Goes to Ross Douthat:
It’s true that under most political circumstances, a party that seems “unreasonable, petty and not fit to govern” is unlikely to achieve sweeping gains in a midterm election. But most elections are not fought amid 9-10 percent unemployment, to say nothing of 9-10 percent unemployment that’s lasted for more than a year, which is where we’ll stand in November if the current projections hold up. Under those circumstances, the Democrats will be facing a 1994-meets-1982 moment: They’ll have a failed health care bill and an alienated Perot-ish middle on their hands, like Bill Clinton, and they’ll be responsible for an unemployment situation that’s as bad as the one Ronald Reagan had to reckon with, and probably longer-lasting. Even an intellectually-moribund minority party should be able to capitalize on that kind of situation, as long as it stays reasonably unified and finds reasonably attractive candidates to run. And so far, the Republicans have done both.
But this doesn’t mean that they’re ready to govern. Nor does it mean that the underlying dynamics, demographic and otherwise, pushing the country leftward have irrevocably shifted.
Of course, Democrats can still avoid the 1982 meets 1994 scenario by passing the health care bill. Then you just have a 1982 scenario, which is bad, but not cataclysmic.
Anyway, Douthat goes on to point out that the GOP should win big in 2010, but won't necessarily be prepared to govern.