Senator DeMint had once claimed that failure of ObamaCare would be Obama's Waterloo. He has since been pilloried for making that statement and has gradually withdrawn into the shadows. But I think that an honest assessment would show him to be wrong anyway. Failure of ObamaCare or even its passage under a "recision" method is more akin to Napoleon entering Moscow, only to find it abandoned, and no one there to surrender to him. Another example would be Lee at Gettysburg, in that what started out as Lee's final blow to destroy the Union Army degenerated into a slugfest that Lee was finally forced to withdraw from,and was the last major incursion into the North for the rest of the war. Both of these cases were the high mark of what finally ended up being a doomed enterprise.
The Democrats need to conduct an honest assessment of why they are not successful if they wish to remain the power in control, although I do not believe that they are capable of doing so. The major reason is that they have fooled themselves, and this lack of honesty prevents them from making an accurate assessment of who they are. One of their faults, is that they believed their own propaganda that after the 2008 elections, conservatism had been finally vanquished. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that while Republicans may have been discredited, liberalism is still outnumbered by almost 2-1. If the Democrats were smart, they would recognize that they are operating from a tenuous position and only act carefully so as not to antagonize their constituents. They would not be trying to minimize or ignore the real outrage that is being shown at the Town Hall meetings across the country.
Instead, they see a solid majority in the House and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. This means that the public is well aware of the unlimited power they are capable of, and Americans are not sure that they like it.
The real lessons to be learned from the 2006 and 08 elections is that the public rejected the arrogance of Republicans. The lesson the Democrats will learn at this rate in 2010 is that their version of arrogance is no different.