Sometimes we can better understand where we are politically from afar than from within. Consider this assessment from Europe's biggest and Germany's most influential magazine, Der Spiegel, this week:
"The wind has shifted in Washington. America, not just its president, is at war. The Democrats are still critical of the failed Iraq campaign, but they are no longer opposed to the "War on Terror" in general. It has been accepted, and not just as a metaphor Ninety-two percent of Americans are opposed to an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and a majority doesn't want to see the U.S.'s special detention camp at Guantanamo Bay closed. At the moment, the American electorate's biggest criticism of Bush is that he has not been aggressive enough in pursuing terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
"Indeed, when voters hit the ballot box in November 2008, they will be looking for more than just a candidate charismatic and clever enough to lead the country politically. They will also ask themselves which of the candidates is sufficiently tough, crafty and brutal to win the multi-front war that the Bush administration has begun.
"Many Americans now despise Bush [because of Iraq]. Nevertheless, Americans are still loath to admit defeat. This is precisely what distinguishes Europeans from Americans. The Americans favor the power of force, even in its crudest form, which explains why the U.S. military might is so superior to that of all other nations." (By Gabor Steingart. Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan)
We see evidence that the Democrats are beginning to appreciate the truth of the above description. The New York Times has suddenly started counseling caution about any immediate departure from Iraq. Sen. Obama's steroid-enhanced rhetoric now has him calling -- Rambo-like -- for possible preemptive war against Pakistan. Sen. Hillary Clinton announces that she might use nuclear weapons against terrorists (I hope she doesn't find the terrorist in New York (where one of my sons lives) or London (my hometown). The Democratic Congressional leaders quickly passed President Bush's requested FISA electronic intercepts authority for the president.
The Democrats, after spending the winter, spring and early summer frantically calling to get out of Iraq as fast as their little feet could carry them, are now, as autumn approaches, demonstrating their Olympic-class backpedaling skills.
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.