WHEN THE GOP GIVES DEMS ADVICE…. One of the more commonly heard Republican talking points lately has been advice to the Democratic majority: if health care reform passes, and the majority delivers a historic victory, it will be awful news for Democratic candidates.

Yesterday, there was no shortage of Republicans giving Dems heartfelt advice on this. Everyone from Michael Steele to Mitch McConnell to Lamar Alexander all urged Democrats to do themselves a favor and choose failure over success.

This was especially amusing.

Republicans want the bill to pass because of its unpopularity but, at the same time, they can’t be complacent on health care overhaul, said Matthew Dowd, ABC News contributor and former adviser to President George W. Bush. […]

“Republicans would like this bill to pass because they know how unpopular it is,” Dowd said on “GMA.”

Yes, if there’s one thing we can all pick up on, it’s how anxious Republicans seem to see helth care reform pass.

Or not.

Look, everyone can read polls and see that the Democratic plan has struggled badly in the face of a massive misinformation campaign. That’s not new and it’s not a secret. Democratic leaders plan to proceed, hoping that getting this done will give the party a chance to sell their handiwork — polls also show people like the proposal once they realize what’s in it. The only way to turn the polls around is to succeed.

But this notion that Republicans want to give Democrats sincere advice about how to win elections is ridiculous. Since when does the GOP give honest assessment to Dems about how to win elections? Why on earth would Democrats listen to electoral suggestions from the party that wants to destroy them?

Dowd’s confidence notwithstanding, Republicans almost certainly don’t want to see Democrats succeed on a reform package that would help the insured, extend popular consumer protections to those with coverage, lower the deficit, and improve the economy. The GOP knows that a Democratic victory like this one would generate some excitement within the Dems’ base, prove that Democrats can govern and tackle huge challenges, and deliver on an issue Americans have been waiting for progress on for nearly a century.

“Republicans would like this bill to pass”? I really doubt that.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.