Saturday, March 13, 2004
PUTIN HIS PLACE:
George Cerny says Sullivan shouldn’t be so baffled by Bush’s support of Putin despite all the evidence showing Russia covertly aided Saddam over the years in developing his weapons programs ... he cheered Bush on:
So now Bush has been “coddling” Putin; before his strategy was “impressive” and the president’s personal diplomacy with Putin was producing “important and hopeful” results.
My point here is not about Bush as a diplomat or Putin as Russian leader or American ally; rather it’s about Sullivan’s skills as an analyst.
Remember, these comments are from pieces Sullivan wrote for publication that I found in two seconds by googling his site. God knows how many contradictory statements about Putin you’ll find in the “Daily Dish” if you want to go back through his archives week by week.
I did that once before with “Flypaper” and I’m not doing it again.
Why — or how — do people take this egotistical little gnat seriously?
posted by Sully 3/13/2004 10:00:00 AM
SOMOS TODOS MADRILEÑOS ... NOT QUITE, APPARENTLY:
By referring to Thursday’s bombings as “3/11,” Sullivan, appallingly for a native Brit, forgets that Europeans put the date first.
In fact, Spanish papers have been referring to the event at least for the time being as “11-M,” or more in the Spanish tradition of remembering dates as “Onze de Marzo.”
This is really just part of a larger, somewhat disturbing phenomenon we thought we’d point out.
When the World Trade Center towers were felled, our papers were filled with stories about displays of sympathy for America abroad ... the band at Buckingham palace playing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” displays of the U.S. flag, total strangers walking up to Americans in Romania and Africa, offers to donate blood, etc.
We wondered at the time, would Americans do this for any other country? If the CN Tower had been felled by hijacked jetliners, would we all stop to sing “O Canada”? Would we put the Maple Leaf up in store windows? Would our politicians wear Canadian-flag lapel pins?
We doubted it, and Thursday we got our proof, alas.
Of course we weren’t imagining that people would fly Spanish flags from their car antennas. And certainly the scale of deaths was not as great as on 9/11. But the Spaniards are in just as much shock. When we saw those videos on the MSNBC site that morning, we had this faint ache because we knew all too well how it must have felt to be a Spaniard, or in Spain, that day. We wish we didn’t, as all Americans do, but we did.
our leaders set the tone, and some displays of support that recognize another country’s suffering in the war on terror, if we’re serious about it, could show that we haven’t totally forgotten what diplomacy is all about. Maybe all those superpatriotic Republicans in Congress could gather on the steps and sing (well, hum ... it has no words) the Spanish national anthem. Or we could fly the Spanish flag over ground zero.
Or maybe even certain warbloggers (or even us, if we could have done this in a short time) could put that flag, or a pattern resembling it (not hard to do with HTML) on their blogs as a show of solidarity?
Oh well, looks like another opportunity lost. Hey, if we declare a war on terror and don’t bat our eyelashes when innocent Sri Lankans or Pakistanis get blown to bits, why the hell should we care about a country whose government defied its own people to support our little war?
UPDATE: Jo Fish has put a Spanish flag on his page, and Idle Worm adds:
No, sadly the Spanish didn’t get any meaningful condolences or tributes. They got a lot of insults from right-wing Republican filth for being “cowardly,” because they had the audacity to vote for a politician who opposed the illegal Iraq war, as did 90% of the Spanish people a year ago!
posted by Sully 3/13/2004 09:16:00 AM
Friday, March 12, 2004
THOUGHT HE COULD GET AWAY WITH THIS ONE:
His Sunday Times of London columns have been getting continually more tiresome, and often their subject matter is predictable just from the headline on the main blog page. So we are delinquent in reviewing them.
But this week’s column about Kerry deserves special scorn. It is nothing more, really, than a logroll for Sullivan’s TNR buddy Mickey Kaus and his irrational Kerry-loathing. He starts off by giving Kaus ostentatious credit for coining “pandescender,” as if this is likely to go any further into the discourse than “eagle” did (beyond the graveyard of failed portmanteaux, that is). He tells us that this “is troubling even die-hard Democrats as they confront president Bush in the fall” without giving one example beyond Kaus, and we all know Kaus ain’t no yellow-dogger.
And he manufactures a flip-flop where it’s not necessarily true that one exists. Kerry may have announced he’s going to “stop blaming and start supporting” teachers, but Sully doesn’t quote Kerry as explicitly renouncing any policy that makes it easier to fire bad teachers ... and one can support both that and improving teacher training.
At the end he really goes off the edge, repeating without comment Howie Carr’s supposed collection of "Do You Know Who I Am?” anecdotes where Kerry is supposed to have pulled rank in some public situation.
But, as Ted Barlow, now at Crooked Timber, has noted, so many of these stories have been around as to have the status of urban legends ... yet conservatives seem to accept each and every one of them as gold-plated gospel and publish them without revealing their source. So he did the only thing he could ... announce publicly that he was sponsoring a contest to put fake ones in Jonah Goldberg’s mailbox so as to keep him on his toes. Which has slowed the trickle down.
Naturally, the only way to end this would be to quote Kaus approvingly ... which is exactly what Sullivan does!
Yup, no shame.
posted by Sully 3/12/2004 11:53:00 AM
BIT OF AN EXAGGERATION, DON’T YOU THINK?:
If it is the beginning of an Islamist terror campaign throughout Europe, then we will witness a cultural and military war on that continent not seen since the last world war.
So al-Qaa‘idah apparently has the means (or related program capabilities) to field a million-man Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, SS Panzer divisions and all that other stuff that gets wargamers off so much.
Perhaps you should share this with intelligence, Andrew?
UPDATE: Big Media Matt has a good point over at TAPped:
Well, the enemy’s clear to me but I’m pretty sure Tony Blair and George Bush decided a year ago that they should go attack Saddam Hussein. Indeed, when they had the closest thing to an al-Qaeda operative that could be found in Iraq — but not in the part of Iraq under Saddam’s control — Bush decided to let him go in order to further his political agenda.
It looks like it might have been a bit of a mistake to let Osama bin Laden spend a couple of years cooling his heels in Pakistan while we conducting an unrelated war in Iraq. That, I think, would be seeing clearly.
We were going to say that, wow, that flypaper worked so well, didn’t it? It did occur to us but the video images yesterday brought just enough 9/11 flashbacks to life to make us more respectful than to use the tragedy as an occasion for sarcasm.
UPDATE TO THIS UPDATE:
Pandagon’s Ezra Klein says to this:
Sullivan seems to be looking at history with ellipses. It’s like when I quote something. “On 9/11, America was attacked by Al-Qaeda. We responded by going after the heart of their organization in Afghanistan ... and Spain suffered a terrorist attack.” What’s cut out is key, we had a bit of digression from the war on Al-Qaeda during that time and Saddam Hussein became the big enemy, the representation of all that's evil.
Now it’s back to Al-Qaeda. Until it isn’t, again.
LATER UPDATE: TBogg says much the same thing.
Look for Andy to ignore the fact that troops and intelligence were pulled off the al-Qaeda beat to go to work on those WMDs in Iraq.
Love is blind, don’cha know.
posted by Sully 3/12/2004 11:37:00 AM
Jo Fish wonders what the deal is with this focus on Kerry and his first marriage:
WTF does John Kerry's annulment and it's price, timing or anything else have to do with anything? The spinster Duchess seems to want to have the soul of the Church he reviles laid bare to see what the amount of the check Kerry wrote (if he did) to get his former marriage annulled. Hey, Andy...who cares?
UPDATE: Hesiod looks at this, and notes some distortions of Julia Thorne’s remarks in press coverage (i.e., she didn’t think Kerry was being disrespectful by seeking the annulment, as an Episcopalian she thought the Church was being disrespectful to her marriage by even considering the request, but she acceded because she did not bear her former husband enough ill will to prevent him and his second wife from enjoying a marriage with the full sanction of the Church.
posted by Sully 3/12/2004 11:25:00 AM
Thursday, March 11, 2004
WE CAN’T WAIT:
Jarvis’s piece not only suggests we rated a mention in Wolcott’s piece (we look forward to tomorrow morning when we get to check the magazine racks again), it has his latest bit of entertaining prose at Sullivan’s expense.
And I would add, based on my own subjective impressions, the reason Andrew Sullivan attracts so many personal attacks isn’t that he's recognizable and his attackers aren’t, but that he makes it so easy and fun. He's like a bad tenor begging to be pelted with fresh product.
This was, by the way, apropos of a discussion of how Smalltown Boy’s little potshot at Atrios on the Minnesota Public Radio “Blogging of the President” a while back.
We are pleased to see that Wolcott, too, sees as we did that this reflected an obvious insecurity about Sullivan’s place in the blogosphere. It just isn’t fair, y’know, when the invisible hands that drive that pesky marketplace of ideas decide for whatever reason that some punk gym teacher in Philadelphia is worth more than you, who used to edit ... The New Republicand have appeared all over radio and TV!! (as well as in the buff online).
UPDATE: World O’ Crap adds:
Poor Andrew — but like his mother told him, Wolcott is just saying these things because he’s jealous of your manly pro-war blogging.
Wonder if she remembers a similar admonition Wolcott once made to Jay McInerney? (Yeah, we know. Who? But even he has his own website).
posted by Sully 3/11/2004 12:52:00 AM
PROJECTION WATCH, LIKE NEVER BEFORE AND POSSIBLY NEVER AGAIN:
What would you do if you wanted the purest, darkest revenge against the newspaper that eventually rejected you? You’d go on Bill O’Reilly and you would describe the New York Times as a den of leftist, ideological conformity in which any dissent from left-liberalism is tantamount to career suicide. You’d confirm the most paranoid critic’s view that the NYT is as objective as a MoveOn ad. Watching the spectacle last night had my jaw drop close to the floor. Can we say chutzpah! Now, as it happens, of course, Blair may have a point. (Although he greatly exaggerates.)
You don’t say, Sullivan. You don’t say.
This one’s gonna have a lot of monitors getting cleaned off tomorrow morning ...
posted by Sully 3/11/2004 12:29:00 AM
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
STORY ... NOT! AGAIN:
A academic from an Ivy League school writes with the following correction on the supposedly risible LA Times correction of “pro-life” to “anti-abortion”
In case you’re interested, Sully’s claim that the opera Frau Ohne Schatten has nothing to do with abortion is incorrect. This factoid has been making the rounds of the conservative blogs and I’ve been doing my best to set the matter to right. The nub of the argument is this:
Die Frau Ohne Schatten is the Empress, who, as the title suggests,lacks a shadow, lacks humanity, and therefore lacks the ability to bear children.
The Nurse leads her to the Dyer's Wife, suggesting that she take the Dyer’s Wife’s shadow. Since her marriage to the Dyer isn’t going so well, it’s a proposition that the Dyer’s Wife might not mind so much.
At the end of the first Act, the unborn children of the Dyer’s Wife call out to her for help. She is oblivious to their pleas. Instead she cries out, at the end of the Second Act, “I will put away from my body the unborn children, and my womb will not be fruitful for you nor for any other...."
Let there be no doubt, the Dyer’s Wife is contemplating abortion. The unborn children already exist. The audience can hear their voices. Since Hofmannsthal viewed motherhood as the only noble (and only possible) calling of Woman, there is no doubt he condemns in this opera any path that does not lead to multiple-motherhood.
That’s why he has the Dyer’s Wife immediately regret her momentous decision. The gods are clement, she is reconciled with her husband, andthe chorus of their unborn children sing her praises.
UPDATE 3/12: Roger Ailes takes note and adds some more to this.
posted by Sully 3/10/2004 08:43:00 PM
HOW TO SUCK UP:
Wonder how those noodly foreign bloggers who tend to agree with Sullivan/Reynolds/Den Beste/Johnson/Misha et al manage to do it? Micah Holmquist has 11 easy steps for you to set yourself up as one.
3) Advocate that the United States bomb and invade your country.
America has to do this for the sake of democracy, freedom, human rights, defeating the terrorists and perhaps some other reason(s). Explain how toppling the communist, fascist and/or Islamofascist government of your country will lead to a dramatic turn for the better in the fight against the terrorists. Be sure to say that you have talked to everyone in the country and they have all said they don’t mind dying or being maimed in order to be liberated. Warbloggers love to know that freedom is appreciated.
4) If anything bad happens in your country before the invasion, point to it as evidence of a prima facie case for invasion, unless it was directly caused by the United States.
Photos that tug at the heartstrings are a nice touch. Citing reports on human rights in your country from organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch is a must. Do not under any circumstances mention reports from the same organizations that are critical of the United States.
5) While you advocate that it is the moral duty of and strategically beneficial for the United States to invade your country as soon as possible, you must ignore any evidence that the United States may have supported the current government of your country in the past.
Don’t blame the United States for anything. They are the good guys and that means they can do no wrong. But if they did do wrong, they had a good reason or something.
6) Relentlessly bash Noam Chomsky, France, The New York Times, the United Nations and whomever or whatever else warbloggers do not like.
Regularly peruse their blogs to find out what their latest and greatest insults are and make sure to use them.
9) Complain regularly about how those around you don’t appreciate the United States enough and how the media is not reporting what the military leaders of the United States say is happening.
Don’t mention any evidence that the invasion and occupation of your country has harmed the people of your country in any way or even that the United States could be doing more to help the people being liberated.
11) Point to any sign of happiness or newfound freedom in your country as proof that the invasion was justified.
Warbloggers love to hear how the people of some town are enjoying freedom and can now hold some traditional festival or religious celebration. It doesn't matter if they have heard of the practice before or not. What matters is that it gives them another reason to justify the war.
Follow each of these 11 steps and you will find yourself being showered with all sorts of affection from warbloggers. That's my guarantee.
Sounds like this guy. (LINK CHANGED 5:30 p.m. EST in the interest of being nicer to someone who actually is interesting to read).
posted by Sully 3/10/2004 12:37:00 PM
MAN OF MANY MEN:
Jo Fish (who else?) on Sullivan’s claiming allegiance to libertarianism:
Ah, he admits what many of us have suspected ... there are may personalities within that shell. Now he’s a Libertarian. Which makes him a gay, catholic, republican, libertarian liar, instead of just a liar. Whew. I feel better now knowing the Duchess’ true political leanings. Maybe it was the whole “Clinton at McDonalds” thing that got him going, not the marital infidelity and lying under oath thing. I mean who would have read Sullivan if he had been writing about Clinton’s diet? Well, we’ll never know, the Jayson Blair of P-town won6t be that forthcoming anytime soon...
posted by Sully 3/10/2004 12:28:00 PM
IT’S NEWS ONLY WHEN I REPORT IT, BUSTER:
Actually, if you regularly read Noah, you know he’s been trying to get Roy Moore off his duff and into the rough for at least a couple of weeks (and that’s just Moore personally; he’s thought about the possibility for even longer.
posted by Sully 3/10/2004 12:35:00 AM
THERE BE THORNES:
While Sullivan does raise some legitimate questions about the Church’s policy on annulments generally, what he leaves out here is some context in the Blade story, right before the quoted material:
But Kerry re-entered the political world, it cost him his marriage to Thorne, who sunk into a deep depression she attributed to Kerry’s cold nature, fierce ambition and prolonged absences. On the eve of his election as lieutenant governor in 1982, Thorne separated from Kerry.
(Italics ours). That’s the key here to understanding how Kerry may have gotten some grounds for annulling such a productive marriage (in the eyes of the Church, yes). Granted, the kids make it an iffy case to begin with, but the Blade story has a sidebar explaining the differences between divorce and legal and ecclesiastical annulment.
One of the grounds for the former is “A spouse can attain an annulment under the fraud canon if he or she was intentionally deceived about the presence or absence of a quality in the other. ” According to some accounts Julia Thorne had always been somewhat depressive to begin with, a quality her first husband (she has since recovered, written a book, remarried, moved to Montana ... and endorsed her first husband for president) could probably have not picked up on until too late.
(We’re not saying, to be absolutely clear, that depression itself is enough to merit annulment. The issue here, as far as anyone can tell, was that John Kerry may not have realized how serious his first wife’s problems were, and was unable to deal with them when he did. Some couples can handle this and some cannot).
Of course, we don’t know firsthand about a lot of these things, particularly Catholic canon law on this, and if we’re talking out of our ass, we’d appreciate someone setting us straight.
posted by Sully 3/10/2004 12:29:00 AM
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
YOU MIGHT HAVE TO TAKE THIS UP WITH YOUR DRINKING BUDDY:
The Beuve-Mery quote, unsourced and unlinked, apparently comes from a book by the one Frenchman conservatives like, Jean-François Revel (author of How Democracies Perish, which he seemed to answer “by allowing that just because you act against evil does not automatically make anything you do good”).
Peter Hitchens’, Drinking Buddy’s (or should that be Drinking Mate’s?) Tory brother, is unimpressed:
Conservatives outside America often have to tread a lonely path. They are at best patronized, at worst silenced. They look towards the great republic as if it were a celestial city, a fortress and arsenal of the cause. They defend it with an indiscriminate passion against stupid, ignorant critics.
And yes, those critics are ignorant. When I first visited the USA in 1977, I was so astonished and overwhelmed by the experience that I did not sleep properly for a month after I returned home. I had, quite simply, no idea what it was really like until I went there, my mind having been filled for years with the silly misconceptions and hopeless prejudices of my own declining nation and of the fashionable Left. It is a frightening combination, this resentful alliance of hostile Trotskyist and resentful, humiliated patriot. Washington should pay more attention to the hurt pride of once-great nations fallen on hard times, if it wants to keep any friends on the surface of the globe.
It must be even worse for conservative Frenchmen than for conservative Englishmen. In England we still have the last faint traces of our own patriotic, Protestant tradition, discernible on a clear day from a high place. Poor France, however, pretends that it is a revolutionary nation, though it would be hard to find anything closer to an 18th-century absolute monarchy, grandeur and all, anywhere on the surface of the earth.
As an example of this affliction, he produces an astonishing quotation from Hubert Beuve-Mery, founder of that fantastically self-righteous newspaper Le Monde, who wrote in the very year that American, British, and Canadian troops liberated his country from National Socialist occupation: “The Americans constitute a real danger for France.” To experience this wonderful specimen of the higher drivel in full, you will have to turn to page 52 of M. Revel’s book. But in the meantime, savor this: “Their [the Americans’] materialism does not even have the tragic grandeur of the materialism of the totalitarians. If they cling to a veritable cult of the idea of liberty, they don’t feel the need to liberate themselves from the servitudes that their capitalism entails.” [Note that this translation differs slightly from the one Sully or his reader used ... in the subjunctive, it’s less arrogant – SW]
Living amidst this sort of thing, simultaneously pretentious and offensive to any well-tuned mind, it is easy to understand why the good Jean-François finds it hard to accept any criticisms of the USA. Condemnation from such curdled brains and such flapping mouths almost always amounts to praise. But that is what is wrong with this otherwise excellent and lucid book. It cannot recognize that a criticism of the USA may be true even though a French leftist has made it. Just as the Bush administration has used the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, to overcome logic and any sense of proportion, M. Revel uses those events to convince himself that even America’s wrongful actions are right.
If only America deserved the unqualified admiration that Jean-François Revel heaps upon it. But tanks, missiles, aircraft carriers, and bombing planes are no substitute for the courageous resolve and unfashionable adherence to principle that once made America great and whose absence now gnaws at America’s vitals. France and Britain are not the only places where the cultural Left has occupied the strongpoints and besieges the inner fortifications.
posted by Sully 3/09/2004 03:03:00 PM
TO THOSE WHO DO, IT IS DONE UNTO:
This issue has come up before with Bennett. It even came up even when we were both on live television, and he made this very claim. I explicitly stated in front of him that he was misreading my book and misrepresenting my position on civil marriage and asked him to stop distorting it in future. He said he was glad to accept my clarification. I asked him again later in private not to distort my position in future. He is still doing so.
Well, imagine that. Maybe you understand how Amy Welborn feels now?
Actually, Andrew, you may not have to Bennett seriously as a spokesman on any moral issue for much longer [snicker].
posted by Sully 3/09/2004 02:50:00 PM
Monday, March 08, 2004
MORE SIGNS OF THE CHANGING TIMES IN THE BLOGOSPHERE:
Sullivan links to the Daily Kos, the very popular left-leaning blog that outdraws him every day.
posted by Sully 3/08/2004 08:47:00 PM
THE REAL TARGET:
Jo also raps Sullivan for claiming Martha was convicted of perjury before checking the facts closely.
And he gives Sullivan credit for correcting himself, of course, as he deserves (though his corrections policy seems to resemble increasingly that of the New York Times that he so likes to hate: Contritely admit the small things so you don’t have to admit the big ones).
But, of course, we know who this was really aimed at and why he made the mistake: Clinton. Yup. Never mind that he’s been out of office for three years, or that thanks to the vague questions asked by the opposing lawyers it wasn’t a prosecutable case (although it was a less than honorable way to testify). No story is too small not to get in a swipe at Clinton.
posted by Sully 3/08/2004 08:45:00 PM
OH COME ON, IT’S NOT LIKE HE BLEW OFF CAMPAIGN APPEARANCES TO YAK WITH ROBERT LOWELL ...:
Rushing into the gap, Jo Fish responds better than we could to Sullivan’s criticism of Kerry for being too intellectual:
Yeah, he just sat around on that Swift Boat, reading existential philosphers and sucking back a few cold ones. Andrew does not seem to remember that Kerry, unlike his hero, has “seen the elephant.” His cool reaction and proven ability to behave valorously under direct enemy fire makes him a far more honorable and clear-thinking man in extremis than someone who ran out on his country twice, once after taking an Oath to serve as an Officer in the Air National Guard, and again when he ran away on AF One on September 11, 2001. If Kerry had been President that day, he probably would have gone to Ground Zero, donned protective gear and worked with the rescuers. Not sat on AF One, had his press flunkies make up reasons for "hiding out" and then gone for the photo-op for Campaign 2004.
If Andy wants to see the result of Commander Codpiece’s foreign policy and “War on Terra™” let him look no further than Afghanistan ... that should give him pause as to how his hero treats the business of Realpolitik ... No Photo-Op ... No Interest.
(Emphasis in original) We think that this has something more to it than that both Kerry and Fish were Navy men.
posted by Sully 3/08/2004 08:41:00 PM
Sunday, March 07, 2004
OH, THOSE ANTISEMITIC FRENCH!:
In a small community in the Alps, two places of worship are attacked in a way that makes it clear that religious hatred was the inciting factor. The French government does nothing; adherents complain that this is part of a larger and growing trend that the government does nothing about.
Why isn’t Sullivan taking time out from The Passion and gay marriage to rap those frogs one over the skull? Read it and take a wild guess.
posted by Sully 3/07/2004 12:55:00 PM
THE QUESTION IS SORT OF MOOT:
He also refuses to answer my simple question: which of the 1,049 civil and legal protections that he enjoys with his wife would he deign to grant me and my partner?
Uh, Sullivan, you know damn well what the answer is: None! You’ve said it yourself in the past, that you’re not likely to be married yourself. So you can’t avail yourself of any of those.
posted by Sully 3/07/2004 12:49:00 PM
WHY JOBS MATTER:
Scheiber’s piece is OK as far as economics goes (though it wouldn’t be surprising if Brad DeLong or Max Sawicky found something to say about it, we imagine), but the important thing to remember, as Atrios does, is that the Republicans campaigned on producing jobs, not creating an economic recovery (which for many voters is one and the same, remember):
Did the Bush tax cuts “cause” a sluggish economy? It’s doubtful, but what we can say with some certainty is that they spent a lot of money and don’t have much to show for it. And, now, there’s nothing more they can do. Greenspan can’t lower rates anymore. Any further deficit spending would likely have fairly strong negative consequences, even if it were used for truly stimulative policies. It’s likely the economy will lumber a long a little while longer and eventually start to improve. However, a sudden negative shock to the economy — oil price shock, terrorist attack, natural disaster, international unrest — could be much more disastrous than normal because the fiscal and monetary policy gas pedals are both pushed down all the way.
They gambled it all and so far they’ve lost. If double 0 shows up on the next spin we could be truly screwed.
posted by Sully 3/07/2004 12:42:00 PM
WHERE THE GROUNDSWELL HAS BEEN COMING FROM:
A reader from Rosendale, NY, writes in:
I was at the New Paltz Village Hall last night when Jason West, the “remarkable young mayor,” made his walk from his office to the courthouse to face charges over the gay marriages he had performed the weekend before, to the accompaniment of about five hundred cheering onlookers.
What hasn’t really been noted in any of the news coverage, but was obvious in the crowd, is just how much this is about Bush as well. The local Greens (who, I should say, did a very good job organizing things and reminded us that we had to keep the firehouse driveway between the office and the courthouse clear at all times, and we did) led us in as many chants that were anti-Bush as they were pro-gay marriage, and the same pattern showed itself in the crowd as well based on the signs waved and flyers distributed. There were even two people walking around in George and Laura masks!
No one writing about this seems to have made the connection that was so evident between the Bush-hatred Sullivan so deplored until recently and the amazing support shown this cause by the progressive public. He probably won’t.
But for many other people I know, there is some sweet revenge in the way that the shoe is on the other foot — last year at this time it was our side that pointed to defiance of law, to a unilateral change in a venerable tradition, yet was completely shoved aside in a headlong rush to a horrible war. Now those who supported it (for the mostpart) are the ones who find themselves sidelined.
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, if this would have happened this way without the war we all got shangaied into. I know that even two years ago this would not have happened like this. But 9/11, the war, the Dean campaign ... all these seem to have played a part and led up to this
posted by Sully 3/07/2004 12:37:00 PM
FOUR DAYS IN DECEMBER:
Via Roger Ailes we learn of a report done by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, one of Sullivan’s almae mater, on the downfall, such as it was, of Senator Trent Lott in late 2002 and specifically the role played by blogs in that affair.
While it doesn’t quite explicitly make the assertion Roger claims it does (that Sullivan shouldn’t be given the credit he has subsequently claimed for greasing the skids on this one), it does remind, subtly, that Sullivan was a follower rather than a leader:
The same question was posed very early the next morning — 12:16 a.m. on Monday, December 9 — by Andrew Sullivan, who voiced his opinion on the simmering controversy for the very first time ...
This isn’t the first academic paper someone has written and posted to the Internet about this subject ... Georgetown’s Chris Wright put one up last fall. We had some comments then (kindly acknowledged by the author in a later email); we’ve got some more now on this one.
The KSG paper does, in fact, remember that Lott was more endured by conservatives at the time than adored, that given an excuse to dump him they happily jumped the bandwagon. It's good of them to note the way that Jonah Goldberg preferred to castigate Lott for stupidity rather than racism, and also quote Goldberg’s passing remark that he didn’t believe Lott meant what he said (So conservatives, as we suspect, routinely say things they don’t really mean to make nice? That’s the inference we draw from that).
But it ignores at all the question of whether the major media backed off on this story at least partly out of fears that they would face another round of criticism and scabrous emails accusing them of liberal bias. Specifically, on this, the long silence of The New York Times could and should be probed. Okrent says anything before his tenure is outside his bailiwick, Raines is keeping quiet ... but isn’t there someone at West 43rd who will talk, at least on background, about why the Times preferred to bring up the rear?
Nor, too, is it recalled that Lott has suffered very little for this ... that his current post as Rules Committee chair is still a position of great power and influence.
But otherwise nicely done.
posted by Sully 3/07/2004 12:52:00 AM