First and foremost, I assume the DSCC will be sending huge gift baskets to Sarah Palin today for helping to elect the utterly unelectable Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. Thanks for the pickup, Palin. There's no chance in hell O'Donnell will beat Chris Coons, but Chris Coons would have lost to Mike Castle who, thanks to Sarah Palin, isn't in the picture anymore.
Elsewhere, it's obvious what's beginning to take shape here. I wouldn't be surprised if we're seeing another party shift, with the Republicans going the way of the Whigs. If the tea party people continue to win and yank the party further to the right, the mainstream Republicans will begin to go independent, then coalesce around a new party banner. In fact, I think this will be mandatory. Loudness and doofery seems to be working for the GOP in this climate, but it's absolutely not a long term strategy. The party is infected with a poison now, and it won't likely survive.
Adding... Here's the split in action. Karl Rove, of all people, explaining to a "crushed" Sean Hannity that Christine O'Donnell is a fruitbag:
One more thing... I think there's a valuable lesson here for the progressive movement -- especially those among us who think primarying incumbents is an effective use of resources. There's nothing wrong with finding and running solid primary candidates, of course. But they have to be able to win the general election. Without that qualification, it's all a waste of money, energy and political capital. More importantly, it doesn't move the Overton window in our direction. O'Donnell's victory, for example, will move Delaware to the left when Chris Coons ends up winning in November.