Partisan politics in Washington this season are getting interesting, as a few Democrats are cautiously beginning to challenge their leadership's strategy of total opposition to major Bush initiatives. It is dawning on some Democrats that their all-defense strategy may not pair up well with President Bush's all offense strategy.
President Bush plays politics the way my friends and I used to play pick-up football when I was a kid. In the huddle, the quarterback would tell everyone else to go out long. On the snap the quarterback would dance around in the backfield until one of us five or six receivers got open, at which point he would complete the pass. With both sides going long all the time, we often ended up with basketball scores.
The Democrats, on the other hand, when on offense, merely receive the snap and fall on the ball. When on defense, they put all their men on the line -- trying for a quick sack of the quarterback. If the quarterback is too agile for them, they are vulnerable to be scored upon -- given their lack of a pass defense.
When two such teams meet, the best score the all-defense Democrats can hope for is a 0 to 0 tie. The best score the all-offense Republicans can expect is at least a 56-0 win. So far since 2001, the score is about 42-0, the president having completed passes on: tax cuts and the economy, the Afghan War, the Iraq war, the Middle East democracy project, prescription drugs and class action law suits -- among the major items.
In the next couple of months and years the president is going to throw long on Social Security, bankruptcy reform, Asbestos litigation reform, judicial appointments, Medicaid reform, Medicare reform and tax simplification. If he completes all those passes, the final score would be 91-0, and "Daily Show" star Jon Stewart's self-admitted worst fear will be realized -- his daughter will be going to George W. Bush High School in downtown Manhattan.
Of course, the analogy to football isn't perfect. In politics, some touchdowns are worth more points than others. If President Bush can pass Social Security reform, that touchdown would be worth about 200 points all by itself. And, unlike football, in politics, some wins later are rescored as losses -- such as the temporary win by slaveholders in the Dred Scott decision. They won the Supreme Court decision in 1857, but lost the war in 1865.
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.