Tony Blankley

Well, the early returns are in. (There are still two more rounds of voting in 18 of the country's 27 provinces over the next month.) But the Islamists look likely to get 65 percent to 70 percent of the eventual vote. According to the High Election Commission, the Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party got about 36 percent, while the Salafist Nour Party got a stunning 25 percent. The Salafists are the hysterical wing of the fundamentally reactionary general Muslim population and the Brotherhood is merely the fanatical wing.

The grand total for all the parties that, by the ancient cultural standards of Pharaonic Egypt, are considered the liberal-secular bloc -- the makers of the glorious Arab Spring democracy was, wait for it -- 13 percent. And I will predict that if any of them try to practice any of that liberal-secular stuff in public, either the military will eventually lock them up or the Salafists will eventually beat them up and/or kill them on the street. Adios liberal secular Egypt, we hardly knew ya. Hello, kill the Coptic Christians and the Jews.

Of course, the various ever-bewildered wire services and newspapers are reporting the "unpredicted," "unexpected" size of the Islamist vote, while now taking to call the Brotherhood, in its 2.0 form, "moderate."

But anyway, not to worry, as our brother in journalism Jackson Diehl wrote in this weekend's Washington Post, he has talked with various former terrorists and Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, and he assures us that "the ascendancy of parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood should not be as alarming as many in the West suppose. ...The biggest reason for this is that the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the more fundamentalist parties to its right, have renounced violence."

Well, that's a relief. I suppose they also have no more territorial demands. Oh, wait a moment. Diehl notes that the Brotherhood's platform does say that Egypt should "aid and support the Palestinian people and Palestinian resistance against the Zionist usurpers of their homeland." So, I guess, after they kill all the Jews, they will stop practicing violence. Of course, even then there will be the little matter of the Brotherhood's credo: "God is our objective; the Quran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations." But it's OK. They are the moderate wing of the upcoming Egyptian parliament.

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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