Yes, Kathryn, that’s been the problem with congressional Republicans these last years — their conservatism has “degenerate[d] into an anti-government ideology — rigid, stingy and indifferent to human suffering.” Is Michael Gerson living on our planet? A Republican president proposed a $3.1 trillion budget, with the support of his party. We are trillions of dollars in debt, owing mainly to massive entitlement programs supported by both parties. And Gerson thinks that a handful of conservative senators finally drawing a line somewhere is evidence of the inhumanity of their philosophy. I ask Gerson — how much should the government spend on human suffering? Can it ever be enough? And who should decide what kinds of human suffering deserve the government’s limited attention and resources? All human suffering? What about people like me, with heart disease? Should we be upset about the disproportionate amount of money spent on researching diseases with fewer sufferers?
Nothing personal, but it is dispiriting to me to know that Gerson was a major player in the Bush White House.