Hoorah for the Dems, two years, or four years, or six years late, depending on how you count. This will mitigate the disasterous policies that Bush is able to pursue. I expect it will make other congressional Republicans extraordinarily wary of agreeing with him in public.
The next two years will be positioning for 2008. Much of the GOP will wind up repudiating Bush and seeking someone (McCain’s an obvious choice) who can plausibly be distinguished from this administration.
The Dems meanwhile have to find their soul. They’ve been elected as the not-GOP party. Next time people will have to vote for them instead of against the Reps. Pelosi as Speaker is a fascinating idea, the first woman, a liberal from the bubble-land of SF. Like Willie Brown before her, she’ll have some proving to do, and much media (the Economist in particular) has been openly skeptical. My bet is she’s going to follow Brown’s model, be savvy, a dealmaker, with eyes on future elections as well as current policy. But they need to rally around ideas.
It’s fascinating to me to watch how closely this is being watched overseas. This is being covered practically like a local election here in Germany, in the UK. We’ve left such a deep, ugly footprint on the world, that everyone is paying attention even to the details. Der Spiegel’s “Lonely little party” color piece on the GOP’s lack of election-night celebration is particularly funny, even more insidery than most US papers.