Yes, this last Congress got a lot of stuff done. But at what cost? If your signature accomplishments are all repealed and overturned in the decade after you passed them, did you actually accomplish anything?
This will be the question as the Democratic Party starts waking up to the fact that they have now legislated themselves into Permanent Poltical Minority status. Every stumbling policy acheivement that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid orchestrated will be dismantled before they even retire from their seats.
Because, looking at the combination numbers of the Census and the November 2 elections, the Democrats are basically finished as a national party for the next decade.
While "what you do while you're in power" is very, very important from a policy perspective, you have to depend on the politics of the situation to protect your accomplishments and further your goals. Pelosi and Reid may have owned the policy, but they let their opponents own the politics.
Years ago, Karl Rove discussed ways he could acheive a permanent Republican majority in Washington. While he looked to have been soundly defeated in 2006 and 2008, he's got to be smiling when he looks over the reapportionment plans.