Former Bush speechwriter pummels 'vampire' Donald Trump for sucking the life out of GOP
President Donald Trump speaks to the press aboard Air Force One on September 7, 2018. (AFP / Nicholas Kamm)

A frustrated Michael Gerson -- who famously proposed President George W. Bush use a "smoking gun" metaphor to ramp up the war rhetoric before the attack on Saddam Hussein's Iraq -- sees a war within his own party and accused President Trump of fomenting it and destroying the party he loves.


In his regular column for the Washington Post, the speechwriter called Trump a vampire who has sucked the life out of the GOP, causing valuable -- and sensible -- members to leave, while saying he has little reason to stay himself.

"They wander the halls of public buildings and haunt receptions like the ghosts of the GOP past — the cohort of Republican senators and House members who will be leaving office with the arrival of the new Congress. Some chose retirement because they did not want to do what is necessary to keep office in President Trump’s party," he began. "Others were forcibly retired by the Democratic wave in the midterm elections."

Noting there are few GOP lawmakers leaving that he was happy to see go (notably "One has a last name that begins with 'Rohrabache-") Gerson said the party has become hollowed out in part because Republicans are alienating voters they need to keep in order to retain power.

"Many of the House losses came in suburban districts that required outreach beyond the Trump-intoxicated base," Gerson explained. "This means the political grim reaper came for some of the most reasonable elements within the party. This process is the reverse of natural selection — call it the survival of the witless."

The former speechwriter said that some GOP lawmakers who are leaving -- whether by retirement or having been ousted by the "blue wave" -- would have made good replacements for White House administration officials who seem to be leaving the president in droves but they lacked the "purity" to be acceptable to the embattled Trump.

"As Trump’s party purifies itself, true talent becomes a waste product," lectured. "This leaves a few of us entirely homeless in American politics. If you had asked me 10 years ago, when I left government, whether the Republican Party could be won and rallied with George Wallace’s campaign themes, I would have thought you ridiculous. Now it is my naïvité that deserves ridicule. If a significant portion of the GOP finds this equally disorienting, it is being disoriented in silence."

Gerson then brought the hammer down on what President Trump continues to do to the Republican Party that Gerson has long been a member of.

"Meanwhile, Trump commits political vampirism — sucking the last remaining life from a dying coalition," he lamented.

You can read the hold piece here.