If you think the Republicans swallowed the plumes of defeat in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling Friday legalizing same-sex marriage, think again.
Publicly most Republicans disagreed with the ruling because their party base remains socially conservative and opposes gay marriage.
But the fuel tank in the fight over gay marriage has run drier than an empty promise. Public opinion over the last decade has surged in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to marry.
With their fight lost, Republicans no longer have to sweat bullets as big as elephants to preserve their credibility over the matter within a critical voting bloc of their party.
Freed from that yoke, Republicans have more flexibility to court Democrats and independents.
The court ruling gives Republicans a clear way to both satisfy their base without alienating the rest of the country.
Indeed, the Supremes also did the Republicans a huge favor Thursday when they upheld the federal Obamacare subsidies.
While the decision was a setback policy-wise for the GOP, it is a good thing politically in the long run for the Republicans.
They found drainage in the decision and no longer are flooded with public pressure to fix a law they refuse to touch, as if it had leprosy, except to repeal it.