GOP Must Not Vote ‘Present’ on Our Future

A Commentary By Tony Blankley
via Rasmussen Reports
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A growing percentage of those Americans who oppose President Barack Obama believe the president is testing the envelope of acceptable domestic, constitutional and foreign policies. Staggering deficits measured in the trillions, unemployment measured almost in double digits and a weakening dollar measured in ever fewer ounces of gold are creating an economic crisis that is testing America’s historic optimism and faith in a brighter future.

Public opinion rarely has been so volatile. Barack Obama went from political oblivion (a state senator) to being a vastly popular president of the United States in four years — with the highest Inauguration Day Gallup approval numbers (68 percent approved; 12 percent disapproved) since Jack Kennedy a half-century ago.

But by last week, according to Gallup: “(The president’s) 9-point drop (to 52.9 percent) in the most recent quarter (July 20 through Oct. 19) is the largest drop Gallup has ever measured for an elected president between the second and third quarters of his term, dating back to 1953. … (It is) the steepest for a president at any point in his first year.” He now hovers at just above the critical 50 percent approval.

A Rasmussen poll also reported last week that “26 percent of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. That’s the lowest level of Strong Approval yet measured for this President. Thirty-nine percent Strongly Disapprove. …

…the political mood is beginning to feel to me like the late 1970s, when I was working on Ronald Reagan’s campaign, which used bold language, starkly conservative policies and genuine passion. Then, too, many Republicans judged we would scare off the independent and undecided voters.

But in times of fear, anger and passion, the opposition party must stand with that passion — not aside. There still will be calmer, moderate votes needed, as well, to win. And that is where the shrewdness and style of the party’s leader or leaders may make the difference. But I strongly suspect that the GOP cannot (and, for me personally, should not) vote “present”…

Mr. Blankley’s article continues at

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