Bush Loyalist Gerson defends the flag of obese government

Michael Gerson, a man of questionable character and former speechwriter for George W. Bush, called Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and others including Ron Paul, dishonest and dishonorable in his Friday column for the Washington Post.  He believes that the Obama administration is using necessary means to stop terrorism, and conservatives along with libertarians are crossing a line by connecting the dots in the federal government’s erosion of individual liberty.

Limbaugh commented on Gerson’s opinion piece after having to go through the trash to find it, and Mark Levin responded via Newsbusters and on his radio show that Flag Day.

As an aside, I read a blurb on Friday that Betsy Ross was commissioned by George Washington in May or June of 1776, to sew the newly designed flag.  It seems the General’s order to hoist the Grand Union Flag above his base at Prospect Hill was seen as a sign of respect to King George by the Loyalists, rather than a rally to triumph for the Continentals.

General Washington realized that the Grand Union Flag was too similar to the British Flag.

It occurred to me that we seem to have a problem in the GOP, where some of these Bush Loyalists hang on to their carefully crafted positions, trying very hard to seem similar to enemy.

In Gerson’s piece, he noticeably jumps to defend his Bush era “compassionate conservatism,” and the Federal Government’s status quo.

But asserting that U.S. intelligence agencies are part of a conspiracy that somehow includes a national gun registry, drone surveillance and Lois Lerner crosses a line. It is one thing to oppose the policies of the administration; it is another to call for resistance against a “regime” and a “police state.” It is the difference between skepticism about government and hatred for government. And it raises the question: How is it even possible to love such an Amerika?

Doesn’t he sound like he’s defending the Crown?  I mean, if you oppose something like Obama’s policies, understand where his head is at, and look at the evidence, you would naturally resist them.  Otherwise, why oppose anything?  It’s like in response to being told you are going to get punched in the face , you decide to keep your hands behind your back.

And gee, I don’t know, but it might be in Gerson’s best interest to tone down the rhetoric a bit.  His dichotomy between skepticism and hatred is strained and it breaks the flow of his argument.  Can you hate government yet know it is necessary? Yes.  Can you be skeptical about government and use your God-given right to speak out about it?  Yes.  And as Levin pointed out, can you love your country but hate your government?  Hell yes. But Gerson doesn’t frame it that way, he is saying it is dangerous to hate government.

 This distinction between opposition and resistance is illustrated in attitudes toward the leaker Edward Snowden.  If our country is being run by a regime, then those who expose its machinations are heroes, as some on the right have called Snowden. If the U.S. government is a fallible institution doing its best to protect citizens from terrorist violence..

See, he’s doing it again.  No matter who is in charge of the government, we aren’t supposed to resist it.  No matter what happens as a result of policy, we can disagree with it, but we must lay down and receive.  Love thine abusive government, dammit.

Some libertarians and populist conservatives are not merely attacking Obama; they are slandering U.S. intelligence services. There is no evidence, or even a serious allegation, that the NSA has made political use of data it has gathered. This is not a rogue operation. The NSA, with the permission of a court and under the supervision of Congress, built a searchable digital database.

This part is embarrassing a little bit, because it shows Gerson to be reactionary without provocation.  He jumped to point out that it has no way not ever been alleged yet, that the NSA has used any of its intelligence gathering of the free and innocent American people for political gain or retribution, that the agency has not gone rogue, and it has court backing.

As if the IRS would have just asked the court, its request for prayer content would have been legitimate.

The continuity of anti-terrorism efforts across two administrations, with the bipartisan support of congressional leaders, is an achievement, not a scandal. The introduction of extreme political polarization into this debate could be debilitating. “Do I want somebody in charge of this kind of surveillance,”asks Limbaugh, “who doesn’t like this country as it’s founded?” Partisans on the left will make the same case against the next Republican president.

No, Mike, they won’t, because the left never defends the country as founded.  They believe this country’s founding is illegitimate because it is founded upon the goodness of the individual, and limited government.

And that is why Gerson is so far off his nut.  He is defending big government under the banner of conservatism, and it cannot work.

Traditional conservatism recognizes the balancing of principles — in this case, security and privacy — rather than elevating a single ideal into an absolute. That balance may need occasional readjustment, based on shifting circumstances. But this requires prudence, not the breathless exaggeration of threats for political purposes.

Balancing privacy with security?  We just found out that we have zero privacy, do we have maximum security as a result? NO! Where is the Chechan butcher right now?

And larger things are at stake. Questioning the legitimacy of our government is the poisoning of patriotism.

NO sir, this is an attempt to treat patriots with contempt under the banner of moderation.  Questioning the abuse of our government is not questioning its legitimacy, and by using the wrong word, perhaps purposefully, perhaps through ignorance, Gerson exposes his real concern.   He is attempting to suggest that it is patriotic to love, trust and obey your government over your blessed country.

Therein lies the parallel between Bush Loyalists and the Obama Administration.  Big government, obese government, is legitimate and worthy of defense because both parties are seeking the ability to exert control over the people.

The flags are too similar.

Because this is still the “last best hope of earth,” not a police state. Because Americans have fought and died for this country, and to turn on it in this way is noxious. It is dishonest. And it is dishonorable.

Finally, Gerson mentions the country, but uses the blood of patriots to scold those warning of the bill of particulars against the Crown.

The only person dishonest and dishonorable here is Michael Gerson, self-aggrandized, impenitent Loyalist.


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  • Gary Cobb

    Gerson is so full of it you just don't know where to start. He said, "Americans have fought and died for this country" and that is all he needed to say. Again and again Americans have to fight and die to clean up the mess left or created by the sheer mismanagement of government. We are now under 24 hour surveillance because government, the courts, Congress, the President did not do it's job in the first place. Buying of votes, catering to every voting block, robbing our treasury, destroying our Constitutional right, OUR God given rights have all brought us to this point. I didn't create this mess. My neighbor did not cause it. Out of control, centralized, government should only look at itself as the creator of this disaster. Because government did not do it's job we Americans must now spend billions of dollars on surveillance and I suspect before it is over Americans will have to, once again, fight and die for this country. "He believes that the Obama administration is using necessary means to stop terrorism". Well Islamic terrorism should have never gotten a foot hold in this country in the first damn place!

    • task

      Unfortunately what you just described has a lot to do with republicans, and Gerson is a metaphor for the entire party minus the conservative element.

      In 2010 we sent, en masse, conservative replacements, who were well equipped political soldiers, from a constitutional perspective, and look what happened? They were chastened, demeaned and ridiculed for daring to fix things. The party had enjoyed a tea party constitutional conservative victory, unlike anything experience in memorable history, and yet entrenched party operatives did everything possible to undermine the very principles that gave them a powerful advantage to stop the spending, the looting and the pandering that was the core mission of these replacements.

      To understand just how much damage republicans can be responsible for just look at the current Senate bill which is referred to as comprehensive immigration reform. There is only one thing that can be worse than the ObamaCare debacle and this is it; yet it has not a snowflake in hell chance of passing without republican support. I don't need to describe how much damage this bill will initiate because we all know about most of it, so why should we worry? Because that is exactly what these fools might pass under some Lindsey Grahamnesty, amnesty concept or something else just as incomprehensible and stupid. The only adversary liberal democrats and RINO republicans have is the tea party conservatives and we need a lot more recruits than we have now to take out the likes of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner who, if they were professional football quarterbacks, instead of politicians, would be more likely to score points for the opposing side than their own team. Only in republican politics can they get away with such behavior. Democrats would never put up with the same thing.

  • Gary Holveck

    We can jockey for positions on a plethora of opinions and political positions. Simply, whether liberal or conservative, government has become too big and self-serving. Our simple and formerly-effective Constitution becomes a stumbling block to the gargantuan selfishness of politicians. We may not need a Continental Congress or Constitutional Convention but we do need a mandate of size, scope and power limits to government.

  • NHTrooper


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  • MichaelBowler

    Gerson's argument isn't very persuasive. Any argument to give the government that kind of power is going to have to be in a whole other class of detailed and persuasive…I've never heard anyone approach that capacity.

    I never expect to.

  • F X Phillips

    It is leftists that challenge and discredit the legitimacy of the governing paradigm through their intellectually bankrupt concept of the "living breathing constitution". Their position fits right in with other hypocritical nonsense such as "political correctness" , "moral relativism" and a false moral equivalency that elevates American misdemeanors to the level of other nations felonies(thanks Dr Hanson)

    The left and their concern troll republican shill Gerson better understand that their authority stems from the constitution. If they destroy that document through subterfuge, lawlessness and ignoring it's constraints their authority disappears(thanks Professor Reynolds) and leaves only a grotesque will to power.

    Blaming Limbaugh, Levin et al is like blaming the fire alarm for the fire.

  • richard40

    This Gerson guy just shows us that the big gov wanna be dictators are not confined to the dem party and Obama (although they do predominate there). We conservatives have to do some housecleaning in the repub party as well, so it really stands for liberty again. The reason the tea party has been so viciously attacked, mainly be dems, but also by many repubs like this one, was when the establishment noticed that the tea party really beleived in all this liberty and limited gov stuff, and it wasn't just empty words to win an election for them.

  • task

    Obese government in many ways, if not most ways, is also inseparably related to our entitlement culture and our immigration problems. Illegal immigration has become a conundrum simply because unfettered immigration of very poor people sustains the entitlement society which liberals love to create and expand upon. And they will certainly expand upon it when they have the votes; then as the population of dependent, poor people increases so do the entitlements and as entitlement opportunities increase so does the population of dependent, poor people in a spiraling and boundless fashion. This will ultimately become an economic death trap. Obese government, laden with so many non-contributors, with many takers and users, with monumental, unsustainable costs and with many, welcomed, new dependents, demanding and relying on even more of the same, is certain to collapse the system and when it does it will do so with a sound so loud it will be heard around the world.

  • StrangernFiction

    It isn't about R vs. D.

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