President Barack Obama returns to the White House following a visit to the Presidential Inaugural Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., Jan. 17, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

THE LIGHT dawns on the Republican Party, just as President Obama’s inauguration is about to drive salt into their wounds.

“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board. – Cornyn: Congress Will Not Allow Default

It may be a dim bulb, but at least we now know it’s on.

Charles Krauthammer explains why Republicans are saying and doing what they are on the debt ceiling, behavior which is also represented by Gov. Christie taking on the N.R.A.

Obama’s postelection arrogance and intransigence can put you in a fighting mood. I sympathize. But I’m tending toward the realist view: Don’t force the issue when you don’t have the power.

President Obama’s win in 2012 was so thoroughly convincing, especially when you dig down on the demographics, for Republicans there’s reality or oblivion.

Meanwhile, the Republican base out in wingnut radio land remains ensconced under a rock. The challenge is for mainstream Republicans to keep them there, though the election of 2012 may have forever banished their power to state government and legislatures, where they’re already doing plenty of damage.