A few years from now, the current national reporting and commentary will be seen to be utterly blind to the reality of our times. In the 19 months since September 11, we have fought two wars and authorized the reorganization of much of our government. France has risen in an attempt to lead the Third World and Europe in explicit opposition to America. Confidence in the efficacy of the United Nations has shriveled. NATO is divided and adrift.
Some significant percent of the one and a quarter billion Muslims have been heartened by bin Laden's assault on America and infuriated by our response. At precisely this inopportune moment in history the technology of bio-engineering has emerged to place a more lethal force than nuclear energy in the hand, or near the hand, of any number of lunatics with a fanatical grudge against us. By any objective measure, we are defenseless to such a bio-attack, and ludicrously unprepared to respond to the aftermath.
At such a moment, the national media is focused on four national topics: (1) whether President Bush precisely described the exact level of certainty he subjectively felt about Saddam's possession of weapons of mass destruction; (2) whether, two months after major combat has finished, a country that has not known a semblance of even vaguely representative government in its 5,000-year history, and whose religious and ethnic sub-groups are being manipulated by most of its neighbors, is a functioning democracy -- or if there is still some disarray; (3) whether the wife of the former president has written an accurate memoir; and (4) whether a man in California killed his wife. We do have a free press. But as Oscar Wilde once observed, we are overcharged for everything these days.
To add to the sense of unreality, the Democratic Party seems to be staking the remnants of its national credibility on behalf of the crackbrained project of trying to convince the public that the most trusted, straightforward, honest president the country has seen in quite a while is actually a devious manipulator of mass opinion. Both the Democrats and the national media would be better advised to focus on the ominous near future and the policies best designed to cope with it.
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.