A recent CBS/New York Times poll showed 79 percent of those questioned feel the Republicans should be more cooperative with the agenda of President Barack Obama. Only 17 percent think it would be wise for them to stick tenaciously to the party platform.

It isn't that ideology isn't important, it's just the fact there are bigger fish to fry at the moment.

To be honest, we think the Republicans might be well-advised to be neither seen nor heard until the most adoring honeymoon in the history of the American presidency has morphed from dream to reality.

Acting like a jilted lover isn't winning any friends nor is it producing any traction in terms of restoring the relevancy of a two-party system.

Republicans lack the votes and the power to substantially influence the shape of things in congress, let alone in most states. Mere surfacing of questions or concerns brands them as roadblocks on the highway to a brighter tomorrow. And, unfortunately, they are beginning to look like more of a distraction than a participant.

Putting forth the notion "We'll be doing nothing to help him .... he's on his own," as portrayed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in his response to the president's economic address, isn't a position that's resonating with the American people.

While taxpayers aren't particularly enamored with the idea of taking on mountains of debt, they see a president who is on the job, seeking to understand the problem, and trying to implement solutions.

Jindal, who has been considered a possibility for the 2012 nomination, was probably thrilled to be chosen to react to the president's comments. Based upon his performance, his rebuttal may go down in history as his valedictory address rather than a chance to leap onto the national stage.

We're not even sure why it's necessary to schedule a rebuttal which automatically makes the assumption the president will present ideas that need to be discounted.

Perhaps a wiser course is to consider the possibilty of rallying behind our leader - much like we did following 9/11.

Ninety percent of Americans know we are in tough economic times and they are anxious about the future. But a majority of them just elected a president who put a song in their hearts and hope in their eyes and they find some solace in the vision and promises he offered. That's about all a lot of folks have to cling to these days.

While the message hasn't yet reached party leaders on either side of the aisle, the average citizen believes it's time to bridge the partisan divide and get on with solutions.

The president, whose approval rating stands at roughly 63 percent, continues to demonstrate a willingness to work with Republicans in terms of national solutions even if House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid do not.

Congress has a 26 percent approval rating, which compared with Obama's 63 percent would suggest throwing in with the president makes more sense than trying to get blood out of turnip in either the House or Senate.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, who understands firsthand the frustrations he is experiencing with the House majority leadership, took an important step following the recent address by Obama. He complimented the president for making a compelling case we can overcome the challenges our country faces, especially when it comes to the economy.

The top House Republican added: "With few exceptions it is a speech I could have given. Probably not as well. It was a very conservative speech in terms, if you want to get into ideology. There were very few parts of this that I disagreed with."

That's an important step.

It would be well for Republicans to remember they didn't have a particularly stellar record of bipartisanship when they controlled congress so it shouldn't be particularly surprising to see the same thing happening to them now the pendulum has swung.

At this point, they would be best advised to carefully consider the options open to them and realize there is a president in office who wants to work with them even if the congressional leadership doesn't.

In the long run, those in the Republican minority will be measured against where the new administration leads the country in the next two years, not what happens in Congress.

Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board, comprised of Editor George Murdock, Associate Publisher Kathryn Brown, General Manager Wendy DalPez and Managing Editor Skip Nichols. Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily that of the East Oregonian.

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