I have three consolations to offer Democrats for their very real loss. The first is that even with Mark Udall losing his own personal war on women, you’re still winning the culture war. That’s true even with state-level restrictions on abortion, and even if the movement for social justice feels like a bunch of hashtags on Twitter. Fifty years on, the sexual revolution is still unfolding with massive political consequences for conservatives.
Secondly, even though Obama was repudiated, the new more Republican Congress’ will continue to be incredibly, even dangerously, unpopular for a supposedly “people’s House.” If galloping inequality and the establishment of a caste-like class system in America is really happening regardless of who is in office, electoral victories will merely be preludes to the next electoral losses.
And lastly, just like the GOP in 2012, a big part of your problem was candidate selection. GOP victories in the statehouses do have a way of thinning the bench. But Democrats should be able to do better than Martha Coakley in 2016. That’s solvable.
But in the meantime, my advice is not to fool yourselves. I came of age in an era of conservative defeat and decline. This was a big, big loss. And losses like that promised exciting, bloody, intra-party fights. A loss like that could even shake up the certainties for 2016.