The abject worthlessness of the Democratic party was on full display with how they collectively handled the FISA issue -- which is to say they didn't handle it collectively at all.
Say what you will about the Republicans -- and there's a to say -- when it comes time to vote on an issue they usually get their ducks in line. Here and there the Democrats may shave off a couple of GOP members on a particular issue, although rarely enough to make up for the number of Democrats who get chipped off their bloc.
The Democrats area different story. More than once, some really bad legislation wanted by the administration has been passed by enlisting a substantial number of Democrats to vote with the nearly unanimous GOP. So we have the amazing sight of the so-called majority party caving in to the minority party line, despite the unpopularity of the minority party and its president. While they were the majority party, the Republicans were able to act as though they owned a supermajority despite the fact their edge was actually rather narrow, due to this Democratic habit.
The problem for the Democrats is that the public perceives them as being weak, fractious and ineffective. This is a problem because the public perception happens to be accurate. This perception, more than anything else, will pose a problem for the Democrats down the line unless they manage to change. Their time on top may not be as long-lived as it was before because the Republicans, should they manage to regain their conservative soul (see Andrew Sullivan for more on that) will be poised for a quick comeback.
Obama's flip-flop on this issue is a disappointment, although it doesn't change the basic calculus that the only way to mitigate the damage done is to have a change of party.