The bad news is that the Democrats took some solid punches in the midterm elections; the good news is that the injuries aren't life threatening.
There was significant voter turnout, especially for midterm elections, but the numbers weren't as good in some states as in 2006. I've been reading blog posts, mostly from the young folks--the 35 and under crowd--which called for showing the Democrats their displeasure by not voting. A lot of these calls for desertion of the Democrats came from young African-Americans and Latinos who have decided that President Obama has betrayed them. They have all the impatience of youth and and want everything yesterday.
One young blogger refers to Obama as the Changeling, the mythical creature from the fairy tale who replaces the human child and has evil intent on the unsuspecting family. It's an interesting but inaccurate metaphor.
In order to make a statement to Obama about his imagined betrayal and to teach the Democrats not to take them for granted, there were a number of folks who advocated not voting at all. I'll try and remember to ask them in about two years how that "I'll show those Democrats" thing has worked out for them.
In the meantime, the Democrats have a few moments of glory from Tuesday night. It appears that reason prevailed and Chris Coons defeated "I am not a witch" Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. Harry Reid pulled the rabbit out of the hat and managed to wrestle a win away from mad hatter Sharron Angle. Blumenthal out wrestled Linda McMahon in Connecticut. Jerry Brown is back as governor of California and Barbara Boxer managed to hold on to her senate seat. (Click for NY Times' Election Results)
There are a lot of serious bruises. Republicans have gained 60 seats giving them control of the House with a possibility of gaining four more when all the counting is done. In comparison, the Republicans gained 54 House seats in 1994 (Clinton administration). In 1946, the Republicans gained 56 House seats and in 1938 a record 80 House seats.
However, although the Republicans gained Senate seats, the Democrats continue to control the Senate and Harry Reid still holds his position of power in the Senate.
Two states were still too close to call as of 6:30 a.m. --Colorado and the state of Washington. In Alaska, it appears that the write in candidate has the most votes. The only candidate running as a write in candidate was Murkowski, but Alaska has some law that prohibits identifying the write in candidate until the ballots are counted. Of course, Murkowski has been all over the news thanking her supporters. Go figure!
I read a comment on Facebook by a 35-year-old who declared that all was lost and that we (progressives) were done and may as well accept that there is no hope. I'm far from Pollyanna but I think that's pretty extreme. Unless you're planning on dying today, how can anyone be done? It's an election and there will be other elections. The political scene changes like the wind; you never know which way it's going to blow.
The Republicans cannot do most of the things that they touted in their campaigns; even if they get legislation through the House, they still have to get the necessary Senate votes. If they succeed in getting it through the Senate to the president's desk, he can veto it. They can override his veto if they can get enough votes (a 2/3 vote in each chamber) to do so in both the House and the Senate. If they adjourn before the president decides to sign or not to sign, then the president has effectively killed the legislation with a pocket veto. Isn't politics fun?
What does their win mean? Probably a lot of deadlock where nothing much gets done and what is accomplished is done very slowly. In other words, business as usual.
P.S. Don't worry about the Republican threat to repeal the Health Care bill. I doubt that they want to tell the American public that they've decided to allow the insurance companies to end coverage for all those newly insured folks with preexisting conditions and are taking away grandma and grandpa's Medicare donut hole benefits.