Tony Blankley

John Stuart Mill once famously called the British Tories "The Stupid Party." From time to time since then, the Tory's American cousin, the Republican Party, has also earned that moniker. Now may be one of those moments. If current polls and anecdotes are to be believed, there may be a million or two conservative Republicans who are planning to not vote this November.

Of course, Mill also said, "A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but also by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury."

Apparently, these anticipated conservative non-voters are annoyed with Republican imperfection. They are disheartened, disappointed, disillusioned, distempered, and dismal -- and thus plan to dis the party that better advances conservative principles in government.

They appear to have fallen victim to the false syllogism: 1) Something must be done; 2) not voting is something; therefore, 3) I will not vote. Of course the fallacy of the syllogism is that the second category could be anything. For example, No. 2 could as well read "eating dog excrement is something."

I rather suspect that they will feel about the same afterward, whether they chose the non-voting option or the scatological one. They are both equally illogical -- and repulsive -- and would deserve the moniker "Stupid."

Here are some telltale signs of the sort of person who would vote (or not vote) to cause the election of a party that would act to defeat every value and interest he holds dear (merely because the party that will at least try to advance most of those issues has not done as well as he might have hoped):

1) When offered by a car dealer 25 percent off on a car, he insists on paying the full factory-recommended retail sticker price -- because he is damned if he will accept 25 percent when he deserves 30 percent off.

2) When the prettiest cheerleader asks the nerd to take her to the prom, he turns her down -- just because he can.

3) When stopped for doing 70 in a 65 zone, he tells the trooper that's not possible because he had the cruise control set on 90 -- he just resents being falsely charged.

4) When diagnosed with a serious illness, he promptly cancels his medical insurance -- in order to save the cost of premium payments to help pay for the upcoming hospital stay.

A conservative would have to be just that stupid to stay home on Nov. 7. I have heard it put around that the Republicans need a couple of years in the wilderness to regain their conservative bearings.

While turning over the Congress to the Pelosi/Kennedy mob for even two years would be recklessly irresponsible -- particularly during a dangerous war-- there is no assurance the wilderness years would last only 24 months.

In 1954, the Democrats, led by the great Sam Rayburn, retook the House after control had seesawed back and forth for 10 years (1944-Democrat; 1946-Republican; 1948-Democrat; 1950-Democrat; 1952-Republican; 1954-Democrat)

Sam Rayburn (one of the shrewdest politicians ever to play the game) was so sure that the Republicans would take back the House in the Eisenhower re-election year of 1956, that when he became Speaker after the 1954 election, he didn't even bother to move his furniture back to the better office suite occupied by Joe Martin (the Republican Speaker who returned to Minority leader status after the 1954 Republican loss.) They decided to keep their previous office spaces rather than go through the bother of moving across the hall.

As it turned out, the Republicans didn't re-take a majority of the House for 40 years (The Gingrich-led election of 1994). So for 40 years the Republican minority leaders got to keep the better office space (that looked out over the majestic Washington Mall), while the Democratic Speakers for 40 years got a view of the parking lot.

I don't care who has the better office space in the future, but any conservative ought to be very concerned about who has the political power in Washington. The Democrats have virtually promised to scandalize the Republican administration (with subpoena and impeachment-seeking oversight hearings) for the next two years -- in preparation for defeating the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

Moreover, every Democrat who beats a Republican in three weeks will have two years to feather his or her nest, and use the powers of incumbency to defeat his 2008 Republican challenger.

Even more important, in a closely fought 2008 presidential election, every extra Democratic incumbent senator, congressman and governor makes it just a little more likely that the Democratic presidential candidate may win that district or state. All those freshly tuned new Democratic machines will help get out Democratic Party votes for the top of their 2008 ticket.

This current conservative petulance -- if it actually occurs on Nov. 7 -- will increase the chances of electing Hillary, or worse (if such a thing is possible) in 2008.

There is no rational policy or political basis for conservatives not voting. I'm not sure the country can take the current Democratic mob in power for long.

A realist once observed that the history of mankind is little more than the triumph of the heartless over the mindless.

The Democrats are obviously heartless. Conservatives must guard against falling into the category of the mindless. Ignore your heartfelt peevements, use your brains and vote.

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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