Friday, January 28, 2005

Andrew Sullivan Finds a War He Can Get Behind (finally!)

Earlier this morning I noted the most serious salvo yet lobbed at Andrew Sullivan by Mickey Kaus. Now, the battle has been well and truly joined.

You really must read the entire post, but I'll give you this tease:
Besides, for Mickey to talk about unsteady judgment strikes me as a little rich. Hands up who can now recall whether Mickey was for the war or against it? Was he for Kerry or did he loathe him? Is he for gay marriage or against it? This is a man who cannot write a sentence without fifteen parentheses for qualifications, internal rebuttals, self-questioning, meta-meta-spin, obscure references to people he might once have dissed or who might have dissed him, and even an imaginary editor to subvert his own points even as he makes them.

This isn't just towel-snapping anymore. This time, it's personal.

Kaus's baiting has been so demonically successful that he has even succeeded in prompting Sullivan to pop off against Glenn Reynolds, Power Line, and the Belmont Club. (And the ease with which Sullivan does so suggests that he's been spoiling to to claw at these other blogs for some time now. Either that or he's just very facile at tossing off casual, personal insults. I report. You decide.)

Update, 11:13 p.m.: A commenter notes that Sullivan used to refer to Instapundit (his "blog hero") as "Glenn." Now that he's a partisan dupe, he's "Reynolds." I wonder when Andrew disavowed him.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

As far as amateur kremlinology in the post goes Instapundit's author is now reffered to as "Reynolds" rather than "Glenn".

Sydney Carton said...

Sullivan also was picking on LGF also:

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=14492_Sullivan_Off_the_Rails_Again#comments

Sully's 15 minutes of fame are just about over. What kind of moron would pick a fight with Instapundit, Belmont Club, Power Line, Little Green Footballs, and Kaus, ALL AT ONCE?

If you didn't think he was crazy before, this proves he's crazy now.

Anonymous said...

Kaus's baiting has been so demonically successful that he has even succeeded in prompting Sullivan to pop off against Glenn Reynolds, Power Line, and the Belmont Club. (And the ease with which Sullivan does so suggests that he's been spoiling to to claw at these other blogs for some time now. Either that or he's just very facile at tossing off casual, personal insults. I report. You decide.)I agre with this, especially with Wretchard of the Belmont Club.

miklos rosza said...

Andrew Sullivan has also insulted Charles Johnson (for some things said in Little Green Footballs' comments section at some point). Johnson calls it a "cheap smear" and says he deserves an apology... though goes on to say he won't hold his breath.

And Sullivan has also been very unhappy with anyone who has the tiniest doubt about the new book alleging Abraham Lincoln was gay, although the evidence for this seems somewhat inconsequential or mixed.

Does all of this increase traffic at Sullivan's site? Or not.

Anonymous said...

You write: "Either that or he's just very facile at tossing off casual, personal insults. I report. You decide."

The latter. Sullivan is a master of the art of the casual personal insult. I've noticed for quite a while that Sullivan tends to lash out when criticized, especially if he doesn't have a good rejoinder. He can be quite the street fighter. Even when not personally criticized, he is sometimes comes out swinging in very personal (and often unsubstantiated) ways, like when he called Zell Miller a Dixiecrat and a racist after his speech at the Republican convention.

Anonymous said...

Does Sullivan ever write about anything but Sullivan? No matter the purported topic, inevitably he gets back to the most important thing: himself.

LegalXXX said...

Sullivan's writing is remarkably formulaic if you look at it. It's kind of like a political Mad-Libs. He is as passionate about deficit reduction as he is about the war on terror as he is about allegations of torture as he is about gay marriage.

Simply change the terms and Sullivan is at all times saddened, hopeful, amazed, shocked, incensed, etc etc.

Sullivan is Horace Greeley.

Anonymous said...

It may be HIV encephalitis, or another for of HIV dementia. It's not universal among HIV patients, perhaps 10% are at risk.

http://www.link.med.ed.ac.uk/RIDU/Demaids.htm

It's too bad, I used to read him constantly and gave him $20 in his first blogothon. But last summer he became unreadable.

M. Simon said...

Well I was there stirring the pot with this post. And I don't even get a mention?

I have had it in for Sullivan (with whom I have on occasion corresponded) ever since he went left.

Well any way. Nice to see Sullivan taking some heat for being a Nervous Nellie. He gets so overwrought some days. And really I like the guy. I used to read him regularly before 9/11 and post 9/11 he turned me on to LGF.

Back in those days Charles was lucky to get 4 or 5 comments on a post. I was often one of them.

Now look at him.

Well I still read Charles several times a day. Sullivan hardly once a week. Although I did catch him this week in time to get in on the action.

Blogging is fun.

Get some.

Anonymous said...

Sullivan, Kaus, Johnson, Wretchard, Hindrocket et al.

Man, that's going to be one tough cakewalk ...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WATCH A CAKEWALK: Here's a video of a 1903 cakewalk. The photograph was originally titled "An amusing cake walk, by a company of New York darkies who excel in this line of work." Here's a poster for such a thing, with the title: "Loony Coons." Another one is called "Chocolate Drops." There are others, including one called "Jolly Pickanninies." I don't think there's much doubt, ahem, about the racist message.
- 12:21:42 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anonymous said...

I have largely stopped caring about Sullivan's point of view when he shifted from a fairly conservative commentator whose homosexuality was just a background aspect to a gay activist whose conservatism--or what was left of it--is a background aspect. Now, looking back on his blog, he seems to have abandoned almost all forms of conservatism if that form of conservatism continues to support Bush.

Stephen said...

Eveything Sullivan writes is in service of his gay agenda. I too gave $ to his first fund raising efforts, but rarely read him now--his demand that gays not just be free from discrimination, but hailed for their "normal" lifestyle-- is just not going to happen. He will manage to alienate many who are tolerant but who won't endorse the gay agenda and lifestyle as worthy of endorsement. Sullivan's lack of loyalty is striking, and is paralleled in the unedeniable fact that impersonal, multiple sex partners is a far more common feature of gay life. Psychiatrists used to speak of impaired "object relationships" occurring in exceptional numbers of gays, but nowadays saying such a thing--which many privately recognize--will get you the Larry Summers treatment from the PC crowd.

Anonymous said...

I think Instapundit went from being "Glenn" to "Reynolds" when he wrote this on January 11:

WAS LINCOLN GAY? Andrew Sullivan cares, and so do the folks at The Weekly Standard. I can't seem to, though. The guy saved the nation, and I'm supposed to care about where he put his wing-wang?

Sullivan's response was:
"WHERE HE PUT HIS WING-WANG": This, apparently, is Glenn Reynold's view of what being gay is. And Glenn is on the side of the angels in this. It's enough to make you despair.

Since then, I don't believe Sullivan has been referring to Glenn Reynold's at all. I did notice, though, that he borrowed the term "Instapundit" to use as the heading for his own comments on Pres. Bush's Inaugural address. And without a nod to Reynolds.

Jeff B. said...

Folks, I find Sullivan's hysterical inconstancy as annoying as any man (and I'm no conservative), but I think we can discuss (and mock!) his gaping intellectual lacunae without resort to stereotypical generalizations about homosexuals as a group. This crudely reductive talk about HIV drug-induced moodswings or multiple-partner lifestyles is tasteless and irrelevant; Sullivan's problems are sui generis and have been noticeable for years, long before he rose to blogging prominence.

Anonymous said...

sullivan's perception of everything changed when Bush came out for the federal anti-gay marriage amendment. If not for that, I believe Sullivan would still be far more supportive of the war and willing to roll with the admitted punches administered by the terrorists. But he's like a betrayed lover, always willing to bring up something wrong as a way of re-enacting the originals betrayal over and over...and over again. I still read him, but certainly not with the expectancy or enthusiasm I used to.

Anonymous said...

Last commenter nailed it: Sullivan's support for the war has always been contingent on Bush's gay policy; as soon as Bush announced his support for FMA, Sullivan became anti-war.

Let's face it, the most important day of the past 4 years, to Sullivan, was not 9/11, but, rather, the day Bush came out for FMA.

Anonymous said...

I used to read Sullivan every day. He has moved so far left of center that I put him in the same category as Daily Kos and read him maybe, once per month. He seems very egotistical and really, quite dreary. He's a real downer, in my opinion.

miklos rosza said...

Sullivan's book "Virtually Normal" (1994 I think) had as its central plank gay marriage -- which was a fairly new idea at the time, one which I assumed was meaningful to him because he remained Catholic. Certainly no one I knew who was gay ever mentioned it to me until the Massachusetts court came out with their opinion in 2004 and then the mayor of San Francisco began "marrying" homosexual couples even though the state had voted against such a thing not long before.

Then, even though it wasn't an EMERGENCY, it became a defining issue vis a vis Bush for most of the gays I know. There was a tremendous amount of peer pressure, and Andrew must have especially felt this, since he had been arguing for it at least since his book appeared and he had to have a good deal of intellectual vanity invested here, no matter if was new on the national scene or not.

I had read him daily, even assisted in anti-Susan Sontag research (since he hadn't read her), but whereas if anything he had halfway begun to evolve a cult of personality for Bush as regards the war, SUDDENLY Andrew's entire slant changed once it came out Bush was (for entirely pragmatic political reasons) unwilling to endorse gay marriage.

And so a lot of Andrew's readers, who had found him to be perhaps the most articulate pro-war blogger out there for a while, legitimately felt betrayed. Andrew's emotionalism and impatience has not served him well since.

Anonymous said...

Sullivan's linked to you and accused Galley Slaves of "imputing" his scappin' and fightin' to "aids dementia". He keeps confusing comments on posts with the blog itself - he did the same thing with LGF. I've seen the MSM and lefties do this for the purposes of disinformation but he should (and probably does) know better.
ps Last week he casually referred to the Weekly Standard as "homophobes". I wonder if Sully would still accept civil unions or is he Gay marrage or bust now?

Anonymous said...

Sullivan drives me nuts at times, but please remember that he was the favorite pro-war conservative for several years. His criticisms of the war and the Bush admin tend to be knee-jerk, but they should not be ignored. Sullivan hasn't "gone-left", he's always been a social lib fiscal conservative and a hawk. That said, the guy seems to have an ego the size of Texas. Everything is about him ("The Whitehouse issued a statement today, blah blah blah..... full disclosure, I once bought a postcard with a picture of the Whitehouse on it").
He's a gifted writer, but he's also a professional pundit, so nobody should take him so seriously as to wish ill upon him. If you don't like what he has to stay, stop visiting his site.

Anonymous said...

I'm unfortunately not surprised by the personal, superficial nature of both Jonathan Last's initial post and a good portion of the comments. I mean, aren't these supposed to be like, wonky heavy political blogs here and not catty, bitchy little gossip columns? "Kaus said such and such about Sullivan", "Sullivan said such and such about so and so", "Oh no he di'un't! girlfriend!" "Sullivan used to call Instapundit 'Glenn' and now he's calling him 'Reynolds'. OMG OMG OMG!"

You sound like teenage girls. Get a life.

I thought the point of this was substantitive discussion of Iraq, the elections etc. It would reflect better on you if you were to keep your criticisms susbstantive and not personal. Of course, Sullivan hasn't been an angel on this score either, but his posts have been much more substantive and less personal, than what's been going on here. The political blogosphere, particularly the pro-war political blogosphere is quickly devolving into a bunch of pointless inter-blog feuds, and this kind of post is no help in slowing that process down.

-Eric Deamer

http://youngcurmudgeon.typepad.com

Anonymous said...

To be fair to Sullivan, he has always been front and center with his gay marriage stance and he sees it as a conservative issue. He has always been pro-war in Iraq. He just is not pleased with the President's silence on certain issues or certain actions (lack of troops, possible torture). However, unlike most of the posters here, he is not willing to be silent or have blind acceptance. He is more of a thinker than most people on here combined. If you can't handle the fact that he talks ever about homosexuality, then so be it. But he has never changed. You are the one with the problem. To people like him, this is an important issue--how can you deny certain rights to some and not to others? We are extendeding liberty to others in Iraq, but we are restricting more of our own. It is like suggesting in the 50s and 60s that Blacks should not be able to talk about their civil rights and should only pull the party line. To most of the people on this board, Sullivan is more of a conservative than any of you will ever be as long as you support the President's budget busting initiative, religious initiatives that push a specific religion, and big government. You are all blind followers. May Sullivan continue--dissent is important.

Anonymous said...

Eric, the fact that Sullivan commands such threads and posts even named after him show he is a very important threat to these people. They fear he is powerful and right. They use ad hominems because they can't argue anything else. It is evasion pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

Nice audience here. I agree with Anonymous above that this crowd does not deserve the mantle 'conservative' -- hysterically antigay and defensive of Bush, but not thinkers, and not conservative.

Sullivan is a bit of a loon, but he's absolutely right that the Iraq war is in a middle ground; the right idea, some poor execution, hopefully going to turn out well in the end, but with lots to worry about in the meantime.

It's really Instapundit who has ossified his position over time, such that he will brook no dissent, no thoughtful critique of Bush's policies and plans.

Dean Barnett said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joe said...

What one considers a "historic skirmish" says quite a bit about them.

LegalXXX said...

Bloggers talk a lot about Noam Chomsky and Robert Scheer too...does that mean they important and relevant, or just consistently risible? Kinda like Andrew.

Dean Barnett said...

I find it disappointing that young Deamer doesn't find the conversation sufficiently edfiying. Regardless, his attack on our host, Mr. Last, is completely out of bounds. JVL has shown considerable courage in shining the spotlight on this epic battle between literary titans and he has shown a carefully modulated neutrality throughout. We are all likely to learn an infinite amount through this enlightening and historic skirmish. We owe Mr. Last an enormous debt for bravely continueing to call this matter to our attention.

As he said, we need him on that wall.

Anonymous said...

"'WHERE HE PUT HIS WING-WANG': This, apparently, is Glenn Reynold's view of what being gay is."

Well... yeah. Being gay means you have different goals for your wing-wang than those who are not gay. It's pretty basic, really. If I'm supposed to believe that gays are just like non-gays in every way but that one little thing (so to speak), or else I'm a bigot, why is it an invalid view of what being gay is?

lloydletta said...

This is what was on Andrew Sullivan's blog:

Just asking ... And is there any conservative blog out there that can criticize my work without some poster eventually imputing it to AIDS dementia? It's fair enough - it was clear this wasn't referring to the blog - but the posts from the commenters.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Sullivan should refrain from attacking blogs for the content of postings in comments threads until he opens HIS blog for comments. That's only fair. Then, if anybody decided to post anything nasty in his blog, it would be his fault and he could be attacked for it.

Anonymous said...

I ran across this long post on a Balloon Juice trackback.

http://allyourtv.com/aviewfromcenter/index.php?p=277

Here's the money quote for me:

"Their wrath is even greater for anyone they considered one of "their own" until they were led astray. What seems to me to be at least 50% of the critical posts aimed at Sullivan include some comment along the lines of "well, he used to have an articulate pro-war blog, but he’s sucked since last summer, when he began criticizing the war."

In other words, "We love you just as long as you agree with us."

Anonymous said...

RE: "We love you just as long as you agree with us."

That quote seems less relevant to the intellectual collapse of Andrew Sullivan than to the Democrats' reaction to Zell Miller.

Anonymous said...

"Boo hoo--Sullivan is so unreadable ever since he stopped agreeing with me."

Please.

Anonymous said...

"Boo hoo--Sullivan is so unreadable ever since he stopped agreeing with me."Well, I'm the one that suggested HIV dementia, so you can all jump on me now.

I actually agree with Sullivan on most things. I'm for gay marriage, increased HIV spending, the government out of our bedrooms and condom distribution. I'm against profligate spending and I voted for Bush as the lesser of 2 bad choices. I'm for the war, and hope it expands to Syria and Iran.

But over the past year, he's become unreadable. He'll have three sentences in a graph that have NOTHING to do with one another. He changes his priorities because it's Tuesday, or because the neighbors dog barked.

When someone of his talent and intelligence looses it like that, there has to be a reason. If it were someone who worked for me the first thing I'd suspect is substance abuse. Since he's very health conscious, I figure in this case, that's probably not it.

In the 90's I had a LOT of friends that died of AIDS, some before things like Pentamadine became available. A couple of them had HIV dementia. Is it possible in his case? The odds are low, but it's possible. He's talked about the mood swings he gets from testosterone, maybe it's a medication that's doing it - like Steven Denbeste.

Sullivan has lost it. He's NOT the writer he once was. I'm regret that, he articulated my positions wonderfully. Now he's slapping at shadows. I hope he gets better.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I read a slur about AIDS dementia, I tend to assume the writer is too lazy and bitchy to discuss serious matters civilly: oh, he's a crazy loon, torture is good, war planning is bad, unbridled spending is the bee's knees, us good, them bad. I have been reading Sullivan on and off for years, and have never seen the degeneration in writing standard so loathesomely alleged.

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Anonymous said...

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You're here, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

I think all of you need to get a life. Read what blog you want and quit bitching about who is right and who is wrong. Didn't ya'lls mama ever tell ya if you don't have something nice to say about someone, to keep your mouth shut? Find other ways for home entertainment rather than to write in and snipe at people. It ain't healthy.

Anonymous said...

I think all of you need to get a life. Read what blog you want and quit bitching about who is right and who is wrong. Didn't ya'lls mama ever tell ya if you don't have something nice to say about someone, to keep your mouth shut? Find other ways for home entertainment rather than to write in and snipe at people. It ain't healthy.

Anonymous said...

Didn't ya'lls mama ever tell ya if you don't have something nice to say about someone, to keep your mouth shut?If we all did that the Blogosphere would fall off it's axis and spin into the sun.

Anonymous said...

Sullivan's concern and dismay, 24 hours a day, are only equaled by Tom Daschle.

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