Expect the largest reform measures to keep until Republicans have not only the ideas but also the grassroots support for enacting them. If Republicans can just prevent the deficit from increasing in the next two years, that will be a victory of some dimensions. Cutting will have to begin: coupled, however, with initiatives to create jobs, such as reducing corporate taxes and loosening regulations: expedients that Democrats normally despise (and currently are paying for despising).
One just doesn't see the Republicans blowing this chance to roll back much of the bossy, we-know-best stuff they rightly detest in Obamanism; e.g., the federal mandate to buy health insurance. When you've been handed (as will likely prove the case this week) a golden gift you thought two years ago you'd never see, you use it for the purposes intended, while supporting choruses of voters sing along with zest.
Here's maybe the point to notice most of all: not, can Republicans avoid feuds and self-evisceration? The thing to notice is the beauty of democracy, when it functions -- and, oh, is it functioning now -- with smoothness and intensity. In democracy, the people get what they want, even if it takes a while. Two years ago, they wanted "change," without bothering to inquire very pointedly, change of what kind? The kind of change they seem to want now is of a more constructive kind: rooted in thinking about real-life consequences and outcomes, not just promises and high-toned speeches.
The agents of "change" blew it big time this time. They may not have figured the people would be watching and caring. But they were. Were they ever!
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