Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Whistling Past the Graveyard

In his NY Times column this morning, Michael Gerson obediently follows his master's whistle with his 514th defense of the Bush presidency, which of course he collaborated in as head speechwriter until about 514 days ago.

Gerson is mightily impressed not just with Bush's final State of the Union address, but with his presidency generally:

Proposals such as No Child Left Behind, the AIDS and malaria initiatives, and the addition of a prescription drug benefit to Medicare would simply not have come from a traditional conservative politician. They became the agenda of a Republican administration precisely because of Bush's persistent, passionate advocacy. To put it bluntly, these would not have been the priorities of a Cheney administration.
In Gerson's mind, that armful of dog bones is enough to offset the rest of the "priorities of a Cheney administration," which Bush has pursued with far more gusto -- and far greater consequence -- than he ever put into the puppy treats. In the end, though, Gerson predictably ignores the many legitimate criticisms Democrats have made of Bush's "compassionate" accomplishments in favor of a typical red-cape, right-wing smear:
Liberals and Democrats offer no praise because a desire to help dying Africans, minority students and low-income seniors does not fit the image of Bush's cruelty that they wish to cultivate.
That poor, poor -- poor! -- man. We never deserved him.

Correction: Gerson's column appears in the Post, not the Times. I must have been confusing him with Bill Kristol.