You see it all over Capitol Hill, in the hallways, the hearing rooms, the gathering spots. Republicans, coming off a devastating, across-the-board electoral defeat, are ... happy. Being in opposition, after eight years of a Republican presidency and 12 years of GOP rule in Congress, suits many of them just fine.
It's not that they were glad to lose. There are a lot of indignities involved in being the minority, and a pretty small minority at that. But talk to Republican lawmakers and insiders these days, and they speak as if an enormous weight has been lifted from their shoulders. Some of that weight was named George W. Bush, but in a larger sense, Republicans are relieved to be free of the burden of running things.