But if the economy and foreign policy have boosted the president’s fortunes, the most important boost may be coming from inside his own party, in the form of the totally nonexistent agenda that congressional Republicans have put forward since the tax bill passed.

That nonexistence is, of course, an indictment of the G.O.P., but politically it’s vastly preferable to the deeply unpopular legislation that the Republicans might otherwise be pursuing, if they were to reattempt Obamacare repeal or pursue some other item from the zombie-Reaganite playbook.

A core fact of our era is that the national Republican Party is politically effective only as a vehicle for anti-liberalism, a rallying point for all the disparate groups who feel threatened by having our cultural elite in full control of government. Which means the G.O.P. is often more popular the less it attempts to legislate at all.