The Repub­li­can ‘resur­gence’

Ru­mors of the death of the Grand Old Party were ex­ag­ger­ated

The Washington Times Daily - - Editorial -

Be­ware po­lit­i­cal prophets claim­ing to know the out­come of the next elec­tion. Such prophets are frauds. The whims of vot­ers, be­ing hu­man, are no­to­ri­ously fickle. Quin­nip­iac Univer­sity polling, as re­li­able as any, now re­veals that the cur­rent winds fa­vor Repub­li­cans, prov­ing only that vot­ers have for­got­ten the govern­ment shut­down and have moved on, even if most of the pun­dits haven’t.

That’s enough to dash the Demo­cratic strat­egy of blam­ing Repub­li­cans for fail­ing to fund the govern­ment, though it’s the Demo­cratic-ma­jor­ity Se­nate that still won’t pass ap­pro­pri­a­tion bills. Only yes­ter­day the Democrats glee­fully pointed to their lead in generic con­gres­sional bal­lot polls, clob­ber­ing Repub­li­cans and sug­gest­ing de­ci­sive Demo­cratic vic­to­ries in 2014. The in­tim­i­da­tion worked. Ter­ri­fied Repub­li­cans gave up ev­ery­thing and got noth­ing in re­turn.

Repub­li­can panic and all that party tur­moil was wasted. The pub­lic ei­ther doesn’t care or has for­got­ten the man­u­fac­tured shut­down drama. The generic bal­lot is tied now at 39 all. Last month, a 9-point gap fa­vored Democrats.

In a hy­po­thet­i­cal pres­i­den­tial matchup, Hil­lary Clin­ton trounces Sen. Rand Paul of Ken­tucky, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wis­con­sin. Only Gov. Chris Christie of New Jer­sey de­feats the for­mer first lady, and only by a sin­gle point.

Mr. Christie’s limited-govern­ment bona fides have been in ques­tion since he hugged Pres­i­dent Obama too close for Repub­li­can taste amid the wreck­age of Hur­ri­cane Sandy. That was just be­fore the 2012 elec­tions, and in re­turn he won gen­er­ous fed­eral dis­as­ter as­sis­tance for his state. Still, there’s no doubt­ing the ap­peal of a gover­nor who can de­liver a deep-blue state like New Jer­sey.

“It’s a long way off, and no one is of­fi­cially a can­di­date yet, but the Hil­lary Clin­ton-Chris Christie race to the White House is neck-and-neck be­fore the cam­paign even sad­dles up,” says Quin­nip­iac poll­ster Tim Mal­loy.

Do­ing the right thing has al­ways been more im­por­tant than poll watch­ing. Repub­li­cans took the blame for shut­ting down the govern­ment, demon­strat­ing their op­po­si­tion to Oba­macare and higher spend­ing. Now the Repub­li­cans are do­ing OK, and Oba­macare is not.

Mr. Christie’s dal­liance with Mr. Obama not­with­stand­ing, he could teach Se­nate Repub­li­cans a thing or two about stand­ing one’s ground. The brash gover­nor is known for in-your-face chal­lenges to pub­lic-sec­tor unions and stare-down con­tests with Tren­ton Democrats, co­erc­ing a bit of fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity.

But the winds will blow again for the Democrats. Noth­ing re­cedes like suc­cess. What goes around comes around. Pick your apho­rism. The only re­li­able strat­egy is to al­ways act on prin­ci­ple. Noth­ing con­fuses the op­po­si­tion more, and noth­ing pleases vot­ers more.

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