The news media is all over themselves analyzing the results of the 2010 midterm elections. There are so many narratives to follow that they're practically getting dizzy (oh look! Minnesota's having another recount! Oh, well, at least we've got practice.) But the consensus seems to be that this was a resounding victory for the Republicans and a stirring rebuke to Obama's policies.
Which manages to ignore the facts of one of the most unprecedented election results in the history of the United States of America. (Literally. There has never been a time during the 96 years that both houses of Congress were directly elected by the people that one house has switched parties but not both.) The fact that the Republicans took back the House of Representatives, but not the Senate, is a clear signal that the major news media is managing to studiously ignore, possibly because they want to drum up some excitement for the 2012 elections. (I don't believe the media is particularly biased in favor of conservatives or liberals. They're biased in favor of drama. Elections are like crack to them.)
The fact is that in a year when Democratic enthusiasm was at its lowest ebb, when everyone and their mother knew that the Republicans were going to retake Congress simply because a dispirited progressive faction was punishing the Democrats by staying home, the Republicans still managed to blow an absolutely golden opportunity. They fell far short of everyone's projections in the House, and fell short of controlling the Senate at all. Why? Mainly because in a few key races, they nominated candidates who didn't hide behind platitudes about "living within our means" and "taking government back for the people", and instead talked in detail about what they stood for and what their policies were.
Those Republicans lost, big time. Joe Miller, Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle--every one of them said in detail what they'd do if elected, and every one of them heard the resounding voice of the American people saying, "No thank you." Even in reliable red states or red districts, outspoken conservatives like Rand Paul and Michelle Bachmann had to spend millions of dollars to hang on to what should have been safe seats. The fact of the matter is, in order to get re-elected, the Republicans had to pretend not to be Republicans. That's the narrative that you're not hearing about right now. But you might hear a lot about it in a couple of years. Because two years is a long time to ask the Republicans to pretend not to be Republicans.