KThug pares what happened on 11/4/14 down to its bare essentials:
...So, lying and fear-mongering and sabotage. Which, let no one forget, are not the Conservative means to any coherent policy ends but have become Conservative ends in and of themselves.
But if Republicans have been so completely wrong about everything, why did voters give them such a big victory?
Part of the answer is that leading Republicans managed to mask their true positions. Perhaps most notably, Senator Mitch McConnell, the incoming majority leader, managed to convey the completely false impression that Kentucky could retain its impressive gains in health coverage even if Obamacare were repealed.
But the biggest secret of the Republican triumph surely lies in the discovery that obstructionism bordering on sabotage is a winning political strategy. From Day 1 of the Obama administration, Mr. McConnell and his colleagues have done everything they could to undermine effective policy, in particular blocking every effort to do the obvious thing — boost infrastructure spending — in a time of low interest rates and high unemployment.
This was, it turned out, bad for America but good for Republicans. Most voters don’t know much about policy details, nor do they understand the legislative process. So all they saw was that the man in the White House wasn’t delivering prosperity — and they punished his party.
Or, as Dr. Krugman's extremely well-paid and critic-proof colleague at the New York Times put it in his imaginative Alternate History of Conservatism:
Fortunately, serious parties eventually pull back from the fever swamps. That’s what’s happening to the Republican Party...