The results of yesterday's elections were actually cast two years ago when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated that the Republicans' priority for the next two years was to ensure that Barack Obama was a one-term president. Instead of "now we have a majority in the House of Representatives, our bargaining hand is better and we can negotiate from strength," he said, "my way, or else, the country be damned." And he and his counterparts in the House set about to obstruct pretty much everything on President Obama's agenda.
In the end, that's what the people voted on yesterday all across this great land of ours. They voted against extremism, against the Tea Party, against hubris, against obstructionism. The Republicans believed that this would be a vote against Barack Obama; that they had been successful in weakening the administration to the point that all they had to do was say "look, America, the President and his party have done nothing to move us forward. It's all their fault; let us back in power and we'll save the day!" HA!
Nearly every battleground state fell to the Democrats, and not necessarily by small margins: Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire (which I think surprised a lot of people), Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada. One after one, the states said "no" to the extremist agenda of the new Republicans. They said no to Todd Aiken in Missouri; they said no to Richard Mourdock in Indiana. They said "no" to Allen West in Florida.
The voters in many states had buyers' remorse over the 2010 mid-terms, and when the Republicans nominated even more extremists this go-round, the people finally said "no." Had the Republicans only not substituted the right wing Richard Mourdock for moderate Richard Lugar, they might well have held on to that Indiana senate seat.
But even Republican "moderates" paid last night for their too frequent willingness over the past two years to forsake principle for party. To forsake the American people for the sake of toppling a president for no other reason than he's not "one of them." In Massachusetts, that happend to Scott Brown in his senate bid, and in my own Illinois congressional district where moderate Republican Bob Dold lost to Brad Schneider in the hotly contested 10th Congressional District, sending a Democrat to the House for the first time in 32 years.