You do sense that the left is not only in the process of losing its congressional majorities but also its bearings. The Wall Street Journal‘s editors comment:
Only a week ago, President Obama and his media supporters were asserting that they had Republicans caught in their class-war pincers: They’d lure the GOP into opposing an extension of lower tax rates for the middle class in order to defend lower tax rates for those making more than $200,000 a year. … [But] the Democrats have cut and run, lest they get blamed for voting for a tax increase in a slow-growth economy. This is how legislative majorities behave when they’ve lost the political argument and can sense their days are numbered. They lose their ideological nerve and try to save their own individual careers.
So for fear of losing their base or losing a floor vote, the Democrats in the midst of a recession decide to flee and allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. It makes inviting Stephen Colbert to the Hill look downright responsible.
The Democrats are at an intellectual dead end:
The policies of spend, tax and regulate have undermined the recovery, causing capital to flee to Asia or the sideline and employers to forswear or delay new hiring. The American public has listened and watched and is slowly concluding that the hope they placed in these “progressive” policies was mistaken. This political reality is slowly dawning on Democrats, which is why so many of them are now denying paternity for the policies of the last four years.
What Democrats believe in doesn’t work, and what they could do instead isn’t supported by their left-wing base. So they do nothing, like a deer in the headlights. And like that proverbial deer, the Dems are headed for a smash-up.