Perhaps I shouldn't dwell on these matters, but the more I watch this man the more stunned I am at His overconfidence and towering pride. I have known a number of great and powerful men (and read biographies of many more), and they surely don't lack confidence or ego. But who among the great would have answered the question posed to the junior senator from Illinois a few weeks ago as He did? Asked whether He had any doubts, He said "never." Is He so foolish as to think He has the world figured out to the last detail, or is He so proud of His intelligence that He cannot confess to ever having any doubt? Either explanation renders His judgment of dubious presidential caliber.
Here is a man who talked almost contemptuously of Gen. Petraeus. Explaining His differences with the general, He said that His "job is to think about the national security interest as a whole; (the generals') job is just to get their job done (in Iraq)." Of course, right at the moment, the junior senator from Illinois doesn't yet have "His" job, while Gen. Petraeus, as confirmed Centcom commander, has direct responsibility for both Afghanistan and Iraq and everything in between and around them. But in the mind of Sen. I Am, He already is, while He thinks the man who is perhaps our greatest general in two generations is just another flunky carrying out routine orders. It is repulsive to see such a mentality in a man who would be president.
All of us have our shortcomings, of course. But there is none so dangerous both to a man and to those for whom he has responsibility than the sin of pride. In the sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great recognized that pride breeds all the other sins and is therefore the most serious offense. St. Thomas Aquinas reaffirmed that pride is rebellion against the very authority of God.
Let me quote a private e-mail correspondent, who states the case better than I could: "Pride indeed is the cardinal vice -- it swings open the door to most of the other theological vices, and undermines the classical virtues of prudence, courage and justice. It thrives, not on what one has, but on what others do not have. And even when one has diligently practiced the most admirable virtues, there always lurks the danger that at some moment one will look in the mirror and say: 'Oh my! What a wonderful person I am!' Thus does the vice lunge from its hiding-place."
For a man, his personality is his destiny. If he becomes president, his flaws become the nation's dangers. The voters must judge carefully both the personalities and the ideas of those who would be president.
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.