Tony Blankley

This country is divided into three parts concerning national politics. About a third think President Obama is moving in the right direction, with many of them impatient for the president to be bolder with his leftist agenda. Somewhere in the vicinity of 40 percent to 50 percent of Americans are shocked and appalled at the nation's rush toward bankruptcy, socialism, fundamental transformation of our way of life and the permanent weakening and impoverishing of America. And some 15 percent to 30 percent are quite concerned about the current state of the country but see no imminent crisis and think that with some substantial adjustments, Mr. Obama's efforts may end up being useful. (The foregoing numbers are merely my subjective judgment, not based on any particular poll.)

If the percentages of the shocked and appalled are close to 50 percent while the concerned but not panicked are closer to 15 percent, November probably will see a transforming election, with the Republicans taking over both the House and Senate. I'm obviously in the shocked and appalled group.

But it is that third category -- concerned but not panicked -- that will decide the election. No one better represents the third group than the gentlemanly, moderately conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks. During the election, he was enamored of Barack Obama. He was impressed with Mr. Obama's mind, his temperament, his sense of American history and culture and his style. As things have gone rocky, Mr. Brooks has been quite tough on the president one week and renewed in his admiration the next.

Michelle Malkin

Sunday on "Meet the Press," he reacted to Utah's Republican Sen. Robert F. Bennett's third-place finish in the Republican primary with the uncharacteristic statement: "This is a damn outrage." He went on to say that Mr. Bennett was "a good conservative who was trying to get things done;" that he was "bravely" working with Democrats to help pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program and health care bill. "Now, he's losing his career over that. And it's just a damn outrage."

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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