Some very valuable lessons were learned last night and I have no doubt that they are being taken to heart on a number of fronts.
The Tea Party succeeded by, for the most part, finding the pulse of America. They realized that they can give voice to many people who felt they had none, and have a major influence on elections.
The GOP, whether they want to admit it or not, are well aware of the influence of the Tea Party and are realizing that they are a double-edged sword that must be handled carefully. Politicians are, at their roots, politicians, and this morning they are examining what worked and what didn't. What they are finding is that there is a new "interest group", the People, and their voice is the Tea Party - this is a marvelous tool that can be used to bring them back to their core principles, or discarded, and used against them. I would see the former as being the choice of the pragmatic as it is the shortest distance between two points. Trust politicians to choose the easiest course.
The Democrats are wondering why their "50 year majority" evaporated in only 24 months, and they can look no farther than the White House. Those who are left will try to push Obama to the center in an effort to salvage what's left of their careers, yet they will find it a hard sell; Obama's no triangulator, he's a hard left ideologue. Even if he moved to the center, it would be seen as acquiescence to the Republicans, and the Republicans win the philosophical battle and, in the process, Obama loses his base - the far left. If he doesn't, he tends to lose the majority of the American people.
While all of this is being played out, the Republicans will be grooming their bench, which has become quite deep, for the battles that loom ahead. The Democrats, in contrast, are beginning to look a bit frayed and long in the tooth. The talk of Hillary as some sort of savior of the party underscores the desperation that they must be feeling right now.
My oh my, how fortunes can change in only two years. We must, however, be ever mindful that they can change back in an equally short period of time.