I just finished Matthew Scully's amazing take-down of former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson. Judging by Scully's account, no bigger phony than Gerson ever walked the corridors of the White House--and that's saying a lot. Apparently, Gerson spent just about every waking hour trying to figure out how to take credit for anything good that came out of the West Wing and had any number of gullible accomplices in the press corps that were happy to oblige him in his effort. Gerson was also shameless about hogging credit for every important Bush speech even if his contribution was minimal. I'm sure that in coming days, this issue of The Atlantic will become the most heavily read at the White House since William Greider's article about OMB Director David Stockman appeared back in December 1981.
I'm especially grateful to Scully for writing this article because it confirms what I wrote in an earlier post about compassionate conservatism. As I suspected, it was mostly campaign hokum cooked up by Karl Rove. Another reason I'm grateful to Scully is that I could never understand why the Washington Post gave Gerson a column when he clearly has nothing interesting to say about anything. Apparently, it is payback for all the leaks Gerson was spilling to the Post all these years. Unfortunately, the Post erred by not also hiring the speechwriters who did all the work Gerson took credit for as well.
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