I gave my general inspirational, rally the troops post immediately below this one. But, while recognizing that yesterday was indeed an excellent night for the Republicans (and it was), let's focus on some of the good news.
* Democrats have likely flipped five governor's mansions: California, Hawaii, Vermont, Connecticut, and Minnesota. Putting Lincoln Chaffee in Rhode Island doesn't bother me none either. And we defended on some tough turf as well -- nobody expected Pat Quinn to be going anywhere but home yesterday, but he pulled through. Maryland wasn't close at the end, but for awhile Robert Ehrlich looked like he was going to make a run of it. And, for those of you who care about "close, but no cigar", look at Florida -- where Alex Sink lost by a mere point, and South Carolina(!), where Vincent Shaheen fell only four points short.
* While the vast majority of House seats that changed hands went blue-to-red, there were three that bucked the trend. Say hello to our newly Democratic districts: the DE-AL, LA-02, and HI-01.
* Democrats genuinely did beat expectations in the Senate. Michael Bennet and Harry Reid weren't supposed to be coming back. But they did, and Reid, especially, basically wrote a textbook on how run a badass campaign when all the fundamentals (including the "does anyone in your state actually like you" fundamental) are against you.
* The craziest of Republican crazies aren't headed to Washington (or at least, not the Senate). Christine O'Donnell was soundly thrashed by Chris Coons. Harry Reid turned back Sharron Angle. Joe Miller looks like he'll fall to Lisa Murkowski in Alaska (and, though she'll caucus with the GOP, I imagine she may fill a positively Lieberman-esque role for the next six years). Ken Buck couldn't overtake Michael Bennet. John Raese went down in West Virginia. And it's no exaggeration to say that in three of those states -- Delaware, Nevada, and Colorado -- the candidate cost them the race. That's three Senate seats in Democratic hands, because Republicans overreached in their primaries.
* Even in the House, there are some bright spots (particularly looking ahead to 2012). More than a few Democratic candidates who were written-off earlier in the evening came back to win their races (Sanford Bishop and Gerry Connelly), and others who hung tough to win re-election in agonizingly close races (Joe Donnelly and Jerry McNerney, for example). Excepting New Hampshire, Democrats continue to hold every single House seat in New England.
* Yesterday's defeat is tomorrow's victory. Plenty of folks who went down in defeat today are folks who I think could do wonders in a rematch -- Tom Perriello in the VA-05, who finished much closer to Robert Hurt than I think many expected, is someone I particularly hope to see again. And there are quite a few districts the GOP won which they better start running for reelection on day one: the MN-08 (I'm still shocked that Oberstar lost, but the iron range has deep Democratic roots), the NC-02, the NH-02, the NV-03, and several scattered around New York, to name a few. And the Democratic ground game in 2012 will be a nightmare for new GOP incumbents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.
* Finally, while the House will undoubtedly be its own special brand of nightmare for the next two years (Michelle Bachmann for #4!), I remember the Clinton years, and thus I remember what happens to Republicans when they let their inmates run the asylum based on rabid hatred of the President. The fact of the matter is that their behavior doesn't resonate with the nation's voters. It'll be Sarah Palin writ large. And since the House alone can't accomplish anything, I expect their off-putting rage to increase in direct proportion to their continued impotence.
So, mourn if you have to, but snap out of it quick. Things could have been much worse. Shake it off, get off the dirt, and get back in the game. There's still work to be done.