I have always had a problem with the existence of speechwriters. I believe a president shouldn't be elected if he can't write the words the country needs to hear. Of course, speechwriters are more than just scribes -- they dramatize, they stage-manage, they seduce. But I think a president -- even one I like -- should know how to do that too. On his own. With a few notable exceptions, Hollywood, The New Yorker, and Knopf and don't pay writers who can't fictionalize, reason, and manipulate their way out of a rhetorical corner. Our taxes shouldn't either. David Kusnet's TNR piece on last night's Bush speech is therefore enlightening in a way others aren't. A former Clinton speechwriter, he puts (his sensible) politics aside for a moment to discuss how it was the order of Bush's rhetoric, as well as his dramatic setting and elegiac tone, that may have rendered last night's Katrina speech successful (I'm not sure I was swayed, but surprise: I'm not exactly the most middle-of-the-road voter). "By the time he arrived at the question of whether his administration should be held accountable for responding too late, with too little assistance and too much ineptitude," Kusnet writes, "Bush had gotten much of his audience nodding in agreement." It was classic seduction or "social dynamics" -- in other words, something terrifyingly similar to techniques used by Neil Strauss and other professional pick-up-artists in The Game to make otherwise uninterested women open to their social advances. The question is, did Michael Gerson, the "lyrical" Bush speechwriter and, in Kusnet's words, "evangelical Christian who now serves as a domestic policy adviser," study the Mystery Method? Or is he more into Speed Seduction? Or Real Social Dynamics? All I know is that if W. had found me sipping sweet fruity drinks at the Saddle Ranch and used some of that New Orleans drama to open up the heavily peacocked three-set I was hanging with, I, and all my air-tight liberal scruples, just might have been puddy in his soft, caring hands.