the election results
I won't gloat over the results but a couple of quick observations:
1. The efforts to call it a mixed result because the Democrats held the Senate are unconvincing. Not only did Republicans win 60+ House seats, but they won all or nearly all Senate seats not within fifty miles of a coastline. Essentially the Democrats are limited to the northeast, a narrow strip of the Pacific coast line, scattered parts of the industrial midwest, and a handful of mostly African-American or Hispanic districts in the south and southwest. As we say in my family, the GOP took everything that wasn't nailed down.
2. While for the moment it favors the GOP, the geographic polarization above is rather frightening for the country at large. The areas remaining under Democratic control are small in area, but disproportionately large in population, and (not entirely coincidentally) just happen to be the places where the mainstream media and opinion-makers are concentrated. The already roiling political/cultural war--elite vs. mass, center vs. periphery--is likely to get even worse.
3. It will be interesting to see how the critics of the Senate (Balkin, Levinson, etc.) respond to the current situation. Sure, the Senate is bizarre, outmoded, and run by a group of aging white plutocrats. But it is also fulfilling its precise historical function: to provide continuity and even out the partisan ebb and flow of the more frequent House elections. If we had a unicameral legislature, we'd be that much closer to civil war.
One final thought concerns the turnout problem. People are often surprised that results are so different in "on" and "off" year elections. But a lot of this results from turnout, which is never much more than half in off-elections, but can get quite a bit higher in Presidential years. This year's wave was strong enough that it probably wouldn't have mattered, at least at a national as opposed to statewide (read Pennsylvania) level. But a relatively small partisan shift, and the return of the missing voters, could make things look a lot different in two years. It certainly made a difference this time.