October 2, 2013

Looking for "something original to say about the absurdity" of the budget standoff, Andrew Sullivan accuses Republicans of racism.

Racism isn't the only thing he accuses the GOP of in his effort at originality. He also says there's an effort to "nullify" the American system of government, the presidency, and the results of the last 2 elections:
Except this time, of course, we cannot deny that race too is an added factor to the fathomless sense of entitlement felt among the GOP far right. 
Cannot deny... fathomless... I find it hard to consume these overstated certainties. I would be amenable to a discussion of the idea that the emotional process of human thought inevitably includes a racial element. But by saying "this time" and pinning the racial "factor" only on Republicans, Sullivan shows that he doesn't want any subtle understanding of race. He's doing polemic. So I'm only going to shine a light on his accusation that the Republicans are racist:

You saw it in birtherism; in the Southern GOP’s constant outrageous claims of Obama’s alleged treason and alliance with Islamist enemies; in providing zero votes for a stimulus that was the only thing that prevented a global depression of far worse proportions; in the endless race-baiting from Fox News and the talk radio right. And in this racially-charged atmosphere, providing access to private healthcare insurance to the working poor is obviously the point of no return.
You saw it... We're being told that we saw it... or rather that we saw something, and Sullivan is telling us that what we saw had race in it. Why was voting against the stimulus a racial matter? There seems to be a fathomless sense that any opposition to a President who is black is opposition to a President because he is black. If that proposition were true, it would be an argument against having a black President in a democracy, because we absolutely need to be able to criticize and oppose the President.
... This is the point of no return [for the GOP] – a black president doing something for black citizens (even though the vast majority of beneficiaries of Obamacare will be non-black).

I regard this development as one of the more insidious and anti-constitutional acts of racist vandalism against the American republic in my adult lifetime. 
Racist vandalism?
If we cave to their madness, we may unravel our system of government....
Well, I for one do not cave to madness, and this style of argument feels like madness to me. Sullivan has done well for himself penning polemic, and I've made it my thing to puncture polemic and yawn in the face of histrionics. Here's how Sullivan ends it:
This time, the elephant must go down. And if possible, it must be so wounded it does not get up for a long time to come.
Remember when the meme was that Republicans were "eliminationist"? Look at the hatred, hostility, and outright murderousness in Sullivan. He's pushing the racism meme, but he's writing something that reeks of eliminationism. Like racism, eliminantionism seems to be something we're only supposed to notice when it's coming from those terrible Republicans.

71 comments:

Alex said...

The bomb throwers have run out of bombs.

Michael said...

Andrew has a screw loose. His argumentation is that of a person who is insane.

Mingus Jerry said...

Huh? Doing something for black citizens?? Like having the sky high black unemployment? What exactly have President Obama done to help black citizens?

Crimso said...

Nullify the results of the "last 2 elections?" There's a lot of people on the side opposite of Obama's that were elected just the same as he was. In that same sense, then, opposing the GOP in this is an attempt to nullify the last 2 elections (after all, they were given control of the House by the people, and the filibuster-proof majority enjoyed by the Senate Democrats was taken away by those same people).

Edward Lunny said...

Yes, must be racism, or homophobia, or islamophobia, or hatred of the poor.
Geez, what dark,hateful, despicable people these libs are. Every dissent, every disagreement, every refusal to blindly obey and follow is only and always due to some phobia or ism. They are incapable of understanding any different point of view.

YoungHegelian said...

Yeah, it's gotta be racism. That a political party that holds as a central tenet the reduction in size of the federal government would balk at a massive injection of the government into a market that makes of 1/6 of GNP, and that almost unanimously voted against the law that authorized that "injection", has a major bee up its butt about Obamacare --- what else could it be but racism?

I mean it's a law now. The Demos said so. The Supreme Court said it was okay. I mean, the Constitution is a living document that's got to change with the times, but a law is forever. Right!?

traditionalguy said...

Sullivan thinking like a British subject, cannot see the USA Government as a balance pf powers in a real Constitutional process. He can only see his new King Obama and ugly straight white men as rebels that want to defy his King...over... why racism that's what.

Americans are usually OK with ignoring our Constitution's fine points during a War time emergency.

But the only War Obama is engaging in is not Middle-eastern Iran and Israel, nor far-eastern North Korea and Red China, nor European and Russian Empire. He surrendered all of those wars already.

Obama and the Dems are only at war with the last remaining Nation in the world that that opposes computer enforced serfdom under a World Governance run, if need be, by a Stalinist Tyranny for a brief time. That would be the redistributed USA.

chrisnavin.com said...

Sullivan seems to gets weird, deeply personal fixations on political figures and makes judgments based upon these emotional, irrational elements.

He makes many claims based on little to no empirical evidence and half-baked ideas.

Yet, he still churns out a popular blog.

B.S. philosopher said...

Andrew who? Oh, that crazy guy who thinks every screw-up by President is part of some "deeper game" being played by Obama rather than the hopeless flailing of a lame duck who is out of his depth.

Bryan C said...

"It is an attack on the governance and the constitutional order of the United States."

Apparently we've been living in a unicameral monarchy all along and just never knew it. But that's probably because we're all such stupid bigots. Thanks, Andy. Those sure are some deep thoughts you have there.

Russell said...

I really wish I understood how the Republicans can be accused of 'entitlement' and being 'spoiled children' on this issue.

Which side believes the government can spend via debt (i.e. get something now, pay later, if ever) as long as it wishes? Wouldn't THAT be side that is entitled and spoiled? Which side is acting like not having publically paid for museums and parks (i.e. gifts from the taxpayers) is some sort of scandal? Wouldn't THAT be side that is spoiled and entitled?

Just asking.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Sullivan was taken to the woodshed by George F. Will when he hatched his "New Confederacy" theory live on national TV. He's been obsessed with that theory ever since and gathers day-to-day evidence to fit the narrative. It's all fed by his lack of understanding of what America really is, supplanted by what he reads about it in a books and blogs or learns cloistered on the Eastern seaboard.

The man seriously needs to get out more.

Larry J said...

Andrew who? Why should anyone give a damn about him or his stupid opinion?

tola'at sfarim said...

and joan walsh also got into the action
http://www.salon.com/2013/10/01/the_real_story_of_the_shutdown_50_years_of_gop_race_baiting/

Unknown said...

Agree that Andrew Sullivan sounds eliminationist in this piece. Does anyone reading this doubt that if AS were in charge of things he would use any and every ends-justify-the-means and "anti-constitutionalist" tools at his disposal to silence and intimidate his political enemies? The totalitarian instincts of this self-proclaimed libertarian are something wondrous to behold.

El Pollo Raylan said...

My opinion about Sullivan's violent fantasies is that he probably needs to dial back the injected hormones.

TA said...

You remember Robin Williams' boyfriend in "The Birdcage"? That's Andrew Sullivan.

Diamondhead said...

Sullivan's rants are about as thoughtful as the typical comment on youtube and contain more than a hint of derangement. Add his sanctimonious tone and his obliviousness to the rejoinder and you have something that is almost unreadable and definitely not worth reading.

Cedarford said...

Can we just deport Andrew Sullivan and Piers Anthony as undesirable aliens?
An additional reason on Sullivan is he is a disease vector.

hombre said...

"... This is the point of no return [for the GOP] – a black president doing something for black citizens ...."

But wait. If black citizens can't manage to get some form of voter ID, how will they manage to sign up for Obamacare?

Sullivan is a sterling example for other sociopathic Obamadupes.

Ironclad said...

This is the official new "Journo-List" or DNC talking point. Racist! Racist! Racist! It's really gotten bad on NPR - especially the Diane Rehm "Shilling for Obama hour" each morning too. The callers seemed to be primed to tell us that opposition to Obama is really closet racism

Michael K said...

For the Left, this is all about Obama and always has been. They used to have some serious people. What happened ? Cult of personality ?

hombre said...

The goal of the Democrats and their consorts in the Obamamedia is one-party rule over a disarmed, dependent population.

William said...

Andrew needs to keep the subscribers coming in. His insane shrillness is his value proposition and is at the core of his business model. He is all about the money.

Jason said...

You certainly do cave to madness, professor. You've done it many times. Even voted for Obama.

Rumpletweezer said...

Would the Matrix allow this level of stupidity? Could somebody program a system that permitted this kind of idiocy? I'm starting to think that there's an alternative to Intelligent Design.

Carol said...

Oy, and to think I followed this guy into Iraq.

Figuratively speaking.

Brian said...

Andrew Sullivan really should show a little restraint with rhetoric related to "birtherism." That he does not shows an unfathomable lack of self-awareness.

Earnest Prole said...

If you’re looking for incontrovertible proof that Republicans treat Obama so poorly because he is black, look no further than how Republicans treated Bill Clinton so well because he was white.

Yes, there is the 1995 government shutdown, and the Whitewater investigation, the Starr investigation, the blue-dress semen revelations, cigar stories, impeachment, yada yada yada. But I’m trying to think of something original to say here, so just go with the racism thing.

Will Cate said...

I'm usually willing to cut Mr. Sullivan some slack, but this really is the dumbest column he's ever written.

Mountain Maven said...

I though Sullivan had been discounted by regular folk. To bring him up is almost a troll.

Henry said...

Back when I lived in New York State, the budget process failed spectacularly year after year after year. Mario Cuomo was governor so the opposition couldn't have been motivated by racism. Perhaps they were schismatics. Anyway forgive my inability to be impressed by this petty squabble, this Rubicon of spit. I've seen Government gone bad and this barely qualifies.

El Pollo Raylan said...

"Shooting The Elephant," a mémoire.

n.n said...

His assertions have been refuted by history. He will have to do better if he intends to prove an exception. This conflict, as past conflicts, is motivated by ideological differences, but also by the consequences of reality which cannot be ignored through good perceptions.

$2.7 trillion in receipts. Over $1 trillion deficit. No operational budget. There is no justification for either a shutdown or default. Someone is lying.

Also, opposition to an omnibus bill is actually a good thing. Appropriations should occur individually, according to suitable priorities, and each representative should have a clear and discernible record.

In fact, it was Obama who first suggested that he favored a scalpel approach, but since attaining office has only resorted to hatchet jobs, including Obamacare (which, among other things, ignores the states, and progresses monopoly formation).

Finally, who in their right mind would want a democracy? Neither a rule of the majority nor a minority is desirable. Each is corruptible and corrupting in its own fashion. This nation was formed as a constitutional republic to serve the People, individually and together.

Moose said...

You need a red siren on your posts for Sully like Drudge has on his pages...

Paul said...

I feel the Republicans in the house out to pass Obamacare funding with the rider that every last American Citizen be FORCED to be included. Yes including Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Holder, SCOTUS, the UNIONS,etc... Yes everyone.

Keep passing it and sending it to the Senate, day after day after day.

If Obamacare is good enough for me, then it's good enough for EVERYONE.

Fritz said...

So who is this Andrew Sullivan?

ThomasD said...

Sorry TA,

Sullivan has no Whatamalaness.

Big Mike said...

Sullivan's writings have suggested AIDS Dementia Complex (ADC) to me for a number of years now.

There's a lot of extreme rhetoric coming from the left side of the spectrum, and it makes me wonder whether there's anyone left on the left who is totally sane. Sullivan apparently believes that those of us on the center-right would be perfectly happy with the ACA if only there was a white man in the White House. And that's setting aside the fact that the balance of powers is designed into the Constitution (c.f. Federalist Paper #51), not to mention that the House has always had the power of the purse strings.

ADC seems like the only explanation.

But then I read another columnist who is angry that the foul Repubicans want to deny healthcare to the 50 million uninsured. Wait! The entire population of the United States is 313 million. Almost one out of every six people have no access to healthcare? Sorry, but that one pegs my bull***t meter. I'm trying to figure out who doesn't realize that the number of uninsured can't possibly be that large.

Over at The New Republic, which was always leftist but used to be sane, the tweet showed a tank blasting away -- presumably, from the text, at Republicans in Congress.

Is there a point where lefties grow up? I'm getting tired of scolding. They better not make me take off my belt.

EDH said...

Sullivan's reckless rhetoric reminds me of George Orwell's essay "Shooting an Elephant". Orwell describes being a British sub-divisional police officer in occupied Burma who shoots an elephant largely to prove himself to the locals.

Now, think about a "conservative" with a pay web site who needs to appeal to the MSNBC crowd.

It was perfectly clear to me what I ought to do. I ought to walk up to within, say, twenty-five yards of the elephant and test his behavior. If he charged, I could shoot; if he took no notice of me, it would be safe to leave him until the mahout came back. But also I knew that I was going to do no such thing. I was a poor shot with a rifle and the ground was soft mud into which one would sink at every step. If the elephant charged and I missed him, I should have about as much chance as a toad under a steam-roller. But even then I was not thinking particularly of my own skin, only of the watchful yellow faces behind. For at that moment, with the crowd watching me, I was not afraid in the ordinary sense, as I would have been if I had been alone. A white man mustn't be frightened in front of "natives"; and so, in general, he isn't frightened. The sole thought in my mind was that if anything went wrong those two thousand Burmans would see me pursued, caught, trampled on and reduced to a grinning corpse like that Indian up the hill. And if that happened it was quite probable that some of them would laugh. That would never do.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Sullivan now:

This is not about ending Obamacare as such (although that is a preliminary scalp); it is about nullifying this presidency, the way the GOP attempted to nullify the last Democratic presidency by impeachment.

Sullivan then:

But given the fact that these laws exist, Posner credibly shows how Clinton's offenses were clearly within the realm of offenses that could be held to be impeachable. Impeachment, in other words, was in no measure a constitutional "coup," as some Clinton apologists absurdly argued.

MayBee said...

Andrew is confusing TARP, which stopped the global meltdown and got Republican votes, with the Stimulus which did not get GOP votes but was just a huge domestic spending bill.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Take the phrasing "one of the more insidious and anti-constitutional acts of racist vandalism in my adult lifetime."

"One of the more" is a somewhat weak comparative, hardly a superlative put-down.

"Anti-constitutional" is not quite the same as unconstitutional.

"In my adult lifetime" brings to mind Michele Obama's famous 2008 gaffe, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country."

I wonder though if Andrew Sullivan's rhetoric is a tell that his side is losing the shutdown argument.

Obviously the GOP will have to cave on Obamacare, the best they can now get is a one year delay in the individual mandate, and they may not even get that.

If the very least the GOP settles for after a two or three week shutdown is that Congress has to live under Obamacare, it's going to look like Democrats should have offered that sooner.

John Constantius said...

Sullivan's comments are even funnier when you keep in mind that he claims he's a conservative. Presumably in much the same way he claims to be a Catholic while disagreeing with the Pope on just about everything.

Mike said...

To echo and amplify Crimso's comment (12:06) the Republican's were elected after opposing Obamacare in the "last 2 elections" and are doing essentially what voters want. Maybe the "shut down" crisis could have been avoided but that presupposes there be an executive branch and a Senate that WANT to negotiate. People who aren't bomb-throwing polemicists unbderstand there's plenty of blame to go around and this ACA boondoggle will be subject to a LOT of postering, revising, etc. as we go forward.

David said...

How much personal effort has Obama put into educational improvement? It's been a low priority for him. Not because he would not like education to improve. I'm sure he would. But actual effort would be too hard. It's a difficult problem and he might fail sometimes. Wouldn't want that. And he would have to ruffle the feathers of his union allies. Really would not want that.

Is Obamacare going to help the less fortunate (whom Sullivan seems to think most blacks are.) One of the pernicious results of Obamacare is going to be encouragement of stratification of health care quality. The rich and powerful (including federal elected officials and top level bureaucrats) will get the top tier services, and the poor will get the bottom of the barrel.

How is different than now? Well, for one thing, now we do not pretend that everyone is getting the same deal. Under government health care we will.



Matthew Sablan said...

"I wonder though if Andrew Sullivan's rhetoric is a tell that his side is losing the shutdown argument."

By all objective reasoning, the left has lost the shutdown game. When you're kicking people off their historical farms, closing memorials to veterans and choosing to let kids die, here's a hint: You're the bad guy in this particular melodrama. The only hope is that, despite losing on moral grounds, they might still salvage a political win.

Paul Brinkley said...

"I regard this development as one of the more insidious and anti-constitutional acts of racist vandalism against the American republic in my adult lifetime"

How long as Sullivan been an adult?

MikeDC said...

providing access to private healthcare insurance to the working poor is obviously the point of no return.

a black president doing something for black citizens (even though the vast majority of beneficiaries of Obamacare will be non-black).


Of course, in reality the concern is that Obamacare's rules are basically creating a permanent caste system between the working poor and the working professional.

Under Obamacare the working professional gets heavily tax-subsidized employer-based insurance and the working poor get penalized if they do not buy insurance. And they get permanently routed to part-time jobs.

Basically, if you came up with a recipe to destroy the working class, you couldn't do a better job than Obamacare.

Lydia said...

It's a mistake to try to analyze anything Sullivan says or writes. He's got an idée fixe, and that's same-sex marriage. It's his polestar.

If the GOP came out in favor of same-sex marriage tomorrow, he'd flip on a dime.

Physics Geek said...

So Sullivan has finally started eating his own feces, huh? In truth, it was only a matter of time.

Marty Keller said...

Do non-bigots still actually read Andrew Sullivan? Wow.

Real American said...

Only Democrats are above criticism. Everyone knows that.

Christy said...

Cedarford, Piers Anthony? Anthony has been here since he was 6, served in the U.S. Army, and has been a citizen for over half a century. He also wrote an amazingly sensual sex scene between two sentient gas jets. You want him deported for that?!!

MCD said...

A cheap shot. Are the people who disagree with Clarence Thomas's legal reasoning racists?

Michael K said...

I used to read Sullivan's blog and even wrote to him at times. Finally, I began to worry about him and wrote an e-mail to him. This was back when he decompensated about gay marriage. I got a furious reply. I still wonder if he has AIDS dementia.

Bill said...

Sullivan: "we cannot deny that race too is an added factor ..."

Tonto: "What do you mean 'we', white man?"

machine said...

Soooooo....

Why does the GOP think it has the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal healthcare now?


j

ken in sc said...

At least he's gotten over his fixation on Palin's uterus.

RecChief said...

accusing Republicans of Racism is hardly original

Illuninati said...

Ann said:

"Remember when the meme was that Republicans were "eliminationist"? Look at the hatred, hostility, and outright murderousness in Sullivan. He's pushing the racism meme, but he's writing something that reeks of eliminationism."

Well put. This type of hate speech will eventually lead to violence. When people are willing to demonize other people this way the demonizers are already well down the path of dehumanizing their targets. In the universe of the left, white racists are about the most evil people imaginable. By calling Republicans racists he has identified them as some of the most evil people in the world. Once the left have convinced themselves that people who disagree with them really are satanic when they are in power they will believe they are acting righteously when they use that power to destroy their antagonists. The left is a deep volcano which is slowly filling with molten hatred which will someday spill out into open violence.

El Pollo Raylan said...

"j" aka "machine" said: the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury

I am utterly intrigued by that Constitution term of art "full faith and credit." I have noticed lately that Obama deploys it almost as a reflexive adjective whenever he mentions the debt. I am familiar with the term "full faith and credit" regarding the recognition of one State's rights by another, but the historical connection to borrowing, credit, and debt escapes me.

Obama seems to be using it defensively, as if to suggest that "no matter how much we borrow, we will always pay it back." There is no accountability with such semantic sleight of hand. We can borrow infinite sums of money because we will always promise to pay back over an infinite time period.

What have I got wrong?

El Pollo Raylan said...

It seems to me that if Obama were interested in honesty, he would plainly state that we are hopelessly in debt, we will never get out of debt, but no matter how much money we print ,we or our heirs promise to pay it back.

El Pollo Raylan said...

It's not off topic but what does "full faith and credit" mean collectively (as a nation) when individual bankruptcy and forgiveness of debt at the individual level is more and more allowed? How can the two be reconciled?

El Pollo Raylan said...

machine wrote: Why does the GOP think it has the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal healthcare now?

The best way to fisk that bullshit sentence is to simply point out that the "entire" government is hardly affected and "get its way" (for the Tea Party) actually means get 1% of what it wants. Obama, your precious infallible leader, still gets 99% (if he negotiates).

Douglas said...

Prof. Althouse - I just want to thank you for reading Sullivan so that we don't have to. That's really heavy lifting in my book.

Tarrou said...

Off topic completely, but people have been commenting on Piers Morgan, and his undesirability.

Don't deport him, just bring over Jeremy Clarkson!

bbkingfish said...

I notice that no one has denied Sullivan's contention that there is a racist component to Republican antipathy toward Obama. Lots of the typical snark and deflection, but even this audience can't deny what is so obvious.

Matthew Sablan said...

BBKing: Saying that his argument is "insane" (the second post) or "bomb throwing" (the first post) imply a rejection of his argument.

In fact, post 3 and 4 also refute the assertion. Republicans tried to stop Hillarycare too; was that racist too?

damikesc said...

Why does the GOP think it has the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal healthcare now?

Same reason unions think they can shut down shops to get their way, maybe?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Question for Sullivan: If and when it comes time to put that elephant down, will it be immoral to shoot it from a helicopter?