I'll have a longer piece about why the Democrats took such a beating last week up soon, but for now I wanted to make one point.
History will look back at the 111th Congress, and one thing will stand out. It's not the extreme partisanship, the unprecedented abuse of the filibuster and procedural gimmickry, the effectiveness of the Republican strategy of obstructing anything and everything, or even the electoral beating that followed. One thing will stand out: that as a result of the efforts of the 111th Congress, 32 million Americans who were uninsured will be covered, thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. After decades of trying, America finally has something close to universal health coverage. The purpose of a majority is to legislate, and by that definition, the 111th Congress did just fine.
In other words, read Will Saletan's piece for Slate.