Republicans won big in the 2014 elections. They captured the Senate and gained seats in the House. But they didn’t do it by running to the right. They did it, to a surprising extent, by embracing ideas and standards that came from the left. I’m not talking about gay marriage, on which Republicans have caved, or birth control, on which they’ve made over-the-counter access a national talking point. I’m talking about the core of the liberal agenda: economic equality.I'm not sure that how correct this is, but as I wrote earlier today, I certainly didn't have the impression that it was Tea Party ascendancy that had helped the Republicans this election. Which means a particularly interesting time for fights within the GOP as to how far they use their congressional control.
And to be snide for a moment: it's many a year since I can remember a less physically impressive politician than the turtle-like Mitch McConnell.
Update: Someone in The Atlantic agrees with Salatan, so it must be right:
This year has been different: GOP activists have given their candidates more space to craft the centrist personas they need to win. First, in senate races in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alaska, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas and Texas, comparatively moderate Republicans triumphed over Tea Party-backed challengers. Then many of those Republicans downplayed their opposition to gay marriage and highlighted their support for greater access to contraception in an effort to win over the young and women voters who in past elections spurned the GOP as too extreme. “On social issues,” wrote Slate’s Will Saletan, “Republicans are mumbling, cringing, and ducking. They don’t want the election to be about these issues, even in red states.”