Goldwater Or Reagan?

Ezra Klein ruminates on NY-23 and David Axelrod's argument that the "Limbaughs and Becks of the world are basically hanging a 'Moderates need not apply' sign outside the Republican National Committee headquarters" by running Dede out of the race:

It's not so much that Republicans are mistaking the enthusiasm of a rump faction for the preferences of the electorate -- the Republican Party tried to back Scozzafava, after all -- as they're powerless to resist.

All of which suggests that the right historical analogue may not be Ronald Reagan but Barry Goldwater. And though Goldwater's campaign led to Reagan's later rise, it also led to a historic pickup for the Democrats and the creation of Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, PBS, food stamps, welfare ...

I'm not sure we're not getting way ahead of ourselves. It would be silly to extrapolate an entire political era from one congressional off-year election - to the advantage of any party. We just don't know if in a few months' time anyone will even remember today.