Why might the Republicans who made such great gains in this week’s national elections want to imitate the flailing Democratic president who helped them secure those victories? Philip Klein offers an answer in a Washington Examiner column.

It may be an odd thing to say following an election in which Democrats suffered a broad and humiliating defeat, but Republicans could learn a lot from President Obama and his party about how to advance an agenda.

When Obama entered office in 2009 with massive majorities in the House and Senate, many political analysts argued that he should focus on the economy, and shelve the liberal policy goals for a later date.

But Obama recognized that passing a national healthcare law would be a major advance for liberalism – a policy victory that had eluded the movement for decades – arguably. a century. Just as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have endured, Obama figured that once he got a new entitlement on the books, it would be impossible to take away.

That’s why he persevered in the face of a massive popular backlash and the loss of a Senate seat in the deep blue state of Massachusetts. …

… Despite all of this, however, Obamacare remains on the books with the second year of open enrollment beginning on Nov. 15. And Obama’s veto pen can be expected to keep his signature legislative accomplishment safe until at least 2017.

In other words, Obama — with the help of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., — was willing to sacrifice the political fortunes of the Democratic Party in order to achieve a major liberal policy goal.

This isn’t the type of behavior one typically sees from Republicans. Most conservatives would, in a second, take a deal under which Republicans enacted major entitlement reforms and dismantled government programs, but ended up suffering at the polls at the result.

Instead, conservatives typically get Republican leadership that’s too timid and worried about the next election. …

… If Republicans take the better lesson, they’ll be willing to repeal Obamacare, to advance real free market healthcare reforms, to overhaul the nation’s broken entitlement system, and be willing to endure whatever political backlash results.