Obviously, from my perspective, this election was disappointing, but ... it could have been worse. Democrats have retained control of Senate. The worst loss there in my opinion was the defeat of Russ Feingold, who perhaps did enough to alienate some liberals as well as many conservatives. He was probably the most principled Senator, voting his conscience even when there was enormous pressure on him to tow a party or national line. Some say that Chris Coons from Delaware will be the new Feingold--very bright and very principled, and generally progressive. We'll see. The worse victory there was by Rand Paul, who believes that women who get pregnant from rape should be forced to bear the child and that businesses should be allowed to discriminate based on race. To my way of thinking, his victory is a victory for American fascism. The interesting thing for the Republicans is that they now have a libertarian block that has a lot of supporters. My guess is that we're going to see Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Joe Lieberman, and a few others becoming major power brokers. In the House, where Democrats suffered there worse loss since Truman, the good news is that about half the Democratic losses were by Blue Dogs. Those were hardly reliable Democratic votes in the first place. The question about the House is how many moderates (and even liberal) Republicans got elected. One presumes that in more liberal areas, Republicans put up RINOs. It seems unlikely that there will be enough RINOs and Democrats to form a majority. If that's the case, it will form a major problem for Boehner, since he'll have a hard time getting anything done if he can't find room for compromise. (The Senate won't be a problem, since the Senate has never in modern times been anything but a place for compromise.) My guess is that we'll see two types of Republicans: the ideological pure who are willing to let things get worse in the hope of increasing their numbers so they can legislate the kinds of changes they want and and those who favor business as usual and look for common ground with Obama. At any rate, it's pretty clear that if Obama chooses, he should be able to triangulate with this Congress as Bill Clinton did, and form coalitions that exclude the far right and make progress on less controversial issues. On the other hand, as Boehner himself said, the 2012 campaign starts in only a year, so the parties don't have that much time to get things done before political posturing takes over. I suppose we'll see some deficit reduction, but the lesson of 1937, when Roosevelt cut government spending in response to large Republican gains in Congress, and the economy declined, tells us that budget cuts may not be all that wise at this time. Mostly, I think we'll see a do-nothing Congress, with both sides preparing for 2012.