This is what happens when we have a president who is not a mere partisan tool: the Senate does its job in good faith! And so we have what the Constitution hoped for: the emergence of lawmakers able and willing to hone and finesse legislation after a healthy debate. The sane center is at work here; and David Brooks shrewdly celebrates it here. My point would simply be: Obama's understanding of his constitutional role - not as party leader or omniscient messiah, but president - will allow a space for Congress to do its job. This is a messy process. But that's what American democracy is at its best: a horrible, dissonant, slow but ultimately effective mess.
This is not the Age of Krugman, Cantor and Rove. It is the Age of Collins, Nelson and Obama.