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Special Report

President Obama Is the Person Most Responsible for Uniting the GOP

There's a lot of chatter in the media these days about how divided Republicans are, but the real story is how united the GOP has been this year.

After their wipeout losses in 2006 and 2008, one would have expected a wave of recrimination and a bitter internal struggle. But on the main issues of this year — the economic stimulus package and the Obama health care plan — Republicans have stood in near unanimous opposition, while Democrats have struggled to round up votes, despite large majorities in both houses.

The person most responsible for this is no Republican leader, but President Obama himself. His policies have made it easy for Republicans of all stripes to oppose him. Just think how different it would have been if the president had insisted on mixing in some tax rate cuts with the spending extravaganza in the stimulus bill. That would have attracted Republican votes, allowed the president to claim a bipartisan victory, and provided Democrats political cover, not to mention the potential economic benefits.

Same thing on health care. Suppose the president had embraced lawsuit reform and supported the sale of health insurance across state lines. His base might have objected but there would have been a lot more than one Republican vote for that bill in the House of Representatives Saturday night.

As it is, the president and his party have full ownership of the unemployment rate and a health care bill now opposed by more than half the public. It didn't have to be that way.

Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for Fox News Channel.