BOSTON -- There was a story told by arch-Nazi villain Reinhard Heydrich -- the evil genius who designed the bureaucracy and methods for the Holocaust -- that once there was a son whose mother was kind and loving, but whose father was brutal and tormenting. When the mother died, the son could find no tears at her graveside. But when the hated father died, the son collapsed in paroxysms of grief and committed suicide. It was an ironic cautionary tale by Heydrich suggesting that perhaps after the Nazis destroy the Jews -- the object of their all-consuming hatred -- they will have nothing left to live for (after telling the tale, he rejected its moral and went on to start the terrible genocide machine.)
That old story from a dark past came to mind here in Boston, as the Democratic Party activists assembled to consummate four years of carefully nurtured Bush hatred with the crowning of a previously inconsequential senator as the Democratic candidate for president. All during the primary campaign, media exit polls identified electablity as the primary reason Democratic voters supported Sen. Kerry. And here in Boston, that reality continues to reflect itself in the mood and chatter of the assembled Democratic foot soldiers. They hate Bush and will do anything to destroy his presidency -- even pretend, briefly, that they don't hate him. But there are different kinds of hate. There is the wild, out-of-control hate that sometimes leads to sudden barroom or bedroom homicides. And then there's the coldblooded, premeditated strain, more typical of tribal or other forms of group hate. Such is the Democratic Party's self-induced hatred of George Bush. And, curiously, this great hatred has induced in the usually rambunctious and cantankerous Democratic Party a perverted joy, rapture and inner tranquility.
I have been going to Democratic Party conventions, episodically, since their 1960 convention in Los Angeles in which they chose their young prince, John Kennedy. (I was a politically precocious boy at the time, let the record reflect.) While that was not one of their nastier conventions, nonetheless, Lyndon Johnson was contending for the nomination by passing around rumors of Kennedy's degenerative disease. In 1968, of course, blood spilled outside their convention while invectives flew furiously inside. In 1980, we saw Ted Kennedy coyly keeping out of Jimmy Carter's eager embrace on the stage of the convention's Thursday night finale. And throughout the history of the Democratic Party, passionate battles over platform planks have never, until here in Boston, failed to give evidence to the intellectual ferment of the world's oldest political party.
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.