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Completely drowned out by all the hoopla over news of Arlen Specter’s return to the Democrat Party he abandoned so many years ago, was this little item from top pollster Scott Rasmussen:

For just the second time in more than five years of daily or weekly tracking, Republicans now lead Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 41% would vote for their district’s Republican candidate while 38% would choose the Democrat. Thirty-one percent (31%) of conservative Democrats said they would vote for their district’s Republican candidate.

Overall, the GOP gained two points this week, while the Democrats lost a point in support.

Lest Republicans have any notions to uncork the champagne, Rasmussen cautions that the GOP’s gains are not from anything Congressional Republicans have done, but rather are an indication of sinking support for Democrats. Still, the Dems are now at their nadir of support in the past year, while Republicans have reached their zenith. This is significant, because it hints at an opportunity for the GOP.

If Republicans continue to act like Democrats, the window of opportunity will quickly slam shut, likely breaking some fingers in the process. But if Republicans can start behaving as Republicans again, they could profit. What is needed, of course, is a coherent and easy to understand message from the GOP, with actions to back up the words. No, Dr. Von Braun, it’s not rocket science. Republicans of all stripes need to simply get on the same chapter and verse, one which can be boiled down to two words: fiscal responsibility.

Just for now, if conservatives and moderate factions within the once-grand Old Party can set aside their differences over social issues and focus on pocketbook matters, the American public will give them a fair hearing. They will be listening for a clear message and watching for actions to back up the rhetoric. There can be no more defections on spending, no more pork, no more bailouts. The GOP needs to blast out a line in the rock and hold that line on spending matters. Republicans on The Hill need to shine a bright light on the Democrats and what they have been doing with the taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

Ever since John McCain wrapped up the GOP primary race, there’s been a cloud lingering over the heads of Republicans, sort of like the one which hovered over Joe Btsfplk, a hapless character in the legendary comic strip Lil’ Abner. Only this cloud could have a silver lining. Scott at FA says that by abandoning his Republican friends and allies, Arlen Specter may have unwittingly caused that silver lining to form around the cloud that has been dogging Republicans. Specter’s defection, he argues, gives the Democrats absolute power. They control the white house and both houses of Congress, and they now have a filibuster-proof majority:

Therein lies the silver lining.

It’s been 100 days for President Obama
It’s been well over 2 YEARS for the Democratic Congress

While tomorrow is day 100, Thursday is day1 in a completely new respect:

Nothing washes, nothing is credible, no scapegoating can work.

Though Democrats will fail and will blame the previous administration for it, the American people won’t buy it. They elected these guys in 2006 and 2008, and now they expect to see something for it. They have been very patient with President Obama and have been quick to forgive his many rookie mistakes. But, as the Rasmussen survey reveals, they are not so willing to forgive Congressional Democrats. But now, at long last, both the White House and the Congress have to show the voters that they can solve problems, not just make them worse.

Democrats spent trillions and have absolute power. What will they be able to show for it? America and the rest of the world are watching. Republicans, that’s your cue. Hit your marks, and don’t forget your lines.

– JP

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