When Republicans win congressional seats that they should, as they did in November, that isn’t a Red Wave. Saying that doesn’t minimize the danger of right wing, anti-democratic Republican control of the House (and large swathes of the country for that matter.) But it is to say that the balance of forces didn’t shift in a qualitative/decisive way in their favor.

Had the outcome been different, that is, had the GOP taken control of the Senate out of Democratic hands as well secured a bigger majority in the House, it would be fair to speak of a Red Wave and a qualitative turn in the balance of forces toward right wing authoritarian, even fascist rule of the country. But that didn’t happen.

Thus the ground on which the anti-Maga coalition fights for democracy, equality, and social progress and against an anti-democratic authoritarian takeover, while less favorable for sure, isn’t one in which at every turn Democrats are in a hasty and steep retreat. Nor is it out of the question to think that they could win back lost ground in two years when voters once again cast their ballots.