In an earlier post I said I believed President Obama is overplaying his hand on the fiscal cliff crisis. Barnes fleshes out that point here nicely. He's behaving as though the election results were a landslie(granted, it was a dominating electoral win). But the narrow popular vote victory shows the country is still very split on which direction it should go. Barnes is right; Obama may be acting as though he's in the same position of strength as 2009, but he isn't.
Republicans were indeed rewarded in 2010 for standing firm in 2009. And the same thing could happen in 2014, if the Tea Party is more discerning in the candidates it puts up, particularly for U.S. Senate. And the Ace in the hole for Republicans, I believe, is that President Obama really isn't interested in protecting Democrats in 2014. Conventional wisdom is he doesn't want to tank the economy because of what it would do to his party in the mid-terms.
I sincerely believe he couldn't care less. Barack Obama worries about Barack Obama. Besides, his oversized ego allows him to believe he can handle Republicans regardless of who holds congress. Indeed, don't go wobbly.