inertia, subtract some for having economic winds at its back (and how much inertia does one need to overcome to knock off a Democratic Congressman in Idaho anyway?). A roughly 50/50 Senate and a roughly 50/50 House signify a roughly 50/50 nation. It only looks like a GOP wave because we started from such a slanted baseline.
Nonetheless, it is difficult to not look out at the coming change and mourn for lost opportunities. Yes, there were some great accomplishments in the past couple years -- the stimulus package, Ledbetter, the health care act (a fight which, more than any other, demonstrated Democratic allergy to actually winning things). But one feels like given the historic majorities we were blessed with, we could have done more. Oh well. The tide goes in, and washes out again.
In any event, with a Republican-controlled House, we can look forward to the Select Committee on Birth Certificates and, of course, impeachment proceedings. And I for one can't wait for Senator Sharron Angle to formally grace our political establishment.