As I write this, it is about 15 degrees outside my Virginia farm. Nonetheless, my llamas and sheep, deep in snow, seem perfectly cozy in their winter woolens; the peacocks are in their feathered wintered invulnerability to cold; the horses are in their winter hair and indomitable spirit; my cats, all curled up and sleepy; the dogs, slumbering by the fading embers of the fireplace. The Lord provides for his children. But we Republicans shiver in the cold and brace ourselves for the hard winds yet to come.
In the aftermath of Sen. McCain's South Carolina victory, it can only look like the worst of times for the Grand Old Party. Like most Republican regulars, I have been much put out by McCain during the past decade, but I could support him with a serviceable enthusiasm against the appalling Hillary. She is an egregious political cynic with a Eurosocialist polestar -- the worst combination for an old Reaganite such as I.
Obama is another matter. To all appearances, he is a mench: filled with personal integrity, high intelligence, wit and a complete inability to fake all those sentiments that winning politicians rely on to dupe the public. How he stumbled onto Walter Mondale's political philosophy is beyond me. I suppose the gods, having granted him so many favors, decided to deny him just enough to put his otherwise effortless rise to acclaim in doubt.
He seems to me on the precipice of defeat. As I predicted last week, the Clintons' race politics have polarized the Hispanic vote against Obama (he lost it about 3-1 in Nevada). Meanwhile, working-class (and other) women, in a dreadful moment of self-loathing Evita-worship, are flocking to the distaff Hillary banner. This bodes ill for Obama and, I would point out, for her Republican opponent in the fall.
There is little uglier in democratic politics than playing one aggrieved minority off against another. But Bill Clinton, the Mephistophelean conductor of the political body symphonique, has summoned demographic counterpoint melodies. While we all pray that the devil's baton ends on a sour note for the conductor, the discordant symphony it raises may well blare loudly for a season or two.
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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