The Conservative Rebuttal To Moderately Michael Gerson's "Surprised At Freedom" Column: The Rinoplasty Refutation
March 13th, 2011
By Barry Secrest
Are Columnists Michael Gerson and Paul Krugman twin sons of different mothers? An even better question: Is bizarre the new reality in today's political world of half-baked punditry? At best, is it a requirement to either be a quantifiable nut-case who most recently stated that our $ 14 trillion dollar deficit is not a true concern, despite the fact that we may never be able to balance the blasted thing again, as Mr. Krugman actually stated? Or, in a hyper-spate of extreme hypocrisy, is it Mr. Gerson's recently lamenting how we Conservatives feel about revolutionary "Democratic" protests in the Mideast--while Gerson essentially stomped upon and trashed the truly Democratic "Tea Party protests" here within his own country for the past two years? "What" on God's brown, sun-scorched earth are these guys smoking becomes the penultimate question?
Granted, Michael Gerson does tend to often write half-in and half-out of the shadows as it regards right-wing politics, frequently having the correct ideas but never quite drawing the full and proper conclusions from them. Meanwhile, Krugman, also an anti-Tea Party zealot, virtually always starts out with fallacious conclusions and then tries to interject factually correct ideas to foment his habitually flawed answers.
It's a fascinating study in cause and effect. Examining how these writers, at the top of their mainstream media professions, make their respective cases, along with how they also endeavor to shape opinion with often perversely flawed perspectives. Kind of like Charlie Sheen writing political/cultural opinion--in a jiggly bed--is the rather daunting image that fills the mind's-eye.
Granted, Gerson did write numerous speeches for George W. Bush, and yet, it must also be noted that he, Michael Gerson, wrote numerous speeches for George W. Bush...
Banging The Liberty Bell Of Freedom--Just For Fun?
But, in Gerson's latest column, "Conservatives shouldn't be so surprised by freedom," he delivers what would amount to a furious metrosexual diatribe, for him, leveled at Conservatives who are cautiously pessimistic about the protests going on in the Mideast. Now, when I say "for him", I mean to infer that anyone who has read only a few of my "sometimes" caustic columns will generally have not even a tittle of doubt as to exactly where our particular attempt to shape and inform via opinion stands. Fully in the sunlight, no shadows nor anything even hinting at hesitance.
Just say what you've been thinking, explain your reasoning, and be done with the thing while keeping it snappy to some degree. Krugman is much the same way sans snappiness, I will admit. Gerson, however, often appears to be hedging just a bit, but in this specific case, he thoughtfully allows us the understanding that he is not at all happy with those of us Constitutional Conservatives who have yet to loudly bang the liberty bell of freedom for the Mideast, as he is apparently prone to do with far too many events, having made an incrementally irritating career at it, for oh so long.
Gerson, in his column starts out by telling us that our often conservative criticism of the "democratic transformation" that is occurring in the Mideast is, indeed, unfounded. He further notes that we are rather arrogantly, a word that I have interpreted from Gerson's ill-stimulating ginger tense, concluding that Democratic success is not possible in a society lacking a Democratic culture. Interesting conclusion, yet not exactly accurate--at all--with regard to how Conservatives actually feel about the process going on within the Mideast.
To wit, these events, Sir, are not a simple exercise in Democracy breaking out, there will always be far more to this sort of conflagration than the happenstance of every searingly irritated Arab finally settling down to a 'Leave it to Burka-Beaver' existence. Surely you must know that only a few of these regimes will probably go the way that those of us intimately familiar with liberty, and all of its trappings, know to be best. Especially for both the world in general and for the down-trodden citizens who began all of this in the first place.
Cross-Dressing, Mini-Revolutions and The Tweet-sie Railroad
In that same vein, further fleshing out my point, perhaps Gerson should find a phonebooth and quick-change into a burka-halter, replete with pom-poms and tennis-pumps and spinningly cheer even more wildly as the increasing Arab instability spirals US fuel costs expectantly upwards and into the stratosphere of American disappointment. Perhaps Gerson tools around on a ten-speed much of the time is the rather unremarkable possibility. While Gerson continually takes stabs at Conservatives, pointing out the myriad problems with all of this wonderful "Democracy" breaking out, he fails to include what it's doing to both the US and its allies.
Currently oil has sizzled upwards to $ 104.00 per barrel and inflation is rocketing food prices upwards from the effects of both world instability and QE2, among a host of other domestic and foreign issues. Maybe if we can just talk these regimes into toppling themselves at a rate of one per year, things would be so much more stable for us all. I feel certain that Gerson's eyebrows might have shot up, musefully considering the possibility of that idea, though unremittingly implausible it may be--and so it is with what I am gleaning from Gerson's words up to this point.
Next Gerson points out how a "leaderless revolution is impressive in its own right" with regard to Egypt, to which we would note: Oh really, Michael? Most would also refer to the Tea Party protests as a leaderless revolution in which members indicted all of the government overreaching and beyond ridiculous largess. But in our "American Democratic Tea Party Revolution," Gerson's petulant voice of unenamoured vilification could be heard humming a slightly different, if not off-key tune of dissonance.
Yes indeed, in fact Gerson spent a large part of his time criticizing the Tea Party and talking of how "toxic" it was and how it was bad for the Republicans (see Gerson's "Tea Party Toxic For GOP," 8/25/10). In fact, Gerson pointed to one of the figureheads of the Tea Party as "a collection of tweets." Well, Michael, perhaps we should just call our mini-revolution the "Tweet-sie Railroad," because post-election saw the dust clearing on a Republican takeover of most of government, as a result of the Tea Party, AND as having been repeatedly predicted by this column as opposed to your own, kind Sir, for nearly a year prior.
The question as to Gerson's "leaderless revolution" is just that--a question--at this point. However, eventually revolutions must adopt defacto leaders, and that position generally will go to the most organized of the revolutionaries. So, hmm... sifting through all of the possibilities, which leaders have emerged thus far? Mohamad El Baredei is one who stands out. He is, by the way, a Muslim Brotherhood aficionado. So whom else? Well, how about the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood?
Formerly exiled Egyptian Shaykh Yusef Al-Qaradawi, who could be considered the anti-Limbaugh of liberty, urged the Egyptian revolutionaries to continue their protests and demands until their goals had been fully met, which included all sorts of interesting positions and demands. Al-Qaradawi is, not surprisingly, also the President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and is best known for his lectures urging the extermination of the Zionists-- more commonly known as the Jewish people.
Things Could Go Wrong, But Who Cares?
To those individuals, such as Gerson, who consider the arrival on the scene of Al-Qaradawi as "innocent," we then need to look to one of the originators of the Egyptian revolution, that being Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who helped to provide both the voice and the blueprint for the popular uprising. Ghonim appeared at the victory stage on February 18th, along with Al-Qaradawi, but was prohibited by security from mounting the stage and addressing the Egyptian people, in strict deference to Islamist Al-Qaradawi. Thus, the young man left the event with an Egyptian flag hiding his face. Is this the democracy of which Gerson speaks so emphatically?
Gerson does hint, throughout his column, that things could go wrong. In one instance he states that "it may take time to get the content right." He also states that "democratic transitions can be difficult," and then further notes, "no good outcome is guaranteed" and that America's founders presided over a system where some humans were owned by others--which was resolved only by a civil war. But, thoughtful hedging aside, Gerson does think that "the Arab transitions will be better than America's." Indeed, Mr. Gerson, we can only hope.
But when we look at the struggles housed even within the very same Islamic traditions, whether it be Sunni, Shiite or Wahabisim, among others, never mind the various other religions where we are already seeing religious murders taking place, our cautious optimism is replaced by a certain amount of dogged pessimism based upon an Arab world that often belies American understanding.
We must further note that, even in a Democratic Iraq that was handed a representative democracy nestled upon a silver platter, these same indignant protests are going on there, as well. Gerson further, and in an unsuspected naivete, indicates that these revolutions were unaided by America, which, according to the UK Telegraph is totally incorrect. In fact the US conscripted, trained and activated at least one Egyptian agent who helped to eventually bring down the government of Egypt. This individual was supposedly trained by the State Department. We are still trying to understand both the "whys" and the "hows" in which an American Government would seek to topple a regime that represented a linchpin of peace. Perhaps a question for another time?
But then Gerson gets down to the nitty gritty of his message by seeking to cast aspersions on other Conservatives who choose to look at an Arab world on fire with more of a jaundiced eye than Gerson himself. In fact, Gerson actually lays into Glenn Beck for "expanding his critique of Islam" utilizing an "exquisite timing" in also bringing up the possibility of a con-joined Caliphate. Now, maybe Gerson is simply blissfully ignorant of Beck's voice as it has always regarded radical Islam. However, we should point out to Gerson that Beck has long critiqued Islam to one degree or another, as have any who have even the most remote crumb of discernment skills of "the predicament we find ourselves in," which Gerson apparently lacks.
To Die For...
Gerson goes on to point out Andrew McCarthy's stance of an Islam that is not now, nor ever will it ever be compatible with Democracy. Gerson even states that the intensity of McCarthy's view seems to increase as evidence of it contradicted. McCarthy is a noted expert who has written lengthy studies and books on Islam and actually acted as a US prosecutor against Islamists in US Federal Court. However, speaking to Gerson's contradiction of McCarthy's evidence, Gerson offers up only rhetoric to support his leaky argument.
We might suggest that Gerson actually read a few books, or study a bit of history addressing the issue before he expounds upon "facts," which do not exist. Perhaps Gerson might even check into very recent US Military history in Fort Hood, Texas. Or Gerson could quibblingly limit himself to violent interaction within just America alone to figure out what radical Islam is all about. I can assure him that US/Islam historical interaction will be ample grounds of evidence in support of McCarthy's views.
In fact, there is a long list of essentially uninterested Mideastern experts who will look you in the eye and swear by all that's holy that Islam cannot reasonably function within a vacuum of Sharia-compliant law. The religion and its strict fundamentalist traditions and laws bely virtually any attempt at circumnavigating their essence. Why does not Gerson see that, even here in the secular Democracy that is a liberty-loving America, the problems with Sharia compatibility as it regards Constitutional freedoms has frequently spilled out into the both the public conscience and the court system--even with a meager population of Muslims being 3% at best?
A "Conservative Attack List" From Gerson That Would Make Any Liberal Blush With Pride
Suffice it to say that, as with the Tea Party in my case, and as with Islam in McCarthy's case, Gerson might do well to listen and heed the experts whenever he might seek to misinform his readers based upon habitually incomplete and often disingenuously contrived knowledge. Gerson further even points out that, since 9/11, America has found "Muslim allies willing to die at our side in the fight against radical Islam." Perhaps that is true, and yet we would err if we did not point out that we have found that same shrouded number to the 5th magnitude of "allies" who have also been willing to die at our side after having just killed us.
You see, one of the problems with radical Islam is its willingness to lay down any and all human life in order to honor their beliefs in such a way that any means ultimately justifies the final ends, which is an avowed commitment to the death of all willing infidels.
But Gerson, in another apparent mind-shifting attack upon the misconstructed barricades of metro-sexual madness, then suggests that "Conservatives," just to "demonstrate some connection to reality, should delay their criticisms of Islam's irredeemable violence" until the "peaceful protests in the mideast draw to a close."
So, do you mean like the "reality" in Libya Michael? That particular protest has become a civil war death match, just in case you hadn't noticed. In fact, were we Conservatives to wait until the protests are over to proffer an honest opinion, like say Obama for instance --unless of course it's a sworn ally--we might indeed, be waiting for years, a decade even Mr. Gerson. Or perhaps you, much like your twin from earlier, would simply prefer all of we Conservatives to simply lie down and shut the hell up.
The Flutter-By Effect of Fractionalism
Revolutions are rarely decided in months or even singular years would be our exact point here. Surely you must be aware of that as well Mr. Gerson? If one were to Please note:
The American Revolution did not effectively end until 1783, a span of at least 7 years
The Russian Revolution essentially began in 1905 and through a series of upstarts ended not until 1917
The Chinese Revolution began in 1946 and did not end until 1950
The French Revolution began 1789 and ended in 1799--the total of these instances resulting in the deaths upwards of 50 million people, the blurry line between protests and conflict rarely if ever having been recognized or even accounted for.
Now, forgive me in advance for making the point that Gerson essentially loses his argument on, but the vast amounts of stored energy that both America and the world requires reside right smack in the in the middle of this revolutionary powderkeg that Gerson is all atwitter over. So now--who--exactly--is living within un-reality along with the "piss on oil" President and a majority of the Senate, with the all-important--neatly creased trousers--becomes the exact question?
Perhaps, as with all Neo-conservatives, or what I would dis-affectionately, but far more accurately, describe as Con-Swervatives, Gerson has resided within the comfy, cushioned cocoon of Con-swervatism for so long that he has now metamorphosed into the flutter-by of fractionalism that we all knew he could and would become. Indeed, the chrysalises of this sad but effective species lie both forlornly vacated and or, meaningfully occupied, throughout the entire inner beltway and beyond. The consummate Con-swervative sounds, often looks and frequently acts like, his ideological brethren, until such time as it is to late to recognize that the damage has been done, and meaningfully so, such as right now, for instance.
We find ourselves lazily reclining in the hole of a $ 15 trillion dollar deficit arguing over pittance, while the world appears to be slowly dissolving all around us. The fact that those of Gerson's ilk, being the Republicans in name only, having cleaved into the mass of liberal apologists or compassionate conservatives for the sake of good natured media camaraderie, has actually been lost on few if any of us.
The Moderate Quicksand Of Common Ground
While we would certainly expect the liberals and the Democrats in large part to belong to the club of pay now and ask questions later, it is a club of the clueless with members such as Gerson who have swerved into the camp of these spend-feckless types in order to find "common ground," which is better defined as moderate quick sand these days.
When Gerson ends his self-revealing piece, he seemingly allows us to alarmingly glimpse his missing conservative reflection within a mirror of ideological sophistry. The fabled beings of mythic fiction, always rooted within a semblance of virtual truth to some degree. That an individual who could coin the term "heroic conservatism" within a book that he penned, then call out American conservatism as racially sipping from an aged-anglo-saxon cellar of private stock, speaks more of a "hemorrhoidic conservatism" that must needs eventually be surgically repaired, no less.
But, yes indeed it is true, only a feckless conswervative Rino could take the true Conservative's colorblind aspect ratio and purloin it into an Anglo-Saxon cellar of private liberty's vintage. When Gerson speaks to those who would prefer stability over idealism, he admittedly inclines to the wrongful yet again, so why not try that in another way by application of strategic inversion in order to completely understand Gerson's stance:
The words Hope and Change were in need of a stealthily applied makeover, which Gerson has thoughtfully, if not cluelessly, provided when we clarify Gerson's meaning being--Idealism over stability as optimum--which was the essential hue and cry of Obama's campaign--hope and change we can believe in--alas.
"Perhaps it is natural for a revolutionary power to grow old and cautious, producing thinkers who prefer stability to idealism, but it is sad"~ Michael Gerson