Tony Blankley

It is often observed that certain brilliant people "don't suffer fools gladly." But the more common experience of mankind is that fools don't suffer brilliant people gladly.

 An excellent example of this phenomenon is the current attack on Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld by a legion of Washington little people: a pack of has beens, never weres and wannabees. In other words, sitting senators, retired generals and journalists who, whether sitting or standing are, regrettably, never retiring.

 What they all have in common is a consuming hatred of logic (of course one often hates that with which one has no familiarity). And, what Donald Rumsfeld has in vast supply is logic: cold, undeniable, cruel, inexorable. Logic is that way. And people who express it may seem that way to the illogical.

 We all hate logic. I hate the logic that dictates that if I ingest more calories than I expend, the result is adipose tissue distributed at all the wrong parts of my body. I prefer the illogic that if I eat enough steak, bacon, fried eggs and martinis on an Atkins diet -- calories won't count.

 Several senators and congressmen who have been in town for decades hate Mr. Rumsfeld's logic that you fight a war with the army you've got. They prefer the illogic that cutting the size of our army in half between 1990-2000 should have no bearing on the size of the army you have in 2001. How dare Rumsfeld point out the consequences of their defense budget cuts.

 That was then. They had good reasons to cut the number of Army divisions from 18 to 10, to eliminate legions of armored vehicles, to let the military industrial base shrink to the point where we can barely manufacture 500 armored Humvees (read: jeeps) a month (in World War II, we could produce almost 10,000 combat airplanes a month).

 Their good, if illogical, reason for gutting our army was to trade a "peace dividend" for votes in the 1990s on the hope that we wouldn't have any new enemies in the 2000s. But the logic of their action was that in our current war, the Army is too small. And, the cost of re-building the Army back to 15-20 divisions would double or triple today's much-complained-of deficit of about a half a trillion dollars per annum. No wonder Rumsfeld isn't calling for massive Army expansion in today's political climate. But the logic of his decisions outrages the Beltway sages.


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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