There is already a standard line of advice to Speaker-to-be John Boehner and his colleagues that goes like this: Democrats overreached in the last Congress by doing too much and ignoring "the center." Republicans should be careful not to make the same mistake, lest they lose their majority, too.
This counsel is wrong, partly because the premise is faulty. Democrats did not overreach in the 111th Congress. On the contrary, they compromised regularly. Compromise made the health-care bill far more complicated than it had to be and the original stimulus bill too small. Democrats would have been better off getting more done more quickly and more coherently.
Please, please, PLEASE Democrats--listen to E.J., who is telling you that you lost in November 2010 because you weren't liberal enough! Keep telling the American people that they are wrong--that MORE government is what they really need.