Liberals are in ecstasy that Democrats held onto a seat that's been a Democrat seat for a generation. Woo hoo! Democrats held a seat! Not that they won anything they hadn't already held. It's just the principle of the matter, see.
Forget that Democrats pretty much own Pennsylvania, even though John McCain narrowly won it in 2008. This is a place that re-elected John Murtha even after his scuzzy connection to Abscam and his pork barrel politicking. Why wouldn't they vote for another Democrat?
How exactly is it a level playing field when the Democrats have a statewide U.S. Senate primary happening at the same time? There was no comparative factor getting Republicans motivated to interrupt their busy lives to vote. That's not soreloserdom blogging, it's just attention to reality. The Democrats were more motivated in this race. This ain't the end of a trend. It's just another special election, in a Democratic district, and on a big Democratic primary day. And a Democrat won. Disappointing. But not paradigm-smashing shocking. And not devastating.
It's not like they won in a Republican stronghold or something. Democrats dodged a bullet, but they're still stuck trying to justify the crappy economy and their profligate spending. It's almost worth it watching Democrats suddenly discover their conservative roots against the nutroot leadership they have. Almost, but not quite.
Many pundits are arguing that Republicans need to be re-thinking any attempt to nationalize the election. I see nothing wrong with noting Democrats' pathetic Obama bootlicking, but after all, all politics is local. Pick 'em off (ooh, a gun metaphor) where possible. You knew they weren't going to give Republicans any credit anyway, right?