Now: Governing

Douthat reminds the GOP that they still need to pass laws now:

[A]ll the ground the Republicans regained ... doesn’t change the fact that what liberals achieved in Barack Obama’s first two years in office was more consequential than any conservative victories in recent memory.

The question is what happens next. If the backlash persists into 2012, if the Republicans get serious about policy, if this cycle’s conservative gains are a prelude to conservative legislative successes down the road, then the Democrats’ decision to gamble their majority on health care reform may come to look reckless and self-destructive, and the victories of the 111th Congress will seem pyrrhic rather than enduring.

But that’s a lot of “if”s. For now, for tonight, Republicans need to keep a lid on their euphoria and recognize that while they’ve come out on top in this election, in the most important sense they haven’t won anything just yet.