Salena Zito

Republicans picked up 680 seats in state legislatures, hold a majority of governor's seats (29) and won 63 U.S. House seats.

And while Democrats still hold the White House, their 53-47 majority in the U.S. Senate will be tested next year when they must defend 23 of those seats.

Over the 234 years of our nation's Jefferson-or-Hamilton debate, we never really compromised on either man's vision. We zigzag, progressing slowly along the way, adopting a small part of their values in each new era.

Republicans were elected in November not because Americans love Republicans; they were elected because their values are in line with this new Jeffersonian era.

Along the Treasury's south portico, Hamilton's statue proudly stands guard. Tourists hustling to see the White House pay little attention to him; snow covers his head and most of his face, giving him an icy pose.

Down at the Tidal Basin, up wide marble steps and inside a circular portico, Jefferson's statue is less open to the elements. Tourists crowd around his larger-than-life figure, lingering over his iconic quote on a panel of the southeast interior wall:

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times."

Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.