January 18, 2011

Andrew Sullivan reflects on the "difficult task is summoning the right amount of anger with the right amount of generosity of spirit."

Including the way he has treated Sarah Palin:
Here, there is no conceivable way in which, in my judgment, her presence on the national stage can improve our discourse, help solve our problems or improve public life. But that does not forbid one from noting the great example she has shown in rearing a child with Down Syndrome, whatever his provenance, or noting her effectiveness as a demagogue, or from admiring her father's genuineness or her skill in exploiting new media. I've consistently tried to do this without undercutting my still-raw amazement that an advanced democratic society could even contemplate putting such an unstable and irresponsible person in a position of any real power.
His approach to the new civility, he says, will be "generous anger: a classically Orwellian term." The idea is "to make strong and lively points without demonization."

119 comments:

Original Mike said...

"whatever his provenance"

Chase said...

The idea is "to make strong and lively points without demonization."

Simply impossible. We're talking Andrew Sullivan here. Even when he was conservative, he was not even close to having the grace of argument without demonization.

Ain't ever going to happen.

Scott M said...

Here, there is no conceivable way in which, in my judgment, her presence on the national stage can improve our discourse

Are those his words or yours, AA? I skimmed the article looking and didn't see them and they're not in quotes so I'm assuming the latter.

How can you say that, though, given the huge, and in my opinion - needed, kick in the gut the national discourse received when she responded to the Tucson accusations?

As to how advanced we are, civilization is a onion-skin-thin vaneer overlaying our true selves. Turn the lights out for more than three days and watch it rip itself apart. Who would you rather have in such a situation? A pansyman The Atlantic writer or someone that's not only held a state executive office, but also knows how to skin and pack a kill?

Again, I'm not carrying water for Palin, but the differences seem stark enough to point out.

traditionalguy said...

Sully nails Palin as an unstable, irresponsible demagogue...but he refuses to "demonise her" anymore. That is a doublespeak worthy of Obama himself.

Michael said...

And yet she is unstable and irresponsible. Nice.

Bite me fuckhead.

Henry said...

Apparently, arguments by assertion are still in.

Scott M said...

Does anyone else find it easy to believe that Sullivan would find an Orwellian term "useful"? How many boots do you think he envisions to go along with that?

...we have always been at war with Eastasia...

JAL said...

Oh he is such a patronizing jerk.

Maybe insufferable is the word.

Elitist (there is no way ... yada yada ...)

Now if *AS* contributed anything which "improved the discourse" he should clue us in.

Feel free to leave anytime you want, buster. And take your green card with you. You give immigration a bad name.

Henry said...

And "the new civility?" Ach, what a term. Sounds sort of like "the new celibacy."

Not much staying power there.

Ann Althouse said...

"Are those his words or yours, AA?"

The blocked and indented material is always a quote. If I'm quoting myself, the introductory material will reveal that.

Why on earth would you assume I wrote that?

You know you can do a "find on page" search to find particular words on a website. You don't have to skim.

1jpb said...

Sully's got some funny stuff up. And, it's very civil (as it is when cons mock the BHO tribute videos).

Tertium Quid said...

Why does anyone pay attention to him any longer? Once he changed from being the Iraq War's most persuasive advocate to being "shocked, shocked" that wars have unintended consequences, I concluded that he lacked the moral imagination to discuss serious topics.

Scott M said...

You know you can do a "find on page" search to find particular words on a website. You don't have to skim.

God help me, I'm just not that bright.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Scott M: They're Sullivan's words, not Ann's--they're at the bottom. Come on, it wasn't THAT long.

I'm not surprised he doubles down on his Trig-birther conspiracy.

My experiences with him--he is a sophist, in the classical sense. He will say anything at all to persuade his listener; he does not argue in good faith.

AJ Lynch said...

He still seriously questions the "provenance" of her son? He is the irresponsible one.

Lincolntf said...

Andrew Sullivan, whatever his provenance, long ago lost any claim on our attention.

edutcher said...

At the risk of being cliche, I have to say that, in the dictionary, there is only his picture under the word, hypocrite.

Quayle said...

Great minds talk about ideas.
Average minds talk about events.
Small minds talk about people.

It really is very simple. If Sullivan wants to get it right, he should stop talking about who said something, and start talking about what was said and how true or valuable it is.

But some people are so filled with enmity for others that they can't ignore who the speaker was because it is determinative of the truth or value of what was spoken.

James said...

What a disgrace The Atlantic has become.

A venerable magazine continues to employ a writer who, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, accused a woman of faking a pregnancy.

He's the Jared Loughner of American media.

Scott M said...

@Scott M: They're Sullivan's words, not Ann's--they're at the bottom. Come on, it wasn't THAT long.

I, uh, had to answer the phone right before I got that part...yeah, that's the ticket.

(insert another played-out, 80'sesque SNL reference here)

shoutingthomas said...

Who's unstable? From Steve Sailer:

I haven't read Sullivan much since he was pounding the Iraq war drums back in 2003, but it was pretty obvious at the time that his hormone therapy was playing hob with his judgment. The Atlantic should put a warning label on his blog, one that gets update round the clock to show you where in Sullivan's artificial hormone cycle he is, so readers can make their own informed judgments about, say, last Tuesday's pronouncement.

Skyler said...

What's really scary is not Sarah Palin, but that lunatics like Andrew Sullivan and Alex Jones get such attention.

Yes, they're both in the same category.

tim maguire said...

Tertium Quid said...

Once he changed from being the Iraq War's most persuasive advocate to being "shocked, shocked" that wars have unintended consequences, I concluded that he lacked the moral imagination to discuss serious topics.

Bingo! He supported a war without considering what it means, without considering that good people do bad things in war, that innocents suffer in war. ("People get hurt in war?!? Oh my, nobody told me that!")

Amazing. He is yet another intellectually unserious blowhard with a platform he does not deserve.

The Crack Emcee said...

he writes for The Atlantic and he's regularly on TV:

Why does anyone take this man seriously?

Really - anybody - how does that work?

Quaestor said...

Irresponsible and unstable... that's Sully in a nutshell.

The problem here is rage. Sullivan is seething, boiling over with rage, chiefly against himself because he's got AIDS and has no excuse. However, he's too cowardly to face his own shortcomings, and instead has sublimated his guilt into a pathologic obsession with Sarah Palin, someone he has never met nor corresponded with. That's crazy, my friends. He needs psychiatric intervention before the Tucson tragedy is repeated in Providence.

holdfast said...

"whatever his provenance"?

I thought his editor at The Atlantic had told him to cut that shit our over a year ago? Spinless fucktard - another reason to mourn the death of Michael Kelly.

As far as Excitable Andy's provenance - the best part of him ran down the crack of his momma's ass and ended up a brown stain on the sheets.

AllenS said...

Fuck off, Sullivan.

WV: cling

shoutingthomas said...

As far as Excitable Andy's provenance - the best part of him ran down the crack of his momma's ass and ended up a brown stain on the sheets.

Well, that's not very civil.

But, it did make me laugh. Haven't heard that one in a long time.

wv: spermite! I'm not kidding you!

lucid said...

There is something about Sullivan himself that is so like what he criticizes in Palin.

He is emotionally unstable and deeply irresponsible in what he writes and says. He is an effective polemicist and user of new media. And he drives his political opponents to excesses of rage.

Perhaps in the way that we all despise in others what we fear we may ourselves be, Sullivan on Palin is simply a fox always smelling his own den--a case of projection.

Perhaps this projection includes his own strange obsession with her uterus.

Moose said...

The "English" in which category I include Sully, always controlled the conversation about language and culture due to their supposed origination of both.

This is reflected in the intelligentsia and their new insistence on "civility". When you anoint yourself the arbiter of tone, you control the narrative.

They're changing the focus back to them as noble victims of the rude n' crude right wing.

Genius, really.

davidpsummers said...

Andrew Sullivan makes a good point for most of the article. The idea, to me, is to be angry about issues, not people. You can be effective and passionate by forcefully opposing issues without vilifying everyone you don't agree with.

I think the part about how Palin's "presence" runs completely counter to the point he was making (I don't see how being angry about her being present isn't angry about her). However, no matter how poorly he adheres to the point himself, the point itself is a good one.

And it goes back to what I said yesterday. The middle has learned to tune out all this vilification of this group or that. Following such an approach is not a sacrifice or concession, it is what will make you more effective with the only people you are going to convince, the swing voters.

Ms. Althouse herself, from what I've seen, follows a similar strategy and has been more effective for it. I think it would be good for others on both sides to take this to heart.

EnigmatiCore said...

I am not certain just how intelligent Mrs. Palin is or is not.

However, it is painfully clear that she is more than a tad bit brighter, and more firmly grounded, than Mr. Sullivan.

Perhaps his new approach should incorporate the humility that might let him consider the thought.

Roman said...

Pompous, thy name is Andrew Sullivan. Wow is he full of himself or what.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Here, there is no conceivable way in which, in my judgment, her presence on the national stage can ... help solve our problems...

Very true. For certain values of the word 'our'. But then, some problems are fundamentally unsolvable.

aronamos said...

Whatever his provenance? Good God.

Andy's provenance: Living proof that one can become pregnant from anal sex.

BJM said...

@Jal

Oh he is such a patronizing jerk.

Maybe insufferable is the word.

Elitist (there is no way ... yada yada ...)


The word you're looking for is tossbag, but that would be uncivil, so prat will suffice.

Sigivald said...

If irony was toxic, Sullivan would have just poisoned himself fatally.

Have you no decency, Andrew? At long last, have you no decency?

("Whatever his provenance"? You worthless pile of excrement.

See, this is me being civil. At least, more civil than Sullivan deserves here.)

pst314 said...

"there is no conceivable way..."

Considering Andrew's obsession with Palin's uterus, he really should avoid words like "conceivable".

The Crack Emcee said...

So no one can explain his ubiquity?

Chip Ahoy said...

Sullivan said something? That was removed from bookmarks a looooong time ago, and autofill completely forgot how that address starts out.

Hoosier Daddy said...

rearing a child with Down Syndrome, whatever his provenance

I cannot believe he is still flacking this tripe and then calls Plain 'unstable and irresponsible'

The parody just writes itself doesn't it?

BJM said...

@davidpsummers

However, no matter how poorly he adheres to the point himself, the point itself is a good one.

The problem with your premise is that those now calling for restraint and civility are a) trying to walk back their horrid behavior post-Tucson, b)deploying soft censorship to muzzle the political opposition by using their own inexcusable behavior as reason.

The proof is that for ten years the Dems and left commentariat sat on it's hands, contributed to or cheered on the vitriol and crazies that poisoned the political well. Where were the calls for civility? Reason? Temperance?

Let them lead the way in the upcoming political season and then I'll believe it's not all bollocks.

Bob From Ohio said...

"whatever his provenance"

Scum.

I'd like to comment further but that is the most civil thought in my head.

Oh to heck with civility.

I hope he dies a horrible and painful death.

Maybe Sarah should make another voodoo map of death.

SMGalbraith said...

Sullivan isn't just opposed to Palin the person or figure. He opposes Palinism and what she stands for along with her supporters.

He holds them in contempt and horror (they're "Christianists").

Whether you think Sullivan has changed or not politically (he insists he hasn't) I defy anyone, even Sullivan, to deny that 15 years ago he wouldn't hold such views about millions of Americans.

Yes, he's changed. Not just politically but culturally. He may not be a political liberal; but he's definitely a cultural liberal.

And that, to me, is the source of much of his venom against Palin the political figure. As to Palin the person, I'll leave the amateur psychoanalysis to others.

G Joubert said...

Whatever it is and wherever it comes from, the over-the-top unhinged reaction to Palin is not unique to Sullivan. He's just one representative example of it.

Fred4Pres said...

What a dick Sully is.

Fen said...

I've consistently tried to do this without undercutting my still-raw amazement that an advanced democratic society could even contemplate putting such an unstable and irresponsible person in a position of any real power.

Well Andy, I'm still amazed that our society allows you to remain in country.

You should just die gracefully.

Hoosier Daddy said...

He opposes Palinism and what she stands for along with her supporters.

That brings up an interesting question. What does Sarah Palin stand for?

I've never heard a single reasoned criticism of what she 'stands for' other than 'she's an idiot'.

Fen said...

/again, my Ode to Sullivan, courtesy of RUSH

The writer stares with glassy eyes
Defies the empty page
His beard is white, his face is lined

And streaked with tears of rage.

Thirty years ago, how the words would flow
With passion and precision,
But now his mind is dark and dulled
By sickness and indecision

And he stares out the kitchen door
Where the sun will rise no more...

Some are born to move the world
To live their fantasies
But most of us just dream about
The things we'd like to be
Sadder still to watch it die
Than never to have known it
For you, the blind who once could see
The bell tolls for thee...

- Losing It, RUSH

craig said...

BJM said...

"...for ten years the Dems and left commentariat sat on it's hands, contributed to or cheered on the vitriol and crazies that poisoned the political well. Where were the calls for civility? Reason? Temperance? Let them lead the way in the upcoming political season and then I'll believe it's not all bollocks."

It's all bollocks.

Never mind the past ten years. We have a documented scurrilous accusation ("whatever his provenance") from Sullivan as of today. So we should press the Left in general to repudiate Sullivan, and we should press The Atlantic in particular to fire him or at least dock his pay. If they're not willing to do that, you have your answer.

Alex said...

In a sane nation, Andrew Sullivan would have been instantly fired for his Trig birther-ism in the campaign. But we don't live in a sane nation. We live in an insane nation, forged in the hot fires of insane leftist radicalism from the 1960s.

Alex said...

craig - The Atlantic owners are the same rabid, Marxist, leftist radicals as the ones they hire to write for them. So when Andrew Sullivan writes his screeds of anti-Palin hate they have orgasms. So does their shrinking reader base.

bgates said...

The parody just writes itself doesn't it?

Not exactly. He gets guestbloggers.

LordSomber said...

His approach to the new civility, he says, will be "generous anger: a classically Orwellian term." The idea is "to make strong and lively points without demonization."

He's been acting "classically Orwellian" for quite a while now. After all, small minds need their "Emmanuel Goldsteins," and he's found his.

Fen said...

His approach to the new civility, he says -

Its too late for people like Sullivan. He needs to learn to just die gracefully.

Pogo said...

Sullivan?

How the mediocre have fallen.

Same arc as Ritmo, actually. Hmmmm.

SMGalbraith said...

Andrew Sullivan, September 2008:

"The current GOP is contemptible in all its permutations - from the base to the intelligentsia.... my political judgment, honestly held, proudly expressed, is that destroying this Republican party is essential if this country and the world are going to recover from our current morass."

That about sums it up.

As I said, it's much more than just Palin the person or figure. She's a surrogate for what he wants to destroy.

Pogo said...

"to recover from our current morass"

You think Sully woulda been in favor of morass.

Scott M said...

You think Sully woulda been in favor of morass.

Isn't more ass how Sully found himself in the predicament he's in?

Alex said...

Aren't AL, garage, Ritmo, victoria and the other resident lefties totally in favor of destroying the Republican Party? You know for the good of the nation!

chickelit said...

Starve the beast.

Ralph L said...

He gets guestbloggers
Anyone know if they finally get attribution? I'm not giving that hag or rag a page view.

Kirk Parker said...

"... unstable and irresponsible person... "

Project much, Andy?

ricpic said...

What does Sarah Palin stand for?

Pickup trucks.

Well, actually she is pickup trucks slant parked on Main Street. Hard to believe but that image is alien and scary to guess who?...

Alex said...

That brings up an interesting question. What does Sarah Palin stand for?

- Mama grizzlies
- Guns
- God
- huntin'
- bear skins
- small gubermint
- down home style

LL said...

whatever his provenance

He just can't let go.

Trooper York said...

"whatever his provenance"

What the fuck is that supposed to mean.

Andrew Sullivan is one mean spirited obsessive freak-a-zoid.

I think deportation hearings are in order. Enough is enough with this douchenozzle.

Fen said...

I think deportation hearings are in order. Enough is enough with this douchenozzle.

My fav Sullivanism that says all you need know about him was.. right after he denounced Bush and lectured us all about how the Law should apply to all equally, regardless of status.

Andy gets busted with weed and plays the "laws are for the little people" card.

So he can chatter all he wants about civility. His credibility is zero.

Leo Ladenson said...

"whatever his provenance"

Interesting that Queen Mary Jane Milky Loads used that particular term, what with him being another of the Harvard Plagiarists and all.

Scott M said...

Andrew Sullivan is one mean spirited obsessive freak-a-zoid.

How dare you despoil a cherished Warner Bros character in such a fashion?

Leo Ladenson said...

Not exactly. He gets guestbloggers.


Not exactly. He published their work under his name without attribution. Plagiarism, in other words. It's the done thing at Harvard now, don't you know?

davidpsummers said...

@David Summers
>>However, no matter how poorly >>he adheres to the point himself, the point itself is a >>good one.

@BJM
>The problem with your premise >is that those now calling for >restraint and civility are a) >trying to walk back their >horrid behavior post-Tucson, >b)deploying soft censorship to >muzzle the political opposition >by using their own inexcusable >

I agree that many on the left are trying to do just this. However, many in the middle just want both sides to "cool it". And what I'm saying is that if you call the bluff of the first group you will help yourself with the second.

There have been a number of comments about Mr. Sullivan in response to this. But negative characterizations of people are so automatic these days as to be meaningless. People and one side or the other automatically agree/disagree with the middle is just sick of it. On the other hand, if you point out that his own article doesn't follow the idea he puts forth, anyone can see that is true.

In other words, if you address the points, and not the person, you will make more of an impact.

>Let them lead the way in the >upcoming political season and >then I'll believe it's not all >bollocks.

You will also be worse off. If you attack issues and not people, your views will gain _more_ traction and you will also force the other side to respond in kind or suffer alienation of the middle. And remember it was just sort of alienation that cast the GOP and Democrats (respectively) in 2008 and 2010.

Trooper York said...

He needs to get a guest "soul" because he is a soul less ghoul who has forfeited any consideration from normal people.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Leo Ladenson said...

Not exactly. He published their work under his name without attribution. Plagiarism

Sorry, Leo, but putting your name on other people's work is not plagiarism if you have their approval. It may be deceptive, but it's not plagiarism.

pla·gia·rism   /ˈpleɪdʒəˌrɪzəm, -dʒiəˌrɪz-/ Show Spelled
[pley-juh-riz-uhm, -jee-uh-riz-] Show IPA


–noun
1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.


Note "unauthorized" as a key element here.

In cases such as work for hire, it's even legally correct: the person who commissions the work for hire is legally the author of the work, regardless of who came up with the words.

In Mr. Sullivan's case, though, it was deceptive because he took pains to hide the facts from his readers, and only admitted it when he was caught in inconsistencies.

Moose said...

Trooper:

Sully has a big gaping hole in his center that he's tried to use religion, politics and sex to fill. He is continually looking for something to lift him soul out of the darkness, and in the process latches onto idols like W and Obama.

His gaze ever wanders and never fixes anywhere for long other than his mirror...

stevenehrbar said...

"whatever his provenance"

Three words that fully define why Andrew Sullivan is a scuzzy slimeball whose presence in the blogosphere, indeed upon Earth, can in no way improve our discourse.

Roger J. said...

I think part of the problem may be that Mr Sullivan thinks with his glutes.

davidpsummers said...

[I think my previous post go lost. I'm assuming I did something wrong, I hope I don't duplicte this post...]
BJM said...


@davidpsummers

However, no matter how poorly he adheres to the point himself, the point itself is a good one.

The problem with your premise is that those now calling for restraint and civility are a) trying to walk back their horrid behavior post-Tucson, b)deploying soft censorship to muzzle the political opposition by using their own inexcusable behavior as reason.


I agree that some on the left are really after gain political ground and muzzling the "other side". However, many in the middle are just sick of both sides and really want them to "cool it". And I think you can call the bluff of the former and win support from the latter.

Buy all means call out attempts to censor and muzzle you. Go ahead and make your points with vigor and conviction. But I think it is in your own interest to attack the issues, not the people.

For example, I don't know Mr. Sullivan's writings. But criticism of him personally does convinces me of nothing. Attacks on people or groups are so automatic in politics these days as to be meaningless. However, if one points out that the article itself is hypocritical, that is something that anyone can see. So by attacking the points and not the person, you are more persuasive.

If either side took this approach, I think they would gain ground with the middle. If they other side kept up with nasty rhetoric, they will only alienate the middle. And it was just such alienation that cost each party, in turn, in the 2008 and 2010 elections.



Let them lead the way in the upcoming political season and then I'll believe it's not all bollocks.


While I understand why you might feel that way, I think you are passing a chance to not only improve the political discourse in the country, but also to advance the ideals you believe in.

murgatroyd666 said...

But that does not forbid one from noting the great example she has shown in rearing a child with Down Syndrome, whatever his provenance, or noting her effectiveness as a demagogue ...

The new civility: "You don't sweat much, for a fat lady!"

Frank said...

Ms. Palin ought to seek a Restraining Order against AS. The man is seriously obsessed with her and in this "climate of hate" is capable of anything. Just sayin'...

Alex said...

If they other side kept up with nasty rhetoric, they will only alienate the middle. And it was just such alienation that cost each party, in turn, in the 2008 and 2010 elections.

I keep hearing about this mythical middle that is so alienated by nasty rhetoric. Are you one of those types, or a faker?

Fen said...

However, many in the middle are just sick of both sides and really want them to "cool it".

*Thug beats down Grandma*

SquishyModerate: "I wish you two would just cool it"

cookasia said...

sully, go home....

davidpsummers said...


I keep hearing about this mythical middle that is so alienated by nasty rhetoric. Are you one of those types, or a faker?


I can tell you that I'm personally sick the rhetoric on both sides. But I'm just one person. At the blog "The Moderate Voice" (which admittedly is really a "moderate liberal" blog) most of the centrists who came out strongly against the link between the shooting and conservatism also felt that this didn't mean that rhetoric on both sides wasn't too nasty.

But less subjectively, and so perhaps more convincing, you might look at the following poll which say, IMO, that while independents join conservative to produce a consensus in the country rejecting the idea that conservative rhetoric is responsible for the shooting, it is also true that the same polls says that rhetoric on both sides goes too far.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/145556/Doubt-Political-Rhetoric-Major-Factor-Ariz-Shootings.aspx?utm_source=tagrss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_term=Politics

I think neither side understands how much nasty rhetoric hurts them.

Alex said...

davidpsummers - look at that Gallup poll I can conclude(regarding rhetoric + AZ shooting):

among all people that have an opinion, it's 50/50

among Democrats it's 2 to 1 in favor of rhetoric being at fault.

among Republicans it's 2 to 1 against rhetoric being at fault.

among so-called independents, it's 50/50.

Just looking at those who didn't say "no opinion" which is fucking bogus if you're an adult.

davidpsummers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

it is also true that the same polls says that rhetoric on both sides goes too far.

Yes, the mushy middle thinks grandma should just shut up and take it.

Fen said...

I don't think thing are as one sided as you make them out to be.

Yes

"Falsely accusing someone of instigating mass-muder"

is just as bad as

"Defending yourself from the false accusation"

davidpsummers said...

@fen
*Thug beats down Grandma*

SquishyModerate: "I wish you two would just cool it"


Well, I don't think thing are as one sided as you make them out to be. But I will just say that, in the end, it is convincing that Squishy Moderate that will get your way. I don't think it is a coincidence that those moderates didn't buy the left's meme and Obama making a speed where he said there was no link. I don't think it is a coincidence that you have Ed Koch putting out an article supporting Palin on this issue (see below).

It isn't bashing the left that will get you more of what you want. It is convincing the squishy moderates.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/01/18/palin_defeated_unfair_critics_at_nyt__msnbc_108561.html

Fen said...

Seriously, if all indies and moderates got out of the last 2 weeks of blood libel was "both sides need to stop", then you guys are part of the problem.

And, in light of the new civility, you can go fuck yourselves too.

davidpsummers said...

[Note, posts may be a bit out of order. I thought I could quick delete mine, fix a couple of typos, and repost it. Silly me.]

@Fen
>>I don't think thing are as one sided as you make them out to be.

>Yes

>"Falsely accusing someone of instigating mass-muder"

>is just as bad as

>"Defending yourself from the false accusation"


I wasn't referring to right defending itself from the accusation that they contributed to the shooting. The right has every right to, and should, do that. Nor am I, if you read what I wrote, saying the right shouldn't vigorously push their views. I am referring to their contribution to the general tone of American political discussion that has nasty and excessively personal rhetoric from both sides. I think the side that tones its rhetoric down first won't be "giving in". I think they will gain an advantage. I was hoping to convince some on the right of this fact, to the benefit of both them and those who are sick of this rhetoric. However, I guess you are at least one I won't be able to convince.

The Crack Emcee said...

So - again - we all know why he should go, but can anyone explain how he hangs on?

I think, in that, will be a clue of how to get rid of him.

knox said...

His approach to the new civility, he says, will be "generous anger: a classically Orwellian term." The idea is "to make strong and lively points without demonization."

He has so lost it.

davidpsummers said...


among all people that have an opinion, it's 50/50

among Democrats it's 2 to 1 in favor of rhetoric being at fault.

among Republicans it's 2 to 1 against rhetoric being at fault.

among so-called independents, it's 50/50.

Just looking at those who didn't say "no opinion" which is fucking bogus if you're an adult.


It's 50-50 if you assume "minor factor" means "the right was to blame". Look further down and you can see that independents broke 53 to 36 against it being legitimate to say conservative rhetoric was party responsible for the shooting and in favor of the claim being an attempt to make conservatives look bad.

Revenant said...

Good grief, this idiot can't even successfully fake civility in print.

Revenant said...

I think neither side understands how much nasty rhetoric hurts them.

I think both sides recognize that there are effectively only those two sides. The question isn't "does the rhetoric hurt them", but "does the rhetoric hurt them more than it hurts their opponents".

There's a term for Congressmen who take the high road while their opponents go negative. The term is "former Congressmen".

Juba Doobai! said...

This guy's a woman-hating, Palin-envious bitch.

Radish said...

my still-raw amazement that an advanced democratic society could even contemplate putting such an unstable and irresponsible person in a position of any real power.

I'll give him this--he just accurately described the election of Barack Obama. Sigh.

Fen said...

I think the side that tones its rhetoric down first won't be "giving in". I think they will gain an advantage.

George W. Bush.

I was hoping to convince some on the right of this fact, to the benefit of both them and those who are sick of this rhetoric. However, I guess you are at least one I won't be able to convince.

Nope. Because I've already been down that path:
I was labelled a racist.
I turned the other cheek.
"homophobe"
I turned the other cheek.
"toothless hillbilly who lives in a doublewide and fucks his sister."
I turned the other cheek.
"warmongerer who chose to be a Marine because I find honest work"
I turned the other cheek
"hostage taker, bitter xenophobe clinging to gods and guns"
I turned the other cheek
"hate-mongerer responsible for mass murder in Arizona"...

David Summers: "Fen, both sides need to real it in. And you should take the high road."

FUCK YOU.

DonSurber said...

Sully has finally admitted that Trig is Sarah's. Oh the sacrifices one makes to feign civility.

AST said...

Dear Andrew:

Don't do us any favors. Take your noblesse oblige and cram it.

Jared Loughner wasn't listening to you or Sarah Palin. He was insane. And trying to make conservatives feel guilty by posing as a penitent yourself won't work.

If our nation is swirling the bowl, as many of us fear, toning down our concern would be stupid, unpatriotic and dishonest. So go boil your head.

AST said...

And that goes for CNN, too.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/01/18/its-come-to-this-cnn-apologizes-after-guest-uses-crosshairs-metaphor/

Pogo said...

Take the high road = Let the left keep doin' the Alinsky hustle

Old Dad said...

Andrew Sullivan, whatever his provenance, is a whore, a media whore, an attention whore, a bluestocking hysterical joke.

With my right hand, I flip him the bird, and with my left, I give him the fig of Spain, and I fart in his general direction, the English pig dog.

Fen said...

/edit

"warmongerer who chose to be a Marine because I couldn't find honest work"

That one was rich. I volunteer through 3 stages to get to Somolia and protect defenseless starving people from tribal thugs. And the Left says it was only because I am a mouth-breather. Was shot at almost every day in Baderra because, according to the Left, I had no future back in the states.

Tell ya what, when you "moderates" ban together and pull down the NYTs building in the cause of civility, we can talk about a fresh start. Until then, take your "new tone" bullshit and stick it up your ass.

kcom said...

"At the risk of being cliche"

Can someone be cliche?

JAFAC said...

"...that an advanced democratic society could even contemplate putting such an unstable and irresponsible person..."

Hmmm... I wonder if psychologists have ever proposed a "Sullivan relativity" version of General Relativity? 'A columnist cannot determine if the mental instability lies within oneself or within an external fixation without an external reference.' This theory would easily explain why one that reads the NYT and The Atlantic cannot determine that the observed instability resides within themselves as opposed to residing in an external target (like Sarah Palin).

mbabbitt said...

I have begun to believe that Sarah Palin has a mythical hold on her critics both on the Left and the Right. I don't think they are capable of seeing her except through a lens of pure projection. She is the scapegoat for their visciousness. They want her to change, to go away so badly. Heck, even Newt Gingrich wants her to change. There is something about her that is so powerful and threatening. What is it? I think its because she is ordinary in the best sense of the word (but feeds their reasoning as to why they wouldn't want her to be president) and yet she is paradoxically one of the most powerful players in the political world. Cognitive dissonance at its worst discomfort level brings out the worst in her critics; they end up making fools of themselves everytime. Sarah: You go girl!

boinky said...

he's still denying she bore her child with down's syndrome, so he's still calling her an outright liar.... By using the rarely used word "provenance", however, this charge will probably go over everyone's head.

so much for "charity".

JAL said...

@ davidpsummers 4:43

There is a clear documented history of Andrew Sullivan's totally mindless lying obsessiveness with Sarah Palin and especially the condition of her uterus and the product of conception known as Trig, so that no one here even bothers to detail it. We've done the details already. Do a search.

The guy has totally disconnected with reality on the issue of Sarah Palin in an incredibly vile way. It seriously borders on some flavor of insanity.

So no. We don't do details on the facts and history of Andrew Sullivan's mindless statements and theories about SP. Been there, done that, refuted it.

No matter. The fact that he can still question Trig's "provenance" --
(puhleeze say that with a looong 'naaance,' sniff) elicits the attacks. They are not pointless or unprovoked or without basis.

He's an ass. I think that's the shorthand here for "AS is intellectually dishonest... [do a search for the details]."

Chef Mojo said...

There is one reason, and one reason only, why Sully is still at The Atlantic, and that's because Drudge, in his infinite wisdom, keeps Sully on his pundit roll.

Page hits. That's all Sully is about. He's a revenue maker. His relevancy begins and ends with that fact.

Revenant said...

I have begun to believe that Sarah Palin has a mythical hold on her critics both on the Left and the Right.

And on her supporters.

I don't get why people hate her. I also don't get why other people think she's so great. She served have a term as governor, gave up, and became a reality TV star. Her political positions are best described as "generic Republican conservative"; one can easily name dozens of Republican politicians with track records at least as good who are actually in office.

Ok, yes, she's miles better than Obama, McCain, and Biden. But talk about damning someone with faint praise!

Ralph L said...

She's got Spunk!

jamboree said...

Why he hangs on:

I think he originally found ubiquity as a inherently divided conservative - he had supported Reagan in his youth, still unbitterly clung to his Catholicism, and yet was not only gay, but HIV positive - permanently wedding him to more traditionally left wing concerns socially.

Add an education that would be respected by the media elite as well as sanctification through HIV+ status, and there you are. There was an intellectual and creative tension. That's why he was tolerated and/or respected as the token conservative in the elite media circles.

When he eventually began to turn, point-by-point, on Catholicism, on Bush (no matter what he says, he emotionally started to turn after a perceived rejection on the gay issue), on Iraq, then finally on Palin - he became a case of public "redemption" in the eyes of the Left/his media fellow - a much much more interesting and more sincere version of Kathleen Parker.

Frankly, now that he's more or less a weed smoking lefty demagogue with some memories of having his passion captured by the other side- and married/heavily influenced by his husband to boot, I think most of the power of his internal struggle has dissipated. You can only lose your virginity once as it were - though he managed to drag it out over several episodes, but his presence is habitual/brand at this point.

denmother said...

Isn't it interesting that Sullivan seems to object to her presence on the national stage rather than what she says or does when she gets there?

KingCranium said...

I watch the Chris Matthews show on sunday mornings, because it's a good capture of the literal zeitgeist. AS is in the regular rotation of commentators, but he's appeared more frequently recently for some reason.

On Sunday's show Matthews actually bothered to have Reihan Salam on (the panel usually doesn't have a conservative, unless Matthews believes AS is one), and the two were at loggerheads over the Tea Party and Palin. Two exchanges particularly caught my attention: AS declared that the Tea Party is a radical social conservative phenomenon that has little to do with fiscal conservatism and has no plans for say, balancing the budget. Salam was shown on a cutaway vigorously shaking his head no at this point, and then when Matthews turned to him, said that the Tea Party was about fiscal conservatism and did support plans for balancing the buidget. Sullivan said, do you know any Tea Partiers who are fiscal conservatives and Salam replied that he was one. AS immediately pounced on him- “you’re a tea partier?” – and Salam attempted to elucidate but AS started to talk over him and then Matthews changed the subject. (I’ve read lengthy posts on Sullivan’s site, linked to various lefty sites, about opinion polls showing that many Tea Partiers have social conservative views. This is, for Sullivan and the lefty bloggers he cites, proof that the motivation for the Tea Party is not related to the fiscal problems that have arisen since the 2008.)

The next portion was a discussion of Tim Pawlenty, who Matthews talked up as a middle-of-the-road guy whose blandness may reduce his appeal, but AS immediately declared he was battling Palin for leader of the right-wing social conservatives because Pawlenty recently expressed support for reinstating DADT (has Palin come out either way?). This mention of Palin was all Matthews needed to turn to her and a discussion of how Palin reacted to the Tucson shooting and the aftermath of blame placed on her. Matthews went on about her “ignorance” of the meaning of blood libel and AS took the opportunity to talk about how unpresidential and self-concerned he thought her video was. Salam said he thought she was specifically trying not to sound like a regular politician, to which both Matthews and Sullivan reacted with disdain, and Salam said he thought Palin was playing a longer game, and Sullivan pounced on that- “I don’t think this was the right time to play a game”- ignoring that Salam was using a metaphor, and before Salam could reply the segment was ending.

What I took away from this is that AS will continue to be influential as long as he has the Matthews show and the Atlantic as platforms. Matthews clearly views him as a useful and authoritative commentator on Republicans and particularly on Palin. As for Sullivan himself, he clearly has no interest in arguing in good faith- he talked over Salam and did not allow him even the minor opportunity Matthews’ show’s format offers to expand his thoughts. Finally, Sullivan knows better than to expound on the most foolish of his Palin theories, despite his negative references to her on every appearance where Palin is a topic (and she comes up a LOT on the Matthews show).


WV= "warlible" -aka no blood for oil

Chris said...

I used to read the Daily Dish...daily, but now I only check it out when someone brings it up, which is...not daily. Seems to me Sullivan could use some "strong and lively points", make with whatever means he can muster, including demonization if necessary. The fire's gone out.

Sigivald said...

Just looking at those who didn't say "no opinion" which is fucking bogus if you're an adult.

Rational ignorance is not "fucking bogus".

I have "no opinion" on lots of subjects, because I know I don't pay enough attention to have a meaningful one.

The only decent response to someone who doesn't pay attention to politics, when asked about "the tone of political rhetoric", is to disclaim an opinion.

M. Simon said...

He published their work under his name without attribution. Plagiarism, in other words. It's the done thing at Harvard now, don't you know?

Back when I was still corresponding with Andy (back when LGF made sense - in other words a LONG time ago) I forbade him from using anything I wrote to him in his posts - unless I got attribution.

I refused to be one of his little people.