President Obama’s unexpected announcement that he will reverse the long-time ban on off-shore drilling for oil and natural gas resources should help us answer an important question: Has the GOP’s intractable opposition to President Obama’s policies been based on principle, or the purely political motive of obstructing his presidency in order to win votes and power from a disillusioned and impatient electorate? Obama’s conservative critics on talk radio will be presented with the same test. Rush Limbaugh famously said that he wants Obama to fail: will that extend to a new Obama policy that Limbaugh has advocated in the recent past?
Opening up off-shore drilling to exploit unused U.S. energy resources was a key plank in Republican John McCain’s campaign when he opposed Mr. Obama, and is anathema to many Obama supporters. If the Republican Party and its conservative media allies have a requisite amount of fairness and integrity, they will both praise the President and support him.
We shall see.