Not Back to the Partisan Script
The question could be posed, it would seem, whether Ross Douthat is more broadly representative in his apparent desire to return to the two-party script (emphasis added):
But in the past month of lame-duck activity, we’ve witnessed a return to political normalcy. The Republican midterm sweep delivered the coup de grace to the liberal fantasy by dramatically foreshortening what many pundits expected to be an enduring Democratic majority. But it also dropped a lid, at least temporarily, on the conservative freakout. (It’s hard to fret that much about the supposed Kenyan-Marxist radical in the White House when anything he accomplishes has to be co-signed by John Boehner.)
Boehner should beware of listening to the pundits. He is not sufficient to “co-sign” objectionable legislation from the Democrats because his elevation as a balance to them is provisional. The Tea Party wave has no illusions that establishment Republicans are sincerely in step with them, and those who’ve pushed it forward can be quite recalcitrant when the subject comes up of trusting in the necessity of the GOP’s brand of compromise.
Douthat gives the impression that, above all, partisan incumbents are now on safer territory. They are not.