So, in today’s Washington Post, Michael Gerson helpfully points out that President Obama “[a]gainst all my expectations” has eschewed the hope and change and “post-partisanship” of his campaign in favor of a liberal agenda and divisive old style politics. Well, pass the smelling salts, because who ever saw that coming?! I guess not Mr. Gerson.
Just what, pray tell, did he actually expect? Seriously, I would like to know, because after watching Gerson personally work to shred every ounce of basic limited government conservatism from the Bush administration for 6 odd years, I just want to know what brand of “post-partisanship” Gerson “expected.” I honestly don’t know why he even feigns conservatism anymore. I mean, look at this column. Tell me these are the words of a conservative:
“I saw a candidate who…defended idealism and rhetoric against the supremely cynical Clinton machine, who brought a religious sensibility to matters of social justice…”
What about that sounds conservative? “Social justice”? Aren’t we all in on the code words by now? That’s just code for redistribution of wealth. Does Gerson think that just because Obama brings a “religious sensibility” to it that his policies towards those ends are going to be something other than tired, old, liberal, big government nonsense?
I mean, I am a big believer in striving for the ideal. I too, am an evangelical Christian and believe in helping those less fortunate and fighting for those who cannot help themselves. But besides my fundamental disagreement with him about the role of government in that endeavor, this language is the language that Gerson absolutely saturated Bush’s speeches with during his Presidency. And most people agree that one of President Bush’s greatest weaknesses was an inability to communicate.
It’s hard to communicate when you are spewing out rhetoric that comes from the musings of someone whose basic view of government is – however well intended – at odds with core conservative principles.
Gerson then goes on to express dismay at Obama’s “simplistic” approach to the ethical debate surrounding his lifting of essentially all restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Who would have ever guessed that Mr. “Above my paygrade” and Mr. “Let a baby die in a closet” would take a simplistic (some might even say flippant) view towards the protection of human life? No sir… didn’t see THAT one coming…
Gerson goes on in the column to suggest that the great “tragedy” of Obama’s liberal, partisan hackery is that we won’t all focus on the elements of Obama’s agenda deserving of praise and support. He then fires off a laundry list of liberal priorities like the Second Chance Act, increased funding for AIDS treatment and “lifesaving commitments promoting global health and development.” Really? That is the great tragedy?!? That we’re not all cheerleading a big-spending, liberal wish list of social programs? Because, honestly, I think the real tragedy might be something more like government undermining our entire capitalistic system, the mind-blowing expansion of the welfare state as the Ponzi scheme that is medicare and social security goes further ignored, or maybe even global economic collapse.
Jesus commanded us to “love our neighbor.” That we should most certainly do. Jesus did NOT command us to massively expand government in the name of “social justice” and other “heroic” or “compassionate” aims…
Unfortunately, Gerson continues to promote this misguided thought. While he and his columnist buddies like Brooks and Frum were/are busy swooning at Obama’s eloquent speeches and idealistic rhetoric, they totally failed to consider his actual record: the fact that his entire upbringing, education and career (such as it was), not to mention his associations with the likes of Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers, give no indication that Obama has a moderate or “post-partisan” bone in his body. The man was and is a partisan. He was and is a baby killer. He was and is a big-spending liberal who believes in the redistribution of wealth. He was and is a believer in judicial activism.
Let us pray it only lasts four years, because it’s already going to take decades to rectify.
Wake up Mr. Gerson. Wake up Mr. Brooks. Wake up Mr. Frum. None of this is surprising. Not in the least.