The Wounded Beast
Barack Obama will remain beloved by the rank-and-file, but party leaders and would-be party leaders understand that he has done more damage to a party's brand, structure, and standing than any American politician since Herbert Hoover. The GOP took decades to recover from Hoover's debacle.
Conservatives not only had electoral tailwinds going into 2010, they also enjoyed the organic rise of the Tea Party to bolster spirits and provide the electoral shock troops necessary for winning back the House after just one election cycle. The Democrats have tried for seven years now to create a similar movement, and failed. Remember the "Coffee Party"? No? You're not alone.
The closest thing Democrats managed to a grassroots success came in the form of an aging socialist named Bernie Sanders -- who likely would have faired even worse in the general election than Clinton did. Even Sanders has dropped his short-lived party membership, although he will still caucus with the shrinking party which not only spurned him, but that lied and cheated to do so.
All of that, just to nominate the worst campaigner since Dukakis, and the dirtiest politician since Nixon. A political party doesn't just say "Oh well!" and get on with life, not with so much money and power in the balance, and so many giant egos fighting over a smaller share of the spoils.
The Democrats control the bulk of the media and our educational institutions, but those proved no good to them last night. I expect the coming frenzy will engulf them too, if to a lesser degree.
For now then the Democratic Party is a wounded beast, and it will lash out ferociously. The interior fights will be ugly; the desperate attacks on the GOP will be uglier.
Try not to get too near.