Is there anything even faintly conservative about Michael Gerson? Has there ever been? Here is a man who feels guilty if the government isn’t helping anyone who’s hurting, a man who supports expanding entitlement programs as his boss did (hence this), a man drenched with white liberal guilt, a man who sees the logic of freedom as somehow heartless, a man who wants politics fused with religious entities to provide a meaning he thinks people cannot find for themselves. Thank God there are still some conservatives who can see through this:
[Gerson] wants to reinvent the entire idea of conservative politics and what it should stand for. Gerson wants to transform conservatism into a vehicle for emotional and spiritual uplift. He writes that a necessary component of presidential politics is a “vision of justice and hope that includes the whole country,” and warmly refers to his favorite left wing coffee shop as spreading “the brush fires of suburban radicalism.” He worries that the conservative movement’s “emphasis on spending restraint and limited government … [is] hardly morally inspiring.” Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and William F. Buckley, just to name a few, almost certainly would have thought otherwise.
But what’s important to note is that it’s indicative of Gerson’s worrisome approach to governing. In his world, it’s not just about creating policy that works, but policy that makes him feel good. He doesn’t want government to get out of the way; he wants to use it to help him find meaning.
He should join the Clinton campaign. Pomocon James Poulos has some interesting reflections, as always, here. Knippenberg adds his two anti-anti-Gerson cents here.