What Really Happened Tuesday Night?
Huffington Post / Lincoln Mitchell

The 2010 elections were characterized by extremist rhetoric, intense partisanship and numerous candidates who have been memorable for their thuggish behavior, ignorance of basic facts of political history and radical positions. The result, of course, has been a big Republican victory. The Republican Party won back control of the House of Representatives and significantly narrowed the Democratic margin in the US Senate.

In the aftermath of this election, there will be efforts to explain Democratic losses as an important political turning point or a rebuke of President Obama. Before the Democratic Party and progressives descend into paroxysms of introspection trying to determine what went wrong, it might be useful to place this election in some context. The strange candidacies of Republicans like Carl Paladino and Christine O'Donnell as well as those of new US Senators like Rand Paul and the radical platforms on which they campaigned, may be more of a distraction than anything else.

It is tempting, for people on both sides of the aisle, to see this election as a paradigm shift or a new development in American politics, but there is also much about this election that is not new at all and that fits neatly into patterns that have characterized our political history for at least a few decades. Every midterm election for more than half a century the president's party has lost seats in cong... >>>

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