Whatever else you want to say about Michael Gerson (and I could say a lot), he is just really, really weird:
A president is expected to be a patriotic symbol himself, not the arbiter of patriotic symbols. He is supposed to be the face-painted superfan at every home game; to wear red, white and blue boxers on special marital occasions[bold mine-DL]; to get misty-eyed during the most obscure patriotic hymns.
More significantly, this passage is filled with more than a little irony:
It is now possible to imagine Obama at a cocktail party with Kerry, Al Gore and Michael Dukakis sharing a laugh about gun-toting, Bible-thumping, flag-pin-wearing, small-town Americans.
But one of the points that David Kuo made in his book is that there were plenty of people in the Bush White House who shared similar laughs at the expense of these people, which is actually in some ways worse, since these are the people who voted Bush into office. Did Gerson join in the laughter? Maybe not, but he worked alongside people who viewed these people as rubes and pawns to be used. We await the Gersonian moralising against Bushian elitism, knowing that it will never come.