Friday, February 27, 2004
Also worth noting: Glen at A Brookyn Bridge’s take.
posted by Sully 2/27/2004 06:29:00 PM
FROM LIONS AND TIGERS TOO:
Just like all the bloggers quoted below, Michelangelo Signorile can’t resist taking a bite out of the Golden Sully:
Gay Republicans have suddenly stopped spinning in their dervishes of denial, at least momentarily. Groups like the Log Cabin Republicans deluded themselves for more than three years, backing Bush even as he promoted abstinence-only programs at the expense of AIDS-education ones that work, supported Senator Rick Santorum after the Pennsylvania Republican’s vile statements about gays, and pushed hard for discriminatory faith-based programs. They stood by him — making an occasional tepid criticism, but still backing him — as Bush nominated individuals like Alabama Attorney General William Pryor, who compared homosexuality to “necrophilia” and fought against repealing sodomy laws. (Last weekend, in another slap, Bush brazenly installed Pryor in a recess appointment after the guy had been filibustered by the Democrats because of his extremism.)
After three years of calling Bush’s critics members of a traitorous “fifth column,” you have to admit that it’s rather delicious seeing Andrew Sullivan deciding that Bush has declared “war” on him, and admitting, “I guess I really was naive.”
In this way, I feel bizarrely thankful to Bush for finally drawing the battle lines more clearly so that apologists like Sullivan can’t deny any longer the sham of “compassionate conservatism.”
There have already been many ways of asking this question or making this remark, but Signorile’s invocation of Sullivan’s first and worst attempt to be Orwell while the fires of Church Street were still burning just demands it: So who was the fifth column now, Andrew?
posted by Sully 2/27/2004 06:22:00 PM
SULLIVAN’S WORLD CONTINUES TO FALL IN:
He stands alone among religious conservatives in criticizing The Passion. President Bush declares his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment.
And now, Paul Krugman has criticized a Democrat by name:
... [A]lthough old fallacies about international trade have been making a comeback lately (yes, Senator Charles Schumer, that means you) ...
This is what The Krugster refers to.
Did Sullivan notice this? Will he?
posted by Sully 2/27/2004 06:10:00 PM
Thursday, February 26, 2004
AFTER THE AGONY IN STONY PLACES ...:
Sullivan’s review of The Passion of the Christ brought a tear to our eye (figuratively, anyway).
We wondered, briefly, if the shock of seeing his hero endorse his persecution so firmly, of finding himself in his own private Gethsemane, lanced by the legionnaires of history, had brought back the Andrew Sullivan of, say, a dozen years ago, who was nominally conservative but didn’t take it all personally, who was someone a liberal could like, who was as lief to write as penetratingly about (yes) The Pet Shop Boys and Melrose Place as he did about real political issues.
Judging from his review of the Gibson film, it did.
“Some kind of sick combination of the theology of Opus Dei and the film-making of Quentin Tarantino.”
That’s one of the most positively quotable things he’s said in years.
In another universe, perhaps, the marketing deaprtments of the various studios and distributors would reward critics who said really memorable things about films they didn’t like by using them to trash competing films, sort of like politicians do (You have to admit that it would end the sort of “the feel-good hit of the summer,” “a rollicking rollercoaster of laughs” quote-grubbing that has made movie-reviewing so open to the sort of parodies Spy used to do so well with Eric Kaplan and Walter Monheit (which should have reached its nadir when that one obscure guy in San Francisco got his name all over the country by calling Batman “THE MOVIE OF THE DECADE” ... yes kiddies, that really happened).
That quote would be the sort of thing that would be used by one studio against its competitors.
Amy Welborn, good, forgiving Catholic that she is, reacts intelligently and opens up a discussion.
posted by Sully 2/26/2004 10:21:00 PM
THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL REALLY WAS THE ONE ON THE ONCOMING TRAIN ...:
By his own admission, Sebastian is a little late to the Piñata Party.
But his entry is one of the strongest ... digging through Sullivan’s archives to show how the Blog Queen is ... well, engaging in the kind of revisionism his heroes in Washington have been practicing lately with regard to WMDs when he says “I saw this coming.”
No, he didn’t:
Being shocked about the delivery is about on par with someone sitting in the hospital after his spouse tried to kill him and answering the question why did you stay with her with: Well, I knew this was coming but I thought she would use a knife instead of a gun. If you knew this was coming dipshit, you should have gotten the fuck out of there.
Sadly, the truth is that Sullivan did know this was coming. He’s too smart not to. He just lacked the courage to tell his readers it was, because he was somehow afraid that would make it inevitable.
You know, this puts us in mind of how one classical hero chose to make penance for his lack of foresight and the ruination it brought upon his nation. At least when recalling the way it’s used in this classic.
posted by Sully 2/26/2004 09:59:00 PM
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? MORE MORE MOOOOORE ... :
WareMouse not only invents a great term for the blogburst we have chronicled below, The Andrew Sullivan Piñata Party (that’s every day here), he adds this note about a related story:
As he notes, La Sullivan's gushing support of Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to have come back to bite him in the ass now that the big lug is coming down against gay marriage. And as usual the gay community pays for the actions of yet another Republican Sullivan has defended and propped up in his blog. Why people give this hack a free pass is beyond me. With his bizarre fusion of vanity, knee jerk contrarianism, and general Uncle Tom-ism, he's like a cross between Ralph Nader and Roy Cohn.
His link came from this guy:
If there’s a post on his blog where he eats his words, Google can’t find it... but he’s not very good at being wrong, despite much practice. He is a smart guy; it’s been depressing to watch him turn into a hack.
posted by Sully 2/25/2004 06:14:00 PM
FROM THE RIGHT, TOO:
Think Sullivan’s political crisis might at least have changed a few of the unchanged minds on his own side? Disabuse yourself.
Here’s Jack Sparks:
Andrew Sullivan, perhaps unsurprisingly, is appalled at President Bush's support of the FMA. I am appalled at Mr. Sullivan’s rather vacuous posturing against President Bush.
At best, Sullivan’s intellectual dishonesty is the result of his being too close to the issue. At worst, he’s being deliberately dishonest in order to press his case. I leave it to the reader to decide.
And go check out this older one:
Andrew Sullivan has to be the most overrated web journalist in the medium’s short history. Famous for nothing you’d want to tell your kids about, master of the ad hominem attack, a Manhattan elitist who bilks his readers for tens of thousands of dollars a year while slumming on the Internet, and generally a hectoring pedant. And yet every morning, I go to his site, to see what heresy (literally and figuratively) he’s wrought today.
Note also that Sullivan, fresh from comparing the “thug” Hannity to Michael Moore, is more than happy to link to Hannity's book at Amazon, so he can get a cut should you decide to buy it.
I recall something in the Bible about money, and also hypocrisy, but I’m sure it’s not important.
Hey, come on over and sit next to us! Good one! (That’s “Provincetown elitist,” but otherwise almost sounds like us)
Next cometh Keith Burgess-Jackson, who hangs Sullivan with his logical inconsistencies:
Sadly, but not unexpectedly, Andrew Sullivan’s hysteria continues. See here. Note his persistent use of “religious right amendment” to describe the Federal Marriage Amendment. Sullivan has been taken to task for this by someone he respects. His justification is that it is the amendment of the religious right. That’s disingenuous. Not everyone who supports the amendment is of the religious right. But suppose they were. Would that show that the amendment is unnecessary, undesirable, or unjustified? Who cares who proposed the amendment, who supports it, or why they support it? The fact is, it's on the table. Focus on what it says and what it will do. Evaluate it on its merits. Didn’t Sullivan insist that the war in Iraq be evaluated on its merits, whatever its motivation may have been? What would he have said to someone who described the war as the “religious right war” or “the conservative war”? I think you know what he would have said: exactly what I’m saying now about him. By the way, if you'd like to see Sullivan respond to my blog entries, write to him at email@example.com. Tell him that you want logic, not rhetoric; reason, not emotion.
Guess what, Keith? If our experience is any guide, you’d be better off starting a watcher blog.
It does not take much for Sullivan to eject his “conservative” label for something more, well, leftist. He hates Bush’s division of the world into good and evil. How French Mr. Sullivan!
Looks they never really liked you that much, Sully boy.
posted by Sully 2/25/2004 05:41:00 PM
It’s interesting to watch the very public meltdown of Sullivan. Sad, but like a car wreck, I just can’t help rubbernecking. In his latest paen to Fearless Leader, he goes on for far too long about how as a first-generation immigrant (hey, me too!) he has an unbridled love of the constitution ... a document considered “advisory” by most of the 1600 Crew.
Roger Ailes comes back for a little more.
George Cerny checks in:
Does this mean that Sullivan will now admit that he’s been full of it for the last few years?
Will he refund the pledge money that he took in, now that it’s clear that he was so profoundly wrong?
Did he not deserve our “scorn”?
Sullivan wasn’t misled by Bush; he misled himself, and anyone foolish enough to credit him, because he lacked the capacity that Orwell called the ability “to see what is in front of one’s nose” ...
LATER UPDATES BASED ON TECHNORATI SEARCHES:
Better late than never. Of course, how anyone could have doubted this day would come is beyond me. Bush knows he has to shore up support among the extremists in his base. When it comes to a choice between doing the right thing and getting re-elected, which path did you expect him to choose, Andrew?
Scrappleface, as usual, finds the lighter side.
Matt at The Raw Feed likens Sullivan to another character in another popular trilogy:
Poor Andrew Sullivan. After years of defending Shrub, only now does he realize what liberals have been telling him and other Log Cabin Republicans for years: that the Republicans don’t care a damn for people their base (i.e., the ultra-religious, fundamentalist wackos) won’t tolerate ...
Bending Towards Justice says:
Not to pile on, but I too have to wonder what gay Republicans have been thinking all these years. Considering the rhetoric coming from the far right — the same far right that Bush pandered to by speaking at Bob Jones University during the first election — is it any surprise that the Log Cabin Republicans are the first agains the wall now that his poll numbers are plummeting?
Oh, and that bonesmoker Andrew Sullivan is apoplectic, blowing out a gasket on his betrayal by his conservative comrades. Welcome to the party, bitches. You gotta dance with the devil you courted.
Jack Balkin (scroll down, he doesn’t take permalinks):
What I want to know is, why is Sullivan surprised? *Now* he gets that the president is not a uniter but a petty tyrant only interested in his own political survival? *Now* he gets that this guy is a shill for the worst sort of politics? *Now* he figures out that the motto of the Bush Administration is: Dissemble as long as possible, but when the chips are down, never piss off the right wing base?
Gee Andy, you *really* must have wanted to invade Iraq to support the guy for this long. Well, your favorite warmongerer just brought the war home to you. Hope you’re happy now.
Joe’s Eclectic Thoughts:
I’m a bit cynical, on the other hand, about Andrew Sullivan apparently just figuring out how anti-gay the administration and its friends tend to be when push comes to shove. btw Andy, the sky is also blue.
And, of course, Hesiod, whose contribution we did mean to represent earlier:
Now that President Bush has officially given Andrew Sullivan, and every other gay and lesbian American a big middle finger, he suddenly realizes that Bush is a “a simple man and he divides the world into friends and foes.”
Well ... DUH!
That’s what we've been saying for years.
And it might have occurred to you, Andrew, that Bush was adopting his stances on 9/11 and Iraq for precisely the same reasons he adopted his stance on a Constitutional Amendment to deprive gay people of their rights as citizens of the United States: His own personal political aggrandizement.
posted by Sully 2/25/2004 11:44:00 AM
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
A CONTRADICTION IN THE MAKING:
Wait a minute ... if affirmative action undermines support for a European-style welfare state, then isn’t it a good thing? And if you dislike that kind of welfare state, then why not support AA?
Sullivan, and conservatives as a whole, cannot have this both ways.
posted by Sully 2/24/2004 05:18:00 PM
THE GREAT FALLING OUT:
Sullivan has at long last reached his true 1939 moment ... sort of like the diehard foreign Communists who had to decide, after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, whether they stood with the Soviet Union and the workers’ state or against Fascism.
What would Orwell, who had much to say at that time, think?
Well, we’ll leave that to your imagination, but David Ehrenstein serves up a fisk with generous helpings of Schadenfreude on the side:
Let's hear that again, shall we?
“I knew this was coming.”
You knew this was coming ?
And yet you insisted on supporting this man and his unelected cabal?
(Emphasis in original) It would, come to think of it, be really, really hilarious if Sullivan went down as the Neville Chamberlain of gay history. But unfortunately it’s more likely bound to be just equal parts tragic and pathetic.
Jo Fish anticipated this a couple of days ago, too. Good call.
And Roger Ailes plays Tonto:
Don’t worry, Sully. There’s an empty spider hole for you near Tikrit. Or maybe you can trade for a cave fixer-up in TB-Town.
“Gay people will now regard [the Republican Party] as their enemy for generations — and rightly so.” Whaddaya mean “now,” white man?
posted by Sully 2/24/2004 05:10:00 PM
Monday, February 23, 2004
The viewpoint that the Lord of the Rings trilogy has some suspect racial elements predates the film adaptations:
When I got home I dug out my copy of The Lord of the Rings from a box somewhere - okay, so I pulled it straight off the shelf - and found there was worse to come. The Two Towers is the story of the battle between Isengard and Rohan. In the good corner, the riders of Rohan, aka the "Whiteskins": "Yellow is their hair, and bright are their spears. Their leader is very tall." In the evil corner, the orcs of Isengard: "A grim, dark band... swart, slant-eyed" and the "dark" wild men of the hills. So the good guys are white and the bad guys are, erm... black.
This genetic determinism drives the plot in the most brutal manner. White men are good, "dark" men are bad, orcs are worst of all. While 10,000 orcs are massacred with a kind of Dungeons and Dragons version of biological warfare, the wild men left standing at the end of the battle are packed off back to their homes with nothing more than slapped wrists.
We also get a sneak preview of the army that's going to be representing the forces of darkness in part three. Guess what: "Dark faces... black eyes and long black hair, and gold rings in their ears... very cruel wicked men they look". They come from the east and the south. They wield scimitars and ride elephants.
Perhaps I'd better come right out and say it. The Lord of the Rings is racist. It is soaked in the logic that race determines behaviour. Orcs are bred to be bad, they have no choice. The evil wizard Saruman even tells us that they are screwed-up elves. Elves made bad by a kind of devilish genetic modification programme. They deserve no mercy.
To cap it all, the races that Tolkien has put on the side of evil are then given a rag-bag of non-white characteristics that could have been copied straight from a BNP leaflet. Dark, slant-eyed, swarthy, broad-faced - it's amazing he doesn't go the whole hog and give them a natural sense of rhythm.
Scratch the surface of Tolkien's world and you'll find a curiously 20th-century myth. Begun in the 1930s, published in the 1950s, it's shot through with the preoccupations and prejudices of its time. This is no clash of noble adversaries like the Iliad, no story of our common humanity like the Epic of Gilgamesh. It's a fake, a forgery, a dodgy copy. Strip away the archaic turns of phrase and you find a set of basic assumptions that are frankly unacceptable in 21st-century Britain.
We’d attribute this to the author having spent his childhood in South Africa, but his defenders will point out he left that land as a child. Still, one wonders.
UPDATE: Jo Fish links and wonders what Sullivan would make of the truly greatest sf trilogy of all time, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books (The superlative isn’t just an opinion ... in a head-to-head competition for a special Hugo Award for best all-time sf/fantasy book series in 1996, Asimov, to even his own surprise, beat Tolkien out).
Well, um, Jo, that’s interesting. Yes, it may well make Sullivan’s head explode. We get the impression you haven’t read about this.
posted by Sully 2/23/2004 09:05:00 PM
GORE HATRED WATCH:
It is important, or should be, for Sullivan to make the distinction that nothing Gore actually did caused the downfall of the Dean campaign. As Trippi and Dean have both said, the effect was secondary: when Gore endorsed him, he automatically became the frontrunner that polls had already suggested he was.
In fact, it might be suggested, Gore actually might have been a help — reportedly he was stunned by how disorganized the operation was when he visited after his endorsement, and privately told Dean that he should get rid of Trippi before returns started to diminish (as they did when they actually came in). It was not surprising that Neel was hired. Naturally Trippi isn’t going to say this.
(And to be fair, we don’t think changing lead horses after the endorsement would have been a help. First, Trippi had become almost as much of a star as Dean, and had many loyalists in that campaign staff; second, it would have looked as if Dean was becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gore (not entirely as popular with the Dean loyalists as you might think, as many of them think he could have fought harder and better during the Florida recount)).
RETURN OF THE INVISIBLE HAND:
By the way, we seem to remember when we first read this post in the morning that it contained merely one quote from Trippi and not the whole question and answer, and lacked the lame “C’mon, Joe ...” exhortation at the end.
posted by Sully 2/23/2004 08:55:00 PM
NICE TO KNOW THAT, FINALLY:
Peaceful Democratic leftists, however misguided, are not terrorists.
Fortunately for his Drudge-addled readership, it seems you can still call them terrorist sympathizers or objectively pro-terrorist.
posted by Sully 2/23/2004 08:48:00 PM
THIS IS A NEW FIRST:
Sebastian catches Sullivan actually contradicting himself within the confines of the same post.
posted by Sully 2/23/2004 12:27:00 PM