Conservatives are busy trashing President Obama's Sore Winner Tour. The president of all the people is out there challenging his opponents to put 'em up or shut up.
Conservatives are sneering at this, pointing out how the president's approval numbers are still stuck in the mid forties.
But nobody is talking about Rasmussen's Presidential Approval Index. That's the poll computed as (Strongly Approve minus Strongly Disapprove). Conservatives were gleeful a month ago when the index was hitting the high negative teens.
Guess what has happened in the week or so since ObamaCare passed? The Strongly Approve number has gone up about 10 points, from the mid 20s to the mid 30s. The Strongly Disapprove number has nudged up, a bit. The index is now a mere minus 10. In other words, the president's base is delighted with his historic achievement.
Overall, of course, the president's approval number, i.e., Total Approve, hasn't really budged. The net effect of the ObamaCare win is to convert a bunch of Approves into Strongly Approves.
Presumably, the president's Sore Victor Tour is intended to solidify those Strongly Approve numbers, and carry the Democrats through the mid-term elections in November when the key to victory is turning out the base. Time enough to worry about charming the moderates back into the president's column in 2012.
Maybe it will work. Maybe the economy will be going gangbusters by the second half of 2011, and the voters will reward the president with a second term.
There's another narrative. The current liberal euphoria will dissipate by November and the Republicans will score a stunning triumph. The big government expansion and the tax rate increases will slow the recovery and the huge monetary stimulus will convert into inflation (we are talking here about the exact reverse of the Reagan policies of 1981-85).
How will it all turn out? Stay tuned.