In the game of Politics, public opinion is everything. However Public opinion is constantly shifting, obviously this is shown in the constant switching of power held by parties, the shifts are caused from all sorts of things, from external events, to the economy, and bills that are passed. All of these factors come together to form the Political Landscape. This Landscape is representative of the brilliant strategy that goes into politics, it is played by both parties, pawns, knights, bishops, rooks, and even queens sacrificed to gain the upper hand, What is this sacrifice that goes into political strategy? Passing unpopular legislation is obviously damaging, yet it is also swaying, for instance, Obamacare is a popular example. When Obamacare was passed, it was highly unpopular and lead to the Republicans dominating the House and Senate, and eventually Whitehouse, but now with the Republicans seeking to repeal Obamacare, it is nearly possible. Why is that? It's because the Democrats sacrificed their queen, control of the house and senate, in order to make a fundamental shift in the way the public thinks, no longer is government health care some foreign idea, but rather it is commonplace, and therefore seen as natural and popular. Now, a piece of legislation that put Republicans in power, threatens to remove them from power if they tamper with it, indeed repealing Obamacare would take away the chance of removing the Democrats pawn from getting across the board and becoming a queen.
Of course, there is more to it than that. If the Republicans repeal Obamacare and somehow maintained enough power to halt the passing of another government healthcare scheme, Public opinion could eventually sway back to a privatized system. Obviously controlling this Political Landscape is tantamount to the future success of any party, and something that Republicans in particular are quite bad at. There has perhaps been only one act passed by Republicans in quite some time that has any effect on the Political Landscape, The Patriot act, which happens to be the one act that I find most abhorrent from the Republicans in the past 17 years. Even then, the Patriot Act, while softening people up to Government surveillance of its own people, it has yet to get Americans enamoured with the idea of being spied upon. 54% of Americans disagree with the Government collecting phone calls and other personal data via the NSA, and ironically, Republicans disapprove of this more than democrats, 56% of Republicans disapprove of the results from an act that they passed, while not even a majority of Democrats disapprove. If there is any better evidence of the ineptitude Republicans have when it comes to controlling the political landscape, I have yet to see it.
Democrats on the other hand have been highly successful at this, as the more liberal party generally is. It is much harder to maintain a system, than to constantly suggest changes based on the whims of the far left. Democrats have been able to shift public opinion on gay marriage, not even much of a topic of debate anymore, they have shifted opinion on government healthcare, they are trying to shift opinion on high taxes, although Trumps tax plan might set them back a few steps, and the shift to the complete obliteration of the two gender reality is at hand.
Why is it that Democrats are so much more successful at shifting the Political Landscape? They make Sacrifices. Conservatives play chess, well... conservatively, refusing to take risks. Liberals on the other hand, continuously make sacrifices because the democrat party knows that down the road, they will be beneficial. Obviously not all sacrifices work out, but when played correctly, and when you call literally anything a civil rights fight, public opinion tends to shift.
The one benefit Republicans have now is Trump. Yes Trump may merely be a completely inexperienced and often ineffective politician in some ways, but he has incredible benefits as well, one such benefit being his ability to completely shift the political landscape, and somehow force mistakes out of democrats and the media. For instance, Antifa has grown vastly since Trump has taken office, and all antifa ever will do is push voters to the Republican Party, Trump drives people insane. Democrats have been out there talking about the Russian narrative for months, insulting Trump and making unsubstantiated claims, and while many democrats may believe the claims, many Independents see the combat between Trump and the Democrats as a war between two evils, and when one side is continuously making false claims and vile attacks, it starts to show. Thus Republicans finally have a weapon in this political chess game, and it seems to be merely the ability to agitate the other side to such extremes that they start throwing all their pieces at the republicans, regardless of the political danger they place themselves in by revealing the extremism found on the far left.