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.