Washington politics is a contrary business right at the moment. Republicans -- and particularly conservatives -- are somewhere between despondent and furious. While Democrats -- and particularly liberals -- are failing to come up with the reciprocal happy sentiments that usually provide the emotional yin and yang of a Washington political moment.
I have in mind, of course, the curious case of the unloved spinster just launched on the rocket docket to the Supreme Court. As a card-carrying member of the conservative conclave, I would not have made Miss Miers my first choice … or my thousandth. In fact, I would associate myself with Brother-in-Christ Patrick Buchanan's searing preachment at Monday's services concerning her wane qualifications for the high bench.
Of course, we conservatives were hoping for -- and had justifiable reasons to expect -- that President Bush would nominate any one of the many brilliant conservative legal intellectuals who our movement has been carefully nurturing and advancing these past 30 years. We raised them from precocious pups. We gave them succor when they presented themselves in the political jungle. We advanced them carefully through the training grounds of high office. And the deepness of their thoughts and the deftness of their words made them beloved of the tribe.
And now this president, who we with our own millions of arms raised on high, has spurned our best and chosen one of his lackluster own.
But despite our admiration for sapience, as a species we humans are better at biting than thinking -- which is understandable as we have aspired to thought only for a few hundred thousand years, while we have been biting and slashing since our DNA shared space in the crocodile.
And I confess I was doing a fair bit of snapping and snarling myself on Monday. But after my reptilian aggression subsided, it dawned on me that I needed to distinguish between the desirable and the necessary. In politics, we are well ahead of the game if we gain 50 percent of our goals. I have spent whole decades in politics where we accomplished almost nothing except a hard-fought-for continued existence.
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.