Note from Senior Management: Jen Kuznicki explores the work of a Bush hitman. We reprint here.
Peter Wehner made Mark Levin the target of his work at Commentary lately, as an extension of his zeal to cast G. W. Bush as more of a conservative than Reagan was, and label numerous prominent conservatives as “purists” in desperate need of moderating their tone. Levin, rejecting the notion of being lectured to by a Bush grandee responded, correcting Wehner and calling attention to his aptitude for cherry-picking facts so that he can knock down prominent conservatives, and conservative causes.
Peter Wehner arrived in Washington D.C. in 1983, and never left. He was hired by Bill Bennett as a speechwriter in 1987, very late in the Reagan Presidency, and that is how Wehner lays claim to being a Reagan alum, and somehow, in his mind, it makes him an expert in decoding the Reagan philosophy. But Wehner went on to be part of a team of speechwriters for the second Bush presidency, alongside Michael Gerson, and stayed with the Bush administration, in a capacity that the Washington Post described as, “paid to read, to think, to prod, to brainstorm — all without accountability.” Bill Kristol said of Wehner in 2004, “One reason Pete really is important is that he has very close relations with both Karl (Rove) and Mike (Gerson), and that’s two of the five or six most important people in the Bush White House,” and those relationships are still operating as I have pointed out in, “Magnificent Imbeciles,” and “Bush’s Mediocrity Brigade.”
So it is in that mindset that Wehner has been operating at Commentary. He most definitely is a Bush alum, marinated in the philosophy of so-called, “compassionate conservatism,” which smears conservatism as mean, simply by the qualifier. Understand, he is not promoting conservatism at all when he operates under the notion that it is what it is not.
In order to promote his harmful view of conservatism, Wehner needs to show exhibits of who he believes are not proper examples, and, as he and Henry Olsen have published, how conservatives of today need to heed their view, the Bush view of Reagan, which is at odds with the reality of who Reagan was.
Wehner’s type of phony idealism is what drew the ire recently of prominent Reaganites like Mark Levin, Don Devine, and Craig Shirley, just to name a few. But there is a very long list of prominent conservatives whom Wehner has trashed so that he can sell his Bush mush philosophy of expanded government.