The Republican Party is on life support and needs serious help. Sure Democrats have reason to celebrate this week, but the left should be really concerned about what might happen if the GOP continues down their current path of self-annihilation.
This is something I have been talking about for years now and Nicholas Kristof hits on this very point in today's New York Times:
Schadenfreude may excuse Democrats’ smiles for a few days, but these trends portend a potential disaster not just for the Republican Party but for the health of our political system. America needs a plausible center-right opposition party to hold Obama’s feet to the fire, not just a collection of Tea Party cranks.
So liberals as well as conservatives should be rooting for the Republican Party to feel sufficiently shaken that it shifts to the center. One hopeful sign is that political parties usually care more about winning than about purism. Thus the Democratic Party embraced the pragmatic center-left Bill Clinton in 1992 after three consecutive losses in presidential elections.
The "Tea Party cranks" Kristof talks about is the biggest enemy of the right. Take a look at this last session in the House. When we were trying to avoid debt default, good ideas were being generated by Democrats and Republicans collectively. It wasn't until John Boehner got held hostage by the Tea Party members of his own caucus that things went down hill and our credit rating was lowered.
But the Tea Party isn't the only culprits in this mess. Again, here's Kristof: