There are no permanent majorities in American politics

Things change because things change, not because of any ideological primacy or purity on a particular end of the political spectrum. The American people are, for the most part, highly practical and pragmatic. They like what works, and in a properly functioning political system, two broad-based national parties will offer them reasonable alternatives for what is likely to work best.

The core Republican beliefs in less government, lower taxes, more liberty and greater security in a dangerous world united people as different as Mark Hatfield and Jesse Helms during my years as leader of the Senate. Those same beliefs carried Ronald Reagan into the White House in 1980 and 1984. Those beliefs still have power today. And if the American people perceive overreaching or underachieving in the Obama administration and among its allies in Congress, the Republican way may prove very attractive again in very short order.