In the wake of the Presidents inauguration, the vanquished wantonly forsook the traditional mantle of the loyal opposition. In its stead they donned the threadbare and tattered robe of the blind antagonist. Granting them no solace from the biting winds of defeat, their hearts grew as cold and bitter as the barren political wilderness they wandered in. Alternately bickering with and consoling their fellow travelers, consumed by their resentment and disdain, they mocked the president and crowed loudly at every miscue or stumble. Their relentless vituperation filled the airwaves and the blogosphere with an anger born of frustration, humiliation and defeat. With twisted sneers they condemned their fellow countrymen. Chastising them for their naivete, they wailed and bitterly asked how they could be so foolish. How could they entrust the nations future to an unqualified and inexperienced ideologue at best or a cynical power-hungry charlatan at worst they demanded. While others appealed to the patriotic belief that the nations success was directly tied to that of the president, the bitter partisans obstinately rejected the thought out of hand. In their zero sum rationale, any success that their nemesis enjoyed came at their expense regardless of any positive impact it might have on the nation as a whole. Partisan advancement took prominence over all else. Warmed only by their arrogance, they smugly waited for the moment of vindication - the day when they could at last tell the nation, We told you so. While these were my thoughts of Liberals and Democrats in January, 2001, sadly, the same could be said of many of my fellow Conservatives today. In essence, they have adopted the same pettiness they have previously and rightfully reviled. Let me be clear. I in no way advocate abandoning fundamental Conservative principals - be they from the social or fiscal camps of the movement. Nor do I believe the president from the long shadows and broad shoulders of Washington and Lincoln to the charismatic eloquence of Obama - is beyond reproach or criticism. To the contrary, it is a tradition that predates the founding of the Republic to speak truth to power and boldly confront our leaders when their actions conflict with our desires; even more so when they place our common interests and the general welfare in jeopardy. Neither will I remain silent when the President succumbs to the temptations of pride and arrogance. Embracing both, as well as indulging in his own shallow and petty partisanship, he condescendingly chastised Republican congressional leaders Friday. "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," the president lectured GOP leaders, during a White House meeting to discuss the details of his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package. This was followed by a tense exchange with Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) about the proposal. I won, the president pointedly shot back. "I will trump you on that." This is hardly the bipartisan spirit the president invoked in his inaugural address. Not only does it speak poorly of a man who has portrayed himself as the humble servant of the peoples will, it portends of a willingness to arrogantly wield his political capital and Democratic majorities in Congress at the first sign of principled disagreement. These are by no means reassuring first steps into the post-partisan era the president so eloquently spoke of during the heady days of the fall campaign. Nonetheless, bearing no malice or ill-will, I must respectfully agree to disagree with my Conservative brethren that long for the presidents failure and humiliation. The nation finds itself trolling the depths of the greatest economic crisis in decades. The economic foundation of the nation is crumbling and threatens to collapse beneath our very feet. Each day brings news of thousands more layoffs with some economists predicting up to three million more could occur before the crisis reaches its nadir. Heartened by our economic maladies, our enemies and adversaries eagerly await our forced withdrawal from the international sphere as we can no longer afford guns and aircraft carriers abroad while struggling to pay for butter and public services at home. Eying our fragile and tenuous state, investors globally debate the practicality of loaning trillions more to a nation whose debt has already placed the value of its currency at the tender mercy of its creditors many of them our economic and political competitors. Yet, without their investment largess there is little hope of financing the exorbitant deficits and trillions of dollars in stimulus and bailout packages many see as our only hope for economic recovery. It is this daunting and calamitous set of circumstances that confronts our neophyte president as he leads the nation into an uncertain future. Truly, the Republic is confronted by perils, challenges and even threats to its existence not seen since another eloquent and introspective Illinois lawyer led it. It is for these reasons that I pray for the nation and its new president. If we are to succeed in the face of challenges not seen for more than a century, it requires leadership worthy of the ages. And so, with a hopeful heart filled with the spirit of patriotism, President Obama will remain in my prayers for the duration of his tenure. On those occasions when he seeks to steer the nation on a course I believe places it in greater peril, I will oppose him with a vehemence and passion equal to that which I hope for his success when I agree with him. I will not blindly abandon reason and hope in the face of philosophical and policy disagreements. No, I will redouble my efforts to enlighten him and his supporters to the fallacies and perils of their positions. In doing so, I earnestly hope to follow in the path of patriots rather than partisans. No doubt this will place me at odds with many of my fellow Conservatives. Rest assured, though, I am neither collaborator nor traitor. Indeed, I remain your faithful compatriot and a fellow traveler as we seek a path out of the political wilderness. Know I will not abandon the true faith for the seductive wiles of false prophets and political charlatans. I will stand fast with you and man the barricades against the encroachment of governmental power on personal freedom both economic and political. And on those occasions when we part company be it on policy or philosophy I will disagree without being disagreeable. And so, my friends, I pledge my fealty to our common cause, my hope for our new president and my undying allegiance to our beloved nation.