Tony Blankley

Taking stock this second Christmas after the election of Barack Obama to the presidency -- as a conservative Republican (with growing "tea party" tendencies) -- I'm filled with a thrilling, unexpected hopefulness that the president may be well on his way to losing his battle for the hearts and minds of the American people -- tempered by a shocked disbelief that so much long-term damage could be perpetrated on our economy, national security and way of life in just 11 months of ill-judged governance.

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Inevitably, Charles Dickens' immortal opening sentence to "A Tale of Two Cities" comes to mind:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."

Remarkably, this view could apply as equally to the left as it does to the right. Obama first thrilled and then disappointed and now enrages the left with his policies of (as they now see it): 1) giving the banks, health insurance companies, drug companies, for-profit hospitals and Washington lobbyists everything they want, 2) doing nothing for middle-class homeowners and 3) escalating the war in Afghanistan.

Of course, conservatives are appalled at (among other things) the trillions in new deficits, the nationalizations, the trillion-dollar partisan slush fund (i.e., stimulus packages), the attempted federal government takeover of the private economy via carbon taxing and regulating, the weakening of our anti-terrorism efforts, the never-ending worldwide apology tour, the undercutting of our allies while our enemies are appeased, and the ongoing effort to destroy our health care system and replace it with a socialized, rationing European-style system.

Remarkably, the president cannot even credibly make the claim that if he has the left and right agitated, it is because he is going down the sensible middle. The Dec. 9 Quinnipiac poll mirrors what other polls are showing: Obama is losing the independents, too. In that poll, overall, the president's approval and disapproval were 46 percent and 44 percent, respectively. However, with independents, he was at 37 percent approval and 51 percent disapproval.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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