Tony Blankley

Not having a clue about what the future holds is one of the least appreciated conditions of life. If we knew, probably most of us would be in a constant state of despair. But in our ignorance of the future, most of us live in hope. Certainly Howard Dean and the Republicans enjoyed living in hope these last eight or nine months.

Now, Howard Dean, if he has returned to rational consciousness yet, has seen the future -- and it is President Deanless. Thus, he would be justified in feeling existential despair. For the Republicans, the revealed Deanless Democratic presidential ticket evokes conditional disappointment. But, ignorant of what is to come next, Republicans are quickly reconfiguring a plausible hopeful future.

That GOP rejiggering of modalities of hope, however, is quietude itself when compared to the orgiastic post-Iowa Democratic dreams. Surely, for the last 24 hours, John Kerry, John Edwards and Wesley Clark must all be subvocalizing the melody of "Hail to the Chief" (admittedly, this is probably not a new phenomenon for Wesley Clark). But mentally concocting fantasy visions of the future is not limited to the candidates (at least two of which will, in a matter of at most a month or two, be joining Howard Dean in the grim despair of reality).

Rank and file Democrats who a week ago saw in John Edwards only a callow, inexperienced, pretty boy multi-millionaire trial lawyer -- now think they see a new Bill Clinton -- but without the moral squalor. The man who only recently was seen as being unable even to get himself re-elected to the Senate from North Carolina (the freshman senator with more ambition than sense of timing), is now imagined by a multitude (of pundits, at least) as the man who would be king -- as the unblemished young cavalier possessed of both a pure heart and golden sword who can talk to the heart of the South and the mind of the North. Yes, they live in hope.

But let's wait a few weeks to see what Kerry's and Clark's butcher boys do to that unpocked skin. Which of their operatives will raise the election-night image of super-lawyer John Edwards promising to protect the public from the "lawyers. " What will Kerry's Boston mafia find in John Edwards' old court records?

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

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.

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