Thursday, November 06, 2008

More Gerson Douchebaggery

Today Michael Gerson hosts a pity party for his old boss, George Bush, in his column in the Washington Post. Apparently everyone has been unfair to Bush, who has "a deeper decency" then we all give him credit for.

Boo frickin' hoo.

Hey Mr. Gerson, has Bush done anything to stop the torture his administration authorized? Is Guantanimo Bay still open? How dare you say a man who would allow innocent people (most of the people picked up in sweeps and sent to Gitmo) be denied rights affirmed in the Geneva Conventions and by U.S. law, and then describe the man who should be ultimately responsible as decent by any measure.

Tell that to the child who lost his mother to an errant bomb in an unnecessary war. Or tell the child whose father was tortured at Abu Ghraib that Bush took some unfair hits from the press and has a low approval rating. I expect (and hope) that kid would hit you with the sole of his shoe.

Gerson sites Bush's AIDS initiative. I'll give Bush credit for his increased aid, though it should be noted that the elimination of any kind of birth control and the abstinence only bent blunted what could have been a truly great achievement. I'll give Bush credit for his willingness to work with the G-8 on fighting malaria, too.

Gerson says that my image is Bush is so skewed that I cannot accept his portrait of this deeply decent man. He writes, "That is, perhaps, understandable. But it means little to me. Because I have seen the decency of George W. Bush."

Fine. But Gerson's also been on Bush's payroll. Perhaps he can't understand that a short list of compassionate acts does not erase a much longer list of incompetent, callous, and even cruel ones. Perhaps there is some threshold of charity that blots out war crimes, but I'm not sure what that would look like, and Bush's record doesn't come close.

Mr. Gerson, rumor has it that Nero played his lyre and sang songs while Rome burned, but one historian claims that wasn't true. He says Nero may have started the fire, but then he did a great job rebuilding the city. When the people got angry about the tax increases needed for all the rebuilding, Nero found some Christians to use as scapegoats, and had them thrown to the dogs, crucified, or burned. But his urban renewal plans were nice, and after the fire he let some of the homeless live in his palaces, so, I guess by your standard, he had "a deeper decency". If only he'd had a fan like you to rewrite history for him.

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