A.B. Stoddard's piece reminded me of something that was at the back of the brain and now brought to fore: No matter what happens in November, the Tea Party has already won. I know that the Democrats feel like the election of O'Connel and Angle will guarantee the Democrats remain in control of the Senate, and they may be right. What they don't understand is, it doesn't matter.
Think about what the dominant themes are this election. Nothing about abortion, card check, healthcare, in fact, the Democrats are totally ignoring those issues. Their traditional power bases for issues have failed them, and Democrats are now trying to portray themselves as fiscally responsible. Just a personal observation, but they aren't going to get any traction from that this year after what they had done, nor will they in 2012 if they still retain the Senate.
If the Democrats retain the Senate, they are going to be constrained by the fact that spending bills have to originate in the House. Assuming that the Republicans take the House, Ryan and Cantor are smart and agile enough that they going to be able to portray the Democrats as the obstructionists and those of the stale old ideas.
Not to say that the Republicans are immune if they fail to deliver. While many on the Left pretend that the Tea Party is wholly owned by the Republicans and Fox news, they actually have it backwards. Look at self identified Republicans. They are shrinking at about the same rate as the Tea Party is growing. And the Tea Partiers are energetic and enthused. The fact that the establishment members of the Republican party are throwing hissy fits over the loss of Murkowski, Bennet and whoever it was in Delaware, shows their impotence. They will need to recognize that they have two choices: Embrace and adapt the Tea Party, even if it means that social issues are not going to be pushed forward, or die.
The Democrats may have even less options.