For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.Another way of stating it: in politics, success breeds failure while failure sows the seeds of politiical success.
I remember in 2009, Democrats were crowing about the great success they had with Barack Obama's presidential victory 2008 and how 2010 would be a banner year. Indeed, they argued that the Republican Party was hopelessly divided, the GOP's message outdated with an appeal to only a small minority of voters. Democratic activists were trumpeting predictions which showed the Democrats with large gains in the 2010 midterm elections.
That never happened. The political pendulum shifted back in the Republican favor. Not a little mind you, but in a huge way. During the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans gained 63 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, recapturing the majority. That was the largest seat change since 1048 and the largest mid-term change since the 1938 midterm elections. The Republicans in 2010 also gained six seats in the U.S. Senate and 680 seats in state legislative races, which broke the previous majority record of 628 set by Democrats in the post-Watergate election of 1974. After the 2010 election, Republicans controlled 25 state legislatures, while Democrats only controlled 15. That proved to be a killer going into redistricting.
Whether it was deserved or not, Republicans took it on the chin when it came to the shutdown of the federal government. But Democrats would be wrong to think that will be the issue in 2014 when the voters go to the polls. Instead the shutdown will be a distant memory. The pendulum has already started swinging back with the focus on problems with Obamacare, including many people discovering that they can't keep their health insurance they have with their employer and that their insurance premiums will rise. People are getting angry and suddenly it is the Democrats on the defensive. It's a mid-term election in the Presidents' second term. History says it will not be a good election for Democrats.
Of course, in 2014 Republicans will probably end up overplaying their hand, not offering an alternative progam to counter Obamacare's failures, and end up losing the 2016 elections. But 2014? No, that will be a very good year for Republicans. Mark my words.