Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bush’s Born-again Speechwriter is Leaving

It’s a very big deal that George Bush's main speechwriter Michael Gerson has decided “to pursue new career options”. People come and go all the time in the Bush administration. Some can’t wait to get out. Some are pushed out. Nearly all are replaceable with identical clones. But two Bushmen are not replaceable: Karl Rove and Michael Gerson. Gerson is the man who has made our ignorant, insensitive, crass, psychotic and confused president sound like a thinking human being. Gerson is the man who turned our president’s grandiose delusions about God’s personal intervention in his life into thoughtful prose with poetic cadences. Michael Gerson is what has passed for George W. Bush’s soul. Gerson actually believes what he writes because he has put God in the center of his own life. What on earth Michael Gerson was doing in the Bush administration is a deep mystery. Although Gerson is only 42, he had a heart attack a couple of years ago. He says he has been thinking of making a career change for some time. The New York Times reported this morning that Gerson chose now to announce his departure because “the White House is having a run of good news and the time seemed right”. If what is going on now can be called a run of good news, it shows how demoralized the White House has become. Gerson must have been referring to Karl Rove narrowly escaping going to jail and the president having popped a happy pill to act upbeat about the lost cause in Iraq. There are no plans to replace Michael Gerson because he cannot be replaced. He is the best speechwriter the godless White House could have found. There is no other like him. He’s a true believer not a posturer. He has faith in a transforming God. He has heart, ethics and character. And he has faith in the Republican Party. The White House will make noises about its sadness at Gerson leaving. Then we will be let know that although Gerson will be missed, there are speechwriters galore who will step into Gerson’s post. Chief among them, of course, is Karl Rove. It will be clear only to outsiders how irreplaceable Michael Gerson is. The White House, particularly George Bush, will see no difference between the speeches written by Gerson and those written after Gerson steps down. Only Michael Gerson knows what working in the Bush administration has cost him. He obviously thought he could make a difference. And except for making the president sound moral, ethical and intelligent for the time it took to read a speech, Gerson has made no difference. Only Michael Gerson knows what it costs a man to work day after day with soulless men whose very lives mock those who are God-centered. I wish Michael Gerson well. He’s a good man. He deserves a good and rewarding life.

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