We're a 50-50, two-party nation. 51-49 in this election here, 49-51 over there.
I think this is a good thing, a vindication of the two-party system, and a rebuttal that there isn't a dime's difference between the parties.
Each party must build an internal consensus and then put it on the table. Pat Buchanan isn't a Republican anymore, and neither is Joe Lieberman a Democrat. (Each is too far to the right. On the other hand, nebulous lefty Ned Lamont has just been deposited on the ashheap of history.)
This narrow loss isn't death for the GOP; indeed, this very interesting article from the Smithsonian magazine recounts the GOP midterm sweep in 1946, an augenblick after the Roosevelt/Truman administration's triumph over the Axis. ("An unpopular president. A war-weary people. In the midterm elections of 60 years ago, voters took aim at incumbents...")
Just a few years later, the 1946 Republican victory was rolled back and became a mere aberration of memory as the Democrats dominated congress for the next two or three decades.
And so, to my fellow Republicans, my sympathies, even though we all knew we had this reverse justly coming. To our Democrat friends, cheers, congratualations, and enjoy it while it lasts---and please do try not to make the rest of us entirely miserable while you do so.
After all, it's only 731 days until the next major election...
Late Add: The House of Representives has gone Democrat quite comfortably. But the House is the toy store of US politics. The Senate appears poised 49-49 between the two parties, with Bernie Sanders (Communist-VT) a reliable vote with the Democrats, for lack of any other ally.
Since as president of the senate Vice-President Cheney breaks all 50-50 ties, Joe Lieberman (Independent-CT), too much to the right for the Democrats but left of the GOP, becomes the swing vote, if you do the math.
That's as close to 50-50 as is politically possible.
And failing Lieberman voting with the GOP on at least the key issues of national defense (which I doubt), we can only hope that President Bush can find out where they keep the veto pen, if it hasn't rusted from disuse.