Political leaders of both parties in South Jersey are being offered a civics lesson.

Ferocious community opposition has politicos walking back from the proposed shotgun marriage of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan universities. The outrage even crosses what in a kinder, gentler era were called "party lines;" the brash young conservatives of Save Jersey are eagerly bashing the Rutgers-Rowan merger, which Gov. Christie supports.

Meanwhile, citizens want Burlington County to call off the potential sale of Buttonwood Hospital. They're not thrilled by the notion of discarding two centuries of compassion merely to make a few bucks.

Like their Republican brethren in Burlington, Democrats in Camden and Gloucester counties have gotten their own way as a way of life for a long time.

For any of Our Leaders to consider pulling their cherished plans off the fast track suggests something about the power of public push-back.

Heartening stuff, that.

But slowing down is not the same thing as giving up.

And being offered a lesson is far different from learning it.