Pictured on the right is former George W. Bush chief speechwriter, senior policy adviser and reliable Beltway stalactite, Michael Gerson. Is he in the act of helping the last Republican president of the United States pick out the very best adjectives with which to lie American into the wrong war? Or normalize torture? Or explain away losing the City of New Orleans to sheer incompetence? Or extol the singular awesomeness of Donald Rumsfeld?
I listen to all voices, but mine is the final decision. And Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job. He's not only transforming the military, he's fighting a war on terror. He's helping us fight a war on terror. I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld.I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense.One can only speculate. In fact, it would be irresponsible not to.
All we can know for sure is that ten years later, this is the language Mr. Gerson is now using:
Conservatives make a deal with the devil...It is humorous — in a sad, bitter, tragic sort of way — to see Republican leaders, and some conservative commentators, try to forget or minimize Trump’s history of odious proposals and statements. The argument seems to be: “I say tomato. You say Mexican immigrants are rapists. What’s the big difference?”
And all this has taken place without (apparently) securing any concessions or guarantees from Trump himself. He now knows that he can violate any Republican or conservative principle and still get a round of crisp salutes, even from his strongest opponents. This is the white flag of ideological surrender....
Pursuing the short-term interests of the GOP, gained by unity, may damage or destroy the party in the longer term by confirming a series of destructive stereotypes. Republicans stand accused of disdaining immigrants; their nominee proposes to round up and deport 11 million people. Republicans are accused of religious bigotry; their nominee proposes to stop all Muslims at the border. Republicans are accused of a war on women; the Republican nominee, if a recent New York Times exposé is accurate, is the cave-man candidate.
All this is a particular blow to conservatives, among whom I count myself. Conservatives latched on to the GOP as an instrument to express their ideals. Now loyalty to party is causing many to abandon their ideals. Conservatism is not misogyny. Conservatism is not nativism and protectionism. Conservatism is not religious bigotry and conspiracy theories. Conservatism is not anti-intellectual and anti-science. For the sake of partisanship — for a mess of pottage — some conservatives are surrendering their identity....
Hilariously. the one simple phase which none of our nation's deeply concerned Conservative thought-leaders and professional smiths of words still bring themselves to say is this:
The Liberals were right about the Right all along.