Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Michael Gerson used to be a speechwriter for President Bush. Now he's an author, having written a book called Heroic Conservatism that at least one conservative didn't see as particularly heroic or conservative.
The subtitle of Michael Gerson's book Heroic Conservatism is: "Why Republicans Need to Embrace America's Ideals (And Why They Deserve to Fail If They Don't.)" What does he mean by “America's Ideals”? The principles expressed in the country's founding documents? No, he means liberal policies and assumptions that have dominated American life over the last four decades.
He does have an article up at Townhall today though. In it he takes on Al Franken, who he accuses of having written Satire that is too cruel and too crude. I'm not going to argue that last point; Franken is very good, but he's better when he restrains himself a bit.

The cruelty complaint is pretty hilarious though. Particularly with this bit.
Franken is not content to disagree with Karl Rove; he calls him "human filth." He is not satisfied to criticize Ari Fleischer; Franken terms him a "chimp." The objects of Franken's humor -- including political opponents and women -- are not merely mocked but dehumanized. His trashiness is also nastiness. Rather than lampooning the emptiness and viciousness of our political discourse -- a proper role for satire -- Franken has powerfully reinforced those failures.
What a jackass. Attacking Franken for being mean to conservatives, for using dehumanizing names, while standing shoulder to shoulder with Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, Thomas, O'Rielly, and so on and so forth is just pathetic. Conservatives have made a cottage industry out of dehumanizing liberals. And it's a big damn cottage.

Another difference between Franken and conservative commentators of the Limbaugh Ilk. Franken attacks political figures; people who have chosen to step into the public light. Limbaugh and his cohort attack liberals indiscriminately. You can argue that Franken's attacks aren't fair (although they usually are), but he's aiming at people who have walked out on stage. Limbaugh, in contrast, wants to make the very existence of liberals detestable. He's not content to just attack public figures, but he attacks all of us as bewildered nincompoops, effeminate cowards, or America hating traitors.

I guess I'd respond more positively to Gerson's attacks if I felt that the cruelty coming from his side of the fence bothered him at all.

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