My advice to incumbents is: choose to embrace asymmetrical politics; choose the courageous politics of bridge building over the vapid politics of personal destruction. In the months ahead, I'm hoping for the former and bracing myself for the latter.
Over and over again, the Senate plays a game of "rotating villains", then manipulates the rules so that their big business contributors always win. People aren't stupid. They understand what's happening.
First and foremost, the results from Tuesday night were very bad news for the Republican leadership. Lesson #2: Dance with the ones that brung ya. Voters don't like people who they think have abandoned their core beliefs.
An emerging coalition of new and traditional progressive power is placing the "old guard" in the Democratic establishment on notice that the status quo is no longer acceptable, and they had best adapt or face the consequences.
No matter who you vote for, they have to be pushed for every inch of progress, every last line of policy. We can force an end to this bloody and expensive war in Afghanistan. But it takes a lot more than voting to achieve it.
If Blanche Lincoln and Arlen Specter survive the Democratic primary, it will only get worse. There is no guarantee Specter or Lincoln would beat their Republican challengers in November - in fact, odds are against it.
Tea Partiers will vote overwhelmingly Republican in November -- unless they stay home in protest. To gain their support, the GOP will have to nominate candidates who are less electable and more radical.