Saturday, March 06, 2004
Jo Fish with the perfect riposte.
posted by Sully 3/06/2004 11:57:00 PM
Friday, March 05, 2004
ALL HAIL LOGAN CIRCLE GUY!:
John follows up on his critique of Sullivan letting Dick Cheney off the FMA hook with a nice one-two.
First, his attempts to exaggerate the role of the aircraft carrier stunt in sowing his doubts about Dubya.
Then there’s his comments on his blog at the time about the speech itself: “The president is exactly right to remind people of the war that began on September 11; he’s right to connect the liberation of Iraq to that event; he’s right to remain vigilant; and to embrace the new concept of a war that can break a regime while freeing a people with a minimum of civilian casualties. I deeply admire his determination and clarity, and felt goosebumps at certain moments.”
The disillusionment with Bush is quite clear there, isn’t it?
Actually, John, the hed should be “This is why he massages his archives.”
Then, he he visits the online home of Colby College’s College Republicans and shows us just how truly open-minded they are:
The Colby Republicans are unable to say the words “Fox News” without following them with “Fair and Balanced.” And let’s not even talk about the fetishistic Reagan photos that adorn the site.
This doesn’t sound like a “new world” to me; more like the same tired old world that Republicans want to maintain. Why Andrew thinks it’s surprising that college Republicans would have an event about one of the hot topics of the day is unclear. Why he thinks that his presence there makes it some kind of festival of equality is also unclear. The borders of this new world seem to correspond to the limits of Andrew’s perceptions.
But so did the borders of the old one.
posted by Sully 3/05/2004 12:36:00 PM
Since I don’t really function before 10 am ...
We’re tempted to say “or after,” but something more serious comes to mind.
Just how many people who contributed the vast sums of money that keep andrewsullivan.com afloat have jobs where they have been slaving away long before 10 with the coffee break not even over the horizon? Does Sullivan realize, in this day and age, how fortunate he is?
We’d bet that those Indian tech workers, the ones who might be able to replace all our pundits eventually, don’t sleep in, either.
A BACKHANDED WAY OF GETTING BACK ON THE OP-ED PAGE:
Krugman responds to Mr. I-Hate-Gotcha-Journalism-Except-When-I-Do-It. Without mentioning him even indirectly, of course.
posted by Sully 3/05/2004 12:23:00 PM
Uh-oh! The Sage of South Goodstone referred to Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish as “classic.” How will his good friend Camille Paglia, founder and President-for-Life of the He-Woman Foucault-Haters Club, take that?
Is he perhaps retaliating slightly for the antisemitic comments she got away with on his blog during that “IMterview” (oh please!) in August 2002?
posted by Sully 3/05/2004 12:06:00 PM
Thursday, March 04, 2004
ORWELLIAN IN THE BEST TRADITION:
George Cerny on Sullivan’s revisionism as it applies to himself and the past three years.
posted by Sully 3/04/2004 02:16:00 PM
STILL REFUSING TO SEE MUCH OF THE BLATANTLY OBVIOUS:
(This post revised and extended a few hours after initial publication)
TBogg on Sullivan’s reaction to letting Zarqawi get away:
Odds are, even with Bush’s proposed I Hate The Queers amendment, Andy will still vote for him ... sure beats admitting you were wrong.
Actually, we have some more questions about this little item.
First, just what, exactly, is he talking about here?
if we blame Clinton for not getting Osama when he could have (and we should)
This seems to be a reference to the Sudan canard, the whole report that that country’s Islamist government could have had Osama signed, sealed and delivered for us during the Clinton administration if we’d only taken them seriously. The implication, as this has been passed along among conservative operatives, is that the Clinton people weren’t interested in bringing bin Laden to justice.
But as even one conservative publication had to bring itself to admit, Clinton turned it down not out of weakness but suspicion (ADDENDUM: Josh Marshall sums it up here) ... the Clinton national-security people thought Sudan, a country under fire in some quarters of Congress for its undeniable mistreatment of Christians, was trying to buy itself out of opprobrium with intelligence of dubious value and authenticity (Of course, the Bushies have demonstrated so clearly that they don’t understand this concept, that, you know, the quality of intelligence doesn’t directly correlate with the alarm it raises about the subject, so perhaps they can be forgiven).
This smacks of the most extreme disingenousness on the part of anyone who makes use of it. You just know that if Clinton had taken the deal and been conned, and terrorist attacks taken place, we wouldn’t have heard the last of it. And then the neocons would have been right.
But they weren’t. So you’d think they ought to applaud the Clinton administration for a principled stand and refusing to compromise with terrorists, even if it was an honest mistake. Instead, it is impossible to criticize Bush for something without giving it the spoonful of sugar of a Clinton-bash, so they have to write articles like the CNS one linked to above basically suggesting that compromising with terrorists is OK when the Bushies do it because, y’see, they know when terrorist-backing states are really serious about. They just do (then again, they knew that Iraq had mountain ranges of WMDs). Where the Clintonites got as obstinate as they were and potentially sacrificed a chance to make gains in the war on terror, all of a sudden it’s poor judgement indicative of a fundamental character flaw; and when they’re willing to work diplomatically, it’s a good thing.
And how can he be so obtuse as to not understand that the Bushies didn’t bomb Ansaar because it would have called attention to that group (and, indirectly, al-Qaa‘idah) not working with Saddam but apart from him and his regime?
UPDATE: Josh Marshall discusses this but, unusually, doesn’t seem to note that taking Ansar out would have undermined the case for war because everyone would have said “You got the one al-Qaa’idah outfit on Iraqi soil out; so now what do you need to go to war for?”
That Sullivan still doesn’t seem to understand just how nakedly political and cynical this administration is as touching as it is disturbing.
posted by Sully 3/04/2004 12:54:00 PM
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
A DAY WITHOUT JO FISH RAGGING ON SULLIVAN IS LIKE A DAY WITHOUT SUNSHINE:
Is anyone else getting the feeling that the 1600 Crew would have to start dragging gays away in boxcars to some place in the far western states before Sullivan actually “gets it”?
posted by Sully 3/03/2004 06:28:00 PM
THIS NIGHT HAS OPENED MY EYES ... NOT!:
Sebastian wonders what we’re going to say about Sullivan’s latest attempt to salvage his courtly love for the Bush Administration by pinning a big fat rose on Dick Cheney through an extremely close parsing of the latter’s CNN interview.
Frankly, we weren’t really thinking of saying anything. Sullivan rationalizing away the rampant homophobia of the Bush people (something so fundamental to their essence that we suspect that if Saddam had offered to help them pass the gay marriage amendment, they would have agreed to let him nuke Israel if he wanted) is getting to be rather dog-bites-man, alas.
So we’ll reprint what he said:
You found Cheney’s support for the above fascinating Andy? Just when you thought Andy was going to stick up for what’s right, he rolls over and plays dead.
UPDATE: Logan Circle Guy on this:
This does offer a fun sort of parallel to the “we love homosexuals, we just hate what they do” thinking of Andrew’s church, though. Cheney is justs a sinner who deep down is good ... we shouldn’t be mad it him, we should feel sorry for him.)
Yo! Friends of Andrew! It’s time for an intervention — if you care about him you should try to help him re-enter the real world.
posted by Sully 3/03/2004 11:08:00 AM
WHY THE RIGHT LOVES RALPH:
As we reread Chait on Nader, we were struck by how familiar the depictions of Nader sounded:
Few realize that Nader’s campaign against the Corvair was only the most visible edge of an uncompromising, conspiratorial worldview.
Nader hounded liberal Connecticut Senator Abraham Ribicoff into investigating whether GM had lied about what it knew in testimony before Congress. In a letter to Ribicoff, Nader wrote, “Now comes decisive evidence which reveals a labyrinthic and systematic intra-company collusion, involving high General Motors officials, to sequester and suppress company data and films.” Nader insisted he had an array of inside sources and documents that would reveal this conspiracy. Ribicoff dutifully assigned a pair of staffers to the case, and they spent two years chasing down Nader’s leads. None of them panned out. The investigators found no evidence that GM knew of the Corvair's safety flaws. The failure to confirm Nader’s suspicions enraged him. “He could not let go of the Corvair issue,” one of the staffers told Martin. “He was fixated. And, if you didn’t accept or believe the same things he did, you were either stupid or venal.”
... [E]ven then his work was driven by ideologically motivated fanaticism. In 1971, Nader pressured one of his associates, Lowell Dodge, to sex up his study “Small on Safety: The Designed-in Dangers of the Volkswagen.” In his self-proclaimed 1976 hatchet job, Me & Ralph, former TNR managing editor David Sanford describes how Nader insisted that Dodge rewrite the conclusion of the study so that it began, “The Volkswagen is the most hazardous car in use in significant numbers in the U.S. today.” Objecting that “the conclusion is not reflected in the data,” Dodge left the project, allowing others to take credit as principal authors. “I have always carried around considerable guilt about what I regard as the extreme intellectual dishonesty of that conclusion,” he told Sanford.
Nader’s true fame came not from Unsafe at Any Speed but from the fact that its publication prompted GM to hire a private investigator to dig up damaging personal information that might discredit him. The irony is that Nader’s grandiose paranoia predated this episode. Before publishing Unsafe at Any Speed, Nader worked as an obscure functionary at the Labor Department under then-Assistant Secretary Pat Moynihan. “Ralph was a very suspicious man,” Moynihan told Charles McCarry in his 1972 biography Citizen Nader. “He used to warn me that the phones at the Labor Department might be tapped. I’d say, ‘Fine! They’ll learn that the unemployment rate for March is 5.3 percent, that’s what they’ll learn.’”
Nader‘s friends recalled that often he would act furtively, speaking in code, always convinced he was being monitored or phone-tapped. When he insisted in 1966 that he was being followed, one of his friends replied, according to Martin, “Ralph, your paranoia has grown to new extremes.” Of course, it turned out that in that instance Nader was being followed. But this merely proved the old adage that sometimes even the paranoid have enemies plotting against them.
And yet, even during his heyday, Nader habitually denounced liberals and their work, sabotaging the very causes he claimed to believe in. Martin’s biography is filled with examples. In 1970, Nader championed a report by his staff savaging Ed Muskie, the liberal senator from Maine. Muskie, who helped engineer the Air Quality Act of 1967, had a reputation as an environmental ally, but Nader’s report called the act “disastrous,” adding, “That fact alone would warrant his being stripped of his title as ‘Mr. Pollution Control.’”
That same year, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to create a Consumer Protection Agency (CPA), what Nader called his highest legislative goal. But, just days after praising the bill, Nader turned against it, saying that “intolerable erosions” had rendered the bill “unacceptable.”
He maligned Washington Representative Tom Foley as “a broker for agribusiness” — despite the fact that Foley had bucked agribusiness to pass a bill regulating meatpackers. He attacked Colorado liberal Pat Schroeder, who had supported earlier versions of the CPA but had minor reservations this time, as a “mushy liberal” selling her vote to corporate contributors. He so alienated Democrats that, as the measure went down to defeat, one reportedly said as he voted no, “This one’s for you, Ralph.”
For Nader, it was almost axiomatic that anybody who disagreed with him was a corporate lackey. “Nader sees critics as enemies,” wrote Sanford, a former ally. “Those who do not serve him serve the evil elements of corporations.” This Manichaean worldview came through in everything Nader did.
In his 2002 memoir, Crashing the Party, Nader alleges that Bill Clinton leaked the Gennifer Flowers adultery revelations himself to avoid having to address Nader’s agenda. “I’m almost certain that [Clinton] and his supporters knew [the Flowers scandal] was coming,” he posits. “Clinton knew how to stay on message, and nothing was going to get him to take a stand on President Bush’s NAFTA proposal before Congress, or on nuclear power, or on the failing banks in New Hampshire.” This assertion neatly encapsulates Nader’s style of thinking — the fevered conspiracy-mongering, the moral righteousness, and the laughably outsized role he assigns himself in world events.
Sounds like Ralph would have been right at home in the Arkansas Project or with Ambrose Evans-Pritchard or Paul Weyrich or Larry Klayman or anyone else in that He-Man Clinton-Haters Club. And for all we know, he was.
posted by Sully 3/03/2004 11:02:00 AM
Matt Yglesias over at TAPped catches Sullivan out on his latest pitiful attempt to trip up The Krugster.
Silly Krugman — can’t even read his own newspaper! Except when you look at it, the articles don’t contradict each other at all. Krugman is talking about Social Security, which really does have enough money in its trust fund to last for several decades more and whose long-term problems really could be solved by a relatively modest tax increase. Andrews, on the other hand, is talking about Social Security and Medicare, and the latter program’s projected financial situation is far, far more dire.
Actually, to be fair, given Sullivan’s distaste for the Times we thought it was entirely possible he was using Krugman to upbraid the news desk.
UPDATE: Logan Circle Guy fleshes this one out:
I think Andrew wants us to think the folks at the Times are as inconsistent as he is.
Andrew seems to forget that Paul Krugman, as the columnist who didn’t get fired by the Times the way Andrew was, writes what is called an “editorial” that contains his own views, not any Times official viewpoint. (One might think that a former editor of The New Republic might know what an editorial is.)
Andrew also seems to forget that unlike his own contradictory stuff, those pieces were written by two different people.
And let’s not even get started on the little detail that Andrew usually criticizes the Times for slanting things to match their editorial viewpoint, and now he’s mad at them for presenting alternate viewpoints.
Oh well — anything to try to criticize the Times. Someone needs to get past the way the Times canned his sorry ass.
posted by Sully 3/03/2004 10:41:00 AM
YOU CAN TELL YOUR STATISTICS TO GO AND SHUT UP:
From Atrios, we learn that Sebastian, who should know, shows that Sullivan is all wet, or at least Ferguson was, on Germany’s population and its contribution to the EU budget.
We knew that Sullivan had a serious problem with statistics as long ago as June 2002 (see blogroll), but it’s always nice seeing one’s results reproduced.
posted by Sully 3/03/2004 02:43:00 AM
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
MARILYN MUSGRAVE: OBJECTIVELY PRO-NECRO:
Actually, it was interesting to read Moore’s opposition to the FMA.
Particularly this very sound and legalistic criticism:
For example, he said, the amendment being pushed by conservatives simply defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, leaving the door open to future officials who could argue that the measure does not prohibit incestuous unions.
We’ve also realized that this same language doesn’t specify that the parties have to be living, either, leaving the door wide open to this kind of love being legally recognized.
posted by Sully 3/02/2004 05:54:00 PM
THAT WASN’T WHY WE CALLED YOU SMALLTOWN BOY, BUT IT MIGHT AS WELL BE, IN RETROSPECT:
I have to say that the American Enterprise Institute is an amazing place. There are plenty of people there with whom I’d disagree on many issues, but it’s wonderful to be in a place where ideas actually seem to matter. It confirms in my mind that Washington really is becoming an intellectual capital as well as a political one.
We’re afraid to see what Wonkette could do with this.
Nope, she hasn’t yet, probably because of the primaries. But it’s just sitting there like a lazy, Little Leaguer fastball headed for A-Rod.
C’mon, Ana. We know you read this site. Are you up to the test?
posted by Sully 3/02/2004 05:37:00 PM
YOU MAY NOT WANT TO GO THERE:
Maybe these explosions will help Iraqis realize that our enemies are their enemies.
As long as, one imagines, they don’t also remember that our enemies would not be killing them if we hadn’t inv
adited ourselves to their country in the first place.
posted by Sully 3/02/2004 05:30:00 PM
“I PICK UP MY GUITAR AND PLAY ...”:
TBogg picks up on the same thing we did regarding then, now, and one of Sullivan’s more-infamous statements.
ADDENDUM: Isn’t it funny how Prager is “sage” in the morning but Jerry Falwell in the afternoon? LATE UPDATE: Quiddity Quack notices too.
posted by Sully 3/02/2004 05:27:00 PM
Monday, March 01, 2004
“W” DOES NOT STAND FOR “WINSTON”:
Jo Fish reminds Sullivan of the key differences between Bush and Lord Churchill:
Andrew’s comparison falls short on one note: Churchill was drawn into a war by the forces of the era; Preznit 10-Watt started a war and expected everyone to play in a global struggle of black-and-white heros and villans. It has not come to pass.
posted by Sully 3/01/2004 05:33:00 PM
HEAD. WALL. BANG:
Sebastian on Sullivan’s taking David Frum seriously as a participant in the marriage debate.
Come back tomorrow when Andy starts taking Bush’s deficit reduction “plan” seriously again.
posted by Sully 3/01/2004 05:30:00 PM
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED OVERNIGHT?:
Sullivan at 12:48 a.m. this morning (allowing for his usual inability to set his computer clock correctly):
John Kerry is highly unlikely to put John Edwards on his ticket. And his [Kerry’s] spending plans make even George Bush look fiscally responsible.
Sullivan this afternoon:
They’re both cowards (although Kerry seems to have a better grip on fiscal reality than Bush does).
Y’know, it takes no small amount of nerve to flip-flop on a man you regularly lambaste for flip-flopping.
There’s something to those criticisms, to be sure. But even John Kerry would know better than to change positions so blatantly within the same day.
posted by Sully 3/01/2004 01:40:00 PM
IT WAS SOOOO FUNNY, I JUST HAD TO SAY IT TWICE:
The “God Hates Shrimp” link and accompanying text is posted twice, less than a half hour apart.
Oops. Was he stoned again or something?
posted by Sully 3/01/2004 01:29:00 PM