Quote of the day – “notes from a professional political hack” category

From Michael Gerson  George W. Bush’s chief speech-writer:

Some have compared Jindal to Obama, but the new president has always been more attracted to platitudes than to policy. Rush Limbaugh has anointed Jindal “the next Ronald Reagan.” But Reagan enjoyed painting on a large ideological canvas. 

Got that?  Gerson, unstinting supporter of George W. Bush, heads right into an indictment of Obama as being ‘more attached to platitudes than to policy’.  It’s like a salesman for Archie Comix advising a bookstore proprietor to put his product in to replace the crap filling the  “Fifth Century BC Athens” section. 

And then Reagan makes an appearance (courtesy of the movement’s flag-bearer for the truthful and the accurate, Rush Limbaugh) as another intellectual and policy-wonk giant but Gerson thinks a better description of the non-platitudinous give-me-reams-of-detailed-analysis-every-morning Reagan is ‘large canvas ideolgical painter’.

We note that Gerson decides not to write about Obama’s speech last evening.  Understandable, given what presidential historians Michael Beschloss and Doris Kearns Goodwin had to say about the historical significance that speech may well have.  Gerson instead writes about Jindal, but not about Jindal’s response which had even the folks at FOX in a god-he-looked-bad-in-comparison funk.

And we note that Gerson tries to pump up Jindal as a potential savior (against Obama) for being a wonk and for his religiosity.  The protestant nutcase wing really like him, we’re told.  We expect they do, given, for example,  his expertise as an exorcist

As others noted during his 2003 and 2007 gubernatorial campaigns (see update), in an essay Jindal wrote in 1994 for the New Oxford Review, a serious right-wing Catholic journal, Jindal narrated a bizarre story of a personal encounter with a demon, in which he participated in an exorcism with a group of college friends. And not only did they cast out the supernatural spirit that had possessed his friend, Jindal wrote that he believes that their ritual may well have cured her cancer.

The guy is a Rhodes Scholar and one could certainly argue that in many ways he is a better species of Republican than what the present tends to offer up.  But Gerson is filling the role of hack in all this as he does regularly in his column in the WP.

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