Monthly Archives: December 2011

Michael Gerson on Newt

Washington Post columnist and former Bush speechwriter, Michael Gerson, who really doesn’t want Newt to stand astride right wing continents, is getting downright nasty. Here’s his opening sentence this morning…

“The epochs of Newt Gingrich’s public life are defined by the books that have revolutionized him — generally of the type that sell well at airports. “

Actually, I think that might be the best line I’ve read from Gerson, combining the delicious malice of, say, a Hunter S. Thompson and the intellectual elitist snootiness of, say, a Michael Gerson.

Now, he’s right, of course. No arguing that. The airport bookshelf is barely a step up from supermarket-checkout offerings – those dismaying racks of gold fonts and motivational-shyster smiles…Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Herman Cain, Sean Hannity. Ann Coulter, Paul Gigot. “Hurry past these strange nightmares!!” something inside us cries out.

And Gerson is right too on the matter of Sharia and this modern instance of the paranoid style of American politics and pathological theologies. So, tip of the hat, Michael.

But most of all, I want to celebrate Michael’s final line, a fitting bracket for his first…

“But those views demonstrate a disturbing tendency: the passionate embrace of shallow ideas.”

Yes! And the important discernment – indeed the critical discernment – that Michael makes here is identifying how, within the modern conservative movement that Michael has done his part to create and forward, Gingrich stands unique in the embrace of shallow ideas.

Treat yourself to Michael’s column here…

(ps… that’s for you John, in case you peek in)