Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card that President Obama benefited from the Republican implosion over the budget and debt ceiling deal that reopened the government.
"There is just no way to minimize how badly the GOP has hurt itself from the shutdown-debt ceiling crisis. Only the most ardent flamethrowers will say they launched a debate over Obamacare. They did not; their actions actually took focus off of its problematic launch and now it is more popular than it was two weeks ago.
“Some pundits are saying that GOP leaders, forced by the Tea Party, can hold their heads proud and tell their constituents that they fought the good fight. Wrong again. It was the wrong fight over the wrong issues and it lost badly. It also lost public support for the party.
“If the goal was either to put the Democrats on notice that the GOP will rise again on Jan. 15 to continue the fight or that the party solidified its position with the base on their safe districts — wrong and wrong. The president won, he doesn't have to debate now or next time. Now the GOP has a bigger problem — it has four distinct right wings, none of which get along.
“The party is hurting and they have helped the president by looking so bad. There are embarrassing glitches with the Affordable Care Act but they were overshadowed by the glitches in his opposition."
Grade — B
Zogby is the senior analyst for Zogby Analytics and author (with Joan Snyder Kuhl) of "The First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing our Millennial Generation."Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.