The results of the NBC/WSJ poll have lifted the mainstream media’s spirits this morning. Republicans are “losing,” Mara Liasson of National Public Radio exulted, suggesting that poor poll results were the reason that House Speaker John Boehner offered President Barack Obama a short-term debt ceiling hike. With Senate GOP inching towards Obama’s position on funding the government without conditions, a cave nears.
Here is the question Republicans need to ask themselves: is it worth fighting through the polls? It certainly was for President Obama and the Democrats, who forced Obamacare through Congress in 2010 despite the fact that the policy was never popular (and is even less so today). Obama also made it clear he was willing to lose elections, not just polls, saying he was prepared to be a one-term president to pass Obamacare.
Republicans have to be just as determined to undo Obamacare if that is ever going to happen. What is more important than the blame game is the principle at stake–actually, two principles: one, that government cannot and should not be in control of individuals’ lives; and two, that the president does not govern by fiat, but must co-govern constitutionally with the other branches of government, especially the legislature.