SullyWatch

"You're a funny man, Sully ...

that's why I'm going to kill you last."

 

Saturday, November 06, 2004

ELLIS IN WONDERLAND:

Some of Ellis’s thoughts have merit (including the one Sullivan quoted). But two of them are just clever Republican ways of making Democrats make fools of themselves:
Culture. Senator Kerry was never going to be credible as a faith-based candidate. It’s not who he is and it’s not what he’s about. He didn’t need to be.

For the most part, he didn’t try to outdo Bush there. Not to us (Though it would have been more interesting in that department with the more overtly secular Dean)
What he needed to do was let a vast swath of Americans (particularly in the middle of the country) know that he shared their cultural concerns. Chief among these are the porno-ization of American media, the sexualization of children and the “pimp and ho” Rap culture. Kerry never uttered a critical word of the media sewer. He aligned himself with Hollywood, the music industry and Big New York media. He paid the price in exurbia.

But the problem here is that Democrats have let Republicans box them out, and smarter Democrats have realized that (which is one reason why Joe Lieberman got nowhere near the nomination). Clinton’s Sister Souljah moment aside, Democrats know that even if they sound sincere about it will just be portrayed by Republicans as something they’re saying to get elected. And given a choice between real Republicans and ersatz ones, people usually pick the ersatz ones.

And that’s not even going anywhere near the hypocrisy on this issue. Opening salvo: which presidential candidate had two daughters who, at the convention podium, mocked their grandmother for being too much of a prude to enjoy Sex and the City? (as an aside to our long post below, we should add Barbara and Jenna as further potential problems for Bush in the second term. You can see another Lizzie Grubman incident coming miles away).

And which party and candidate do the executives of the major media companies contribute money to? If Republicans are so concerned about this, why do they take the money?

Finally, Democrats have this old-fashioned notion, which we learned from many humbling electoral defeats at Republican hands in the last couple of decades, that personal responsibility is a very good thing, something we as a society need to promote more of, and we apply it to the issue thus: If you are tired of the supposed porn-i-fication of the culture, don’t take part. Don’t rent the stuff; don’t download it, don’t watch it. Basic free-market values suggest to us that when demand drops, supply dries up.

We also, BTW, have this quaint idea that if you don’t really plan to do anything about something, you usually shouldn’t tease the voters by talking as if you do.
Lifestyle. Pick your poison: wind-surfing, wind-surfing outfits, snow-boarding outfits, $8000 bicycles, the daughter’s dress at Cannes, Teresa, Nantucket. A veritable Robin Leach smorgasbord. Teresa especially was emblematic of the Kerry disconnect.

For daughters, see above (also contrast with Cheneys’). For wife — one presumes John Kerry should have divorced her to increase his chances of becoming president? For bicycle: John, we hate to break it to you but your cuz doesn’t exactly favor cut-rate bikes either.

posted by Sully 11/06/2004 05:00:00 PM

CONFLATION WATCH:

So not going to church automatically makes you an atheist? Did any pollsters specifically ask people either before or afterwards if they believed in God, gods, or nothing at all?

If Waldman doesn’t have those numbers, or any numbers, then he has no business making the leap (Sullivan, to his discredit, was merely passing it on again. Probably to make up for the egg he has on his face in suggesting that the Catholic hierarchy actually was turning people away from Bush and towards Kerry).

posted by Sully 11/06/2004 04:55:00 PM

OH YES IT DID MATTER:

P O’Neill has the lengthiest rebuttal to both Brooks and Sullivan:

So there’s a big pushback against the already famous moral values question on the exit polls and the related focus on gay marriage as the sleeper issue in the election. The morals question acted like flypaper to the Dubya-voting respondents. It’s pretty tough being someone like David “smart conservative” Brooks, moving in the urbane circles of Ardmore Pa. and Bethesda Md. and seeing the messianic appeal of Dubya to JesusCountry voters.

So Brooks, in a piece called “the values-vote myth” and Andrew Sullivan, inter alia, push a two-part critique: (1) the percentage of voters from various religious classifications didn’t change much from the 2000 election, so there’s no sign of a new voting block being driven to vote by moral issues, and (2) the moral values question on the exit poll itself is flawed, because it’s a catch-all term picking up “none of the above” responses in the poll.

Both elements of the critique are, of course, shite.

First, unchanged voter composition: elections are decided by numbers, not percentages. Both parties did a much better job of voter mobilisation than 2000 — there is more of every category voting, but, at the risk of sounding like an economist, there's still the question of how each party managed to appeal to those additional voters. Republicans needed additional numbers of evangelical voters to offset highly motivated new Democratic voters i.e. they needed an issue to tip previously lukewarm evangelicals into going to the polls. And what better than conjuring up for such people the spectacle of weddings involving men of the same gender in polygamous marriages with household pets?

Second, the flawed poll question. Gary Langer, the ABC director of polling, who was on the committee that selected the question (against his wishes) says:

This distortion comes from a question in the exit poll, co-sponsored by the national television networks and The Associated Press, that asked voters what was the most important issue in their decision: taxes, education, Iraq, terrorism, economy/jobs, moral values or health care. Six of these are concrete, specific issues. The seventh, moral values, is not, and its presence on the list produced a misleading result ... this hot-button catchphrase had no place alongside defined political issues on the list of most important concerns in the 2004 vote.

Notice the circular logic here: I, the pollster, believe that elections are decided by “issues.” Therefore, any voter response to something that is not “an issue” is evidence that the poll question is wrong. But look at the actual campaign that Dubya ran: short of specific policy proposals, and long on references to his own leadership, resolve, and moral values (including the phrase hijacked from the Vatican, his reverence for a “culture of life”).

And it’s telling that analysts who, unlike Brooks and Sullivan, are unencumbered by the need to disassociate themselves from a particular narrative, are likewise skeptical:

But Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster, called
critiques “garbage.”

The people who picked moral values as an issue know
what that means," he said. "It's a code word in surveys for a cluster of issues like gay marriage and abortion." Mr. McInturff said that if "moral values" was really a "catchall" with a confused meaning, then more Democrats would have picked it. Of the 22 percent who chose "moral values," 80 percent were Bush supporters, 20 percent were Kerry supporters. "It's self-selected by people for whom these issues are very important for their votes," he said, adding that the margin by which Mr. Bush carried these voters arguably made the difference in the election
.

So here’s our word of probably useless advice for disappointed liberals: tune out the self-serving drivel of the crypto and smart conservatives, and the self-hating liberals (like Richard Cohen). What’s wrong with taking seriously the winning side’s own explanation of how they won?


P also has this response to Sullivan’s call for a defense of federalism:
Sullivan also has found a dodge to avoid fully confronting his realization that gay people like him are the new Rovian wedge issue — FEDERALISM WORKS. But he seems to be confusing the US with Switzerland. One doesn’t pursue central government power the way the Republicans have just for the fun of a minimal state foreign and defence policy while letting 51 flowers bloom domestically. Dubya’s federal courts are going to be coming after state autonomy in social matters sooner rather than later.


posted by Sully 11/06/2004 04:37:00 PM

Friday, November 05, 2004

THEY’RE WAY AHEAD OF YOU, ANDREW:

What does it tell you about what's happened to Burke's
conservatism when its current advocates are citing French revolutionaries as inspiration? What next? Robespierre? Lenin?
As we’ve noted many times, they’ve already reached Stalin


posted by Sully 11/05/2004 01:58:00 PM

MUST HATE CLINTON ... MUST HATE CLINTON ... DEACTIVATE LOGIC, CONSISTENCY:

So, Clinton did bad things for gays and that was bad, but then when he tells John Kerry to support gay marriage, as Sullivan himself does, it’s a good thing when Kerry rejects the advice.

Then there is the completely irrelevant jab at Clinton’s support for the death penalty.

What, then, about bloggers who cheered on the entirely-unjustified war that killed, and continues to kill, thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians?

posted by Sully 11/05/2004 01:52:00 PM

Thursday, November 04, 2004

STILL TRYING TO KISS AND MAKE UP:

A Sontag Award? Like he has any moral credibility to award them anymore?

And please explain, would you Andrew, how exactly it’s beyond the pale to compare the Bush win to Hitler and Naziism when a post you yourself linked to has this to say about the losing side:
We’ve got their teeth clutching the sidewalk and ou[r] boot above their head. Now’s the time to curb-stomp the bastards.

For more on this, see David Neiwert.

This would be nothing were it not for his next item:
Even this president has now broken with his social conservative base and endorsed civil unions for gay couples. Rather than demonize him, we have to hold him to his word.

Sigh. It’s still sort of sad to see how easily Sullivan lets himself get used here.

“Broken with his social conservative base”? Then how the hell did he win on Tuesday? It sure wasn’t the fiscal conservatives turning out in droves.

And since when has the word of George W. Bush meant anything? Not to our allies, to whom he and his administration promised a second Security Council resolution before any military action ... but dropped it rather than get blue-balled. Not to the people who abandoned him for Kerry because he lied and still lies about WMDs in Iraq. He or she who takes it, or believes they can hold him to it today, is a fool.

Yes, a couple of social conservatives were distressed by that statement. But Sullivan should take heed of Bush’s oft-voiced support for extending the late assault-weapons ban, a position at odds with much of his base. He stated it a few times alright, but sent his real message by not lifting a finger to actually make it happen. And this is a president who can make that happen if he wants.

Sullivan cannot take Bush’s word here because he already broke it. He could have said to his base, either personally or through Rove, that he meant it, that he better not see any “or the legal incidents thereof” language in those constitutional amendments or he would publicly oppose them. Indeed, when Bush says it’s up to the states, he’s punting on that one. All he cares about is the federal amendment, and Musgrave hasn’t even bothered to change that one, either. So you know what difference his contrary opinion makes here.

Sullivan, regrettably, still does not.

posted by Sully 11/04/2004 11:57:00 PM

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

LIVE WITH IT (HIM TOO):

Josh Marshall, seconded by Atrios, takes issue with the idea that Bush deserves a fresh start:
Yesterday, in an overnight post, Andrew Sullivan wrote, President Bush “deserves a fresh start, a chance to prove himself again, and the constructive criticism of those of us who decided to back his opponent. He needs our prayers and our support for the enormous tasks still ahead of him.”

I thought about this when I read it. And, to put it simply, I didn’t agree. What I considered writing was that given the track record he’s compiled and the way he ran this campaign, he’s really owed no fresh start. That would be graciousness at war with reality.

It would be up to the president, I thought of writing, to show concrete signs of a willingness not to govern in the divisive and factional spiritfrom which he’s governed in the last four years.

And then there’s this from his comments today: “We’ve worked hard and gained many new friends, and the result is now clear — a record voter turnout and a broad, nationwide victory.”

This is the touchstone and the sign. A ‘broad, nationwide victory’? He must be kidding. Our system is majority rule. And 51% is a win. But he’s claiming a mandate.

“A broad, nationwide victory”?

It would almost be comical if it weren’t for the seriousness of what it portends. This election cut the nation in two. A single percentage point over 50% is not broad. A victory that carried no states in the Northeast, close to none in the Industrial midwest is not nationwide, and none on the west coast is not nationwide.

And yet he plans to use this narrow victory as though it were a broad mandate, starting right back with the same strategy that has already come near to tearing this country apart.


posted by Sully 11/03/2004 08:48:00 PM

KHUZHE; LUCHSHE:

We find ourselves strangely energized by the election results.

And, having drafted this yesterday, we see we are not alone.

No, in the near term things do not augur well. More American soldiers and marines will die deaths they shouldn’t have had to die, along with multitudes of Iraqi civilians. The deficit will mount. Your job will be crated up and shipped off to India. Gas will continue to be nearly as expensive as milk, if not more. Osama bin Laden can relax for a while, maybe even take a vacation, and plan his next dastardly deed.

It’s understandable why the sound of the towel being thrown in should resound from some lefty blogs.

But we cast our minds back 20 years to another Democratic presidential defeat, the more resounding re-election of Ronald Reagan, and we saw back then a far more despondent and hopeless party then than we do now.

Or we look back more recently, to the 2002 election. If we were able to find the link to what we posted at the time, you’d see that we felt as Josh Marshall (see link above) did at that time.

Not so now.

Yes, we lost. But so many more people got involved. So many more people who hadn’t been before. History may recognize Howard Dean as the real winner of this election (and maybe John Edwards too).

To be totally honest, in recent weeks we had figured out much better how to deal with Kerry losing than with Kerry winning. And we’re not alone.

First, the results. Despite a war, a major attack on American soil that left thousands of civilians dead, and an economy that hasn’t totally been flushed down the toilet yet, all Bush and the Republicans could do was a cleaner replay of 2000.

They may call the thinnest popular and electoral re-election margin in recent history a mandate, but anyone reality-based would see this victory as what it was: proof beyond any possibility of refutation that the conservatives have maxed out their base.

This was not only a golden opportunity to build the lasting base Karl Rove and other Republicans have dreamed of for years. It was the last chance. And they blew it completely.

Years ago the late Barry Goldwater warned Republicans that their time, too, would come, perhaps early in the 21st century. They didn’t listen then.

Perhaps now they are privately. For the sake of any belief that humans retain a modicum of intelligence, we have to imagine that at least a few are in conference rooms somewhere.

But not publicy. And we somehow don’t think that this will sink in until at least November 8, 2006.

***

A year ago, we dared to imagine what has just come to pass, and what might lie ahead (and looking at it now, we are shocked at how prescient we were even when imagining Dean as the nominee. Not about Ohio, but about gay marriage as a wedge issue and the Dems taking New Hampshire and almost taking a sparsely populated Western state. Or two).

Reviewing it in the blinding light of this morning, we see not desolation but opportunity. Kerry’s defeat has taken with it the last illusions any Democrat might have had about the present political landscape and what must be done to win in it.

We are a party and political movement in the wilderness. We cannot deny it.

And to survive in the wild, you must be willing to be a beast. Or at least fight like one.

To put it another way, the animals can now be let out of our cages. There is no more reason to hold us back.

And we will make them curse the day they left the left with nothing left to lose.

You, dear readers, are hereby drafted as soldiers in the opinion wars. You must strike early, strike hard and strike often. Go for broke.

If you are not blogging yourself, now’s the time to start. Address local issues, national ... whatever you’re comfortable with. But always remember to paint all Republicans and conservatives (increasingly one and the same) with the same broad brush, to tar them all with the failings of particular individuals, to make those at whom you take aim take sides, make them make choices in response that they may not feel comfortable making. Nuance and delicacy are luxuries we cannot afford.

Write letters to your local newspaper. Send in one with a fake name and address and phone number and see if they publish it. If they do, you just hit the gold mine. For this way you can start writing letters at every Bush stumble or scandal (and there will be plenty of both) posing as “lifelong conservative Republicans” who now apologize to the American people for re-electing Bush and say they will never vote that way again. Or pose as conservatives who vehemently express the most outrageous opinions, i.e. that the poor should be taxed more or that all Americans should be required to own guns (not jokes, either, actually).

If you feel even ballsier, do the same in calls to conservative radio talk shows (spoofing them is even easier than newspapers, and a lot more fun). Or sign up for a few portal email accounts and use them to become users at Free Republic and do the same thing.

In fact, if you get a couple of sock puppets going at FR you can really have fun. Have at least one be a wildly pro-business libertarian, and another an anal born-again Christian, and if you can find a thread on an issue where the two might differ (like, say, rules relaxing media-ownership restrictions, where this has actually happened), differ in a way that totally redefines the word. The libertarian can call the Christian a Soviet-style commie, and the Christian can retaliate by calling the libertarian a queer who wants to molest small children and quote reams of tangentially-relevant Scripture. Make sure to extend this sort of flamage to anyone else who joins the argument on either side. RimJob might pull your account, but it’s laughably easy to get another one as long as you can open a new email account somewhere. And if he decides to make it harder

(Don’t worry about the Freepers finding out about this and linking to it. In fact, it would be better if they do. They’re naturally inclined to distrust each other anyway, so if they start suspecting each other of being DU plants as a matter of course, it will only multiply the effect).

Sounds a little deceptive and disingenuous? Conservatives have been doing exactly the same mufti thing for many years now and look what it’s done for them. If you don’t fight fire with fire, you get burnt.

The idea here is to get conservatives depressed about the state of their movement,and thus tend away from involvement and activism in it. There will be in-house squabbles anyway, there always have, but one of the strengths of the Mighty Wurlitzer has been to minimize the extent to which they are public knowledge. Since everyone knows that conservatives will be jousting with each other during the second Bush term, there will be fights in any case. What we can, and must take it upon ourselves to do is make the effects of such internecine warfare worse.

The only downside of this is that it takes time. Remember that the average Freeper spends five and a half hours per day on that site alone (hey, if FR were to go dark, maybe the unemployment rate would go down).

Also, when some Freeper-type writes a letter to your local paper’s editor spouting the latest spin about how we’re not really backing down against AS-Sadr and all the liberals who say we are are faggots, don’t just write a letter to the editor correcting him. Find out their phone number and call them up and politely but passionately demand that they stop lying to the American people. (Also, if they diverge from the party line as some of them like to do from time to time to establish a veneer of independence, call as a conservative and make them toe it. Worry less about being polite; by this time conservatives may be all too accustomed to other conservatives screaming at them).

In fact, if you’re looking for something to blog about, your local paper’s letters section is a good idea. Every paper in the country below a certain level has nutjobs on both sides who write as frequently as they’re allowed. But in-the-trenches conservatives are less used to being personally held responsible for their dissembling, and some of them might just start to do it less if this happens (and they find it harder and harder to defend Bush and his mistakes).

***
Conservatives have another problem to deal with now, too, the same one Red Sox fans will get to know: the malaise of victory.
Getting a conservative president who actually does a lot of conservative things elected and then re-elected has been the movement’s Holy Grail for years now, the equivalent of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth. It won’t be too long before they start sounding like the Alan Parsons Project:
Where do we go from here,
now that all of the children have grown up?
And how do we spend our lives knowin’
nobody gives us a damn?
This will start yet more fights, as some conservatives may at last feel free to indulge in self-criticism of their movement and its effect on America ... and Ann Coulter and others in turn blast them for giving liberals something to work with.
The basic problem they will all avoid dealing with, however, is their collective inferiority complex, best epitomized in this widely-linked victory post by Adam Yoshida. It’s not the exultation of someone you really want as the country’s guiding spirit; rather, it’s the rantings of a small man with a small penis and a small mind over the knowledge that the sort of people he despises, the sort of people he needs to believe liberals and Democrats are, have been dealt another humiliation sufficient to keep him from feeling sorry for himself for the next five minutes, irregardless of the practical long-term effect on society, culture and the country that is nice enough to let a Canadian of Japanese descent study at one of its finest universities.
Conservatives as a whole seem to have this incorrigible “little brother” streak, the need to ape and counter everything they see liberals doing, sort of like the way when your little brother saw you setting up a treehouse for you and your friends, he went and got a cardboard box, put it in a bush and said that it was his treehouse and it was as good, if not better, than yours. They have seen that Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays exists and created Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays. Move On’s success begat Move Forward America (a name so obviously coined in imitation that there can be no other explanation for something so clumsy and uninspired). Perhaps all liberals need to do is have a bunch of us jump off a cliff somewhere and conservatives will start doing it too (we think that there would be more of us then them afterward).
But now that they’ve kept us and our friends from getting back into the treehouse we built, suddenly it may not seem worth the effort.

***

At the center of this perfect storm is something we have not seen yet discussed on other blogs: Bush will be weaker politically, not stronger, in his second term.

It won’t be just the civil war among his party and movement. That will be both symptom and cause, nicely reinforcing itself in a vicious cycle of positive feedback. It will be other factors deliciously unique to this president and the way he has chosen to govern, and not govern.

Part of it is the nature of the beast. As we posted before, second terms create their own problems for every president. The more talented and/or committed people who work around you in the first term often leave to run for office, rake in fuck-you money on the lecture circuit or write books with inconvenient disclosures, and are replaced by hacks being rewarded for earlier loyalty and/or buffing up résumés for future runs at jobs they really want. This results in what should be easily-resolvable problems becoming thornier.

Second terms also carry as a matter of course the near-certainty that your party will get hammered in midterm Congressional elections (What the Republicans squandered by impeaching Clinton!). Don’t think Congressional Republicans are forgetting this. Usually, as we wrote before, this is accompanied by a serious scandal, sometimes the first of the presidency, as Congress and the media become bolder. Said scandals cost Nixon his job and nearly took Clinton’s.

But then there’s what Bush himself brings into play.

First, we don’t think any administration in recent history has gone into a second term with a Vice President who so obviously cannot seek the job himself in four years. Not only are his heart and age a factor, there’s the gay-daughter thing (especially in the wake of yesterday’s gay-marraige initiatives) and God knows what might come out about Halliburton.

Yes, Jeb’s going to run. But the only person worse off than a sitting vice president in terms of the baggage of the outgoing administration would be a nominee who happened to have the same last name as the president and be his brother. Don’t think Mitt Romney and Haley Barbour (and anyone else out there ... not Hatch and McCain because they’re both going to be too old by then) don’t have that at the back of their heads.

What that means is that it’s already the 2008 primary season. Today. Right now. Without the knowledge that the vice president will run to keep Congress in line, Republicans there will be much freer to start tiptoeing (or sprinting as the case may be) off the reservation on many issues — well before the midterm, when this traditionally is allowed to begin.

Any other president would at least understand this and work to compensate for it. But a guy who thinks the narrowest re-election margin in history after he lost the popular vote the first time around somehow constitutes a broad mandate is not in any danger of grasping this.

No. Bush will react as he always has, as you would expect an unreformed addict to — by demanding unconditional, unquestioning loyalty for its own sake, without much reward for those who follow and punishment dished out to those who don’t. Only there will be no reason anymore beyond blind personality-cultism for them to do this ... and they will resent heavily any effort to herd them in line if they do not suffer that affliction (more than they do already, something they’ve been keeping under their hat until after the election). We could see some truly unpresidential displays of the temper he has heretofore reserved for reporters with the temerity to ask the French president questions in French.

Congress knows that, with re-election past, Bush has passed the last chance in his life and political career to pay for his mistakes personally (barring impeachment, which isn’t going to happen no matter who controls Congress despite the fondest fantasies of so many of us). Guess who will in fall 2006? A user uses people more than anything else. They have many reasons to start quietly distancing themselves from this administration and may well be laying the groundwork for that right now.

It would be a good idea. Shoes in the air will begin dropping within the next few weeks. The CIA inspector general’s report on 9/11 which Porter Goss, having kept his job safe from John Kerry, has been trying to suppress and deflect. The deferred CBS story on the Niger forgeries. The Plame indictments. The latest attempt to retake Fallujah, now that we’ve spotted the insurgents a few weeks to dig in and lay IEDs. And who knows what else we can’t even imagine right now.

The only sensible thing for politicians to do when that all hits the fan will be run and hide. And hope they can still run.

Let’s not also forget that the media traditionally gets uppity during a second term. Especially this time. Having mostly laid down and rolled over during his first term as a reaction both to Clinton fatigue and the 2000 election, they will mollify us mouth-foamers on the left by overpursuing tiny shreds of scandal, as well as to convince themselves they are truly watchdogs of democracy. The Mylanta concession at the White House may well be a profit center for whoever has it.

It gets worse, as you may have suspected, once you get out of Washington.

Bush vowed during the debates to stay in Iraq until we finish the job. Trouble is, it looks like we may be the job that’s getting finished. In two years the campaign may well turn on whether we stay in Iraq or whether we want to have an Army all that badly. (And by winning re-election, Bush guaranteed that not just today but for all time the war in Iraq will carry his fingerprints, and his fingerprints alone).

Bush painted himself into a huge corner in the debates by promising there would be no draft. Not only is he setting himself up for a messy fight with his own party in Congress if he dares ask it to restore the draft, due to all the factors we just went into, he would just by asking do irreparable damage to his own political capital as well as his party. Indeed it would manage the hitherto-unimaginable feat of shooting his administration, the Republican Party and the U.S. Army in the foot with the same bullet.

Oh, and about that economy ... what happens when the housing bubble finally bursts and they just outsourced your job to China and you’re paying $3 a gallon? Even on the rosy side, how long is it going to take at current rates until all the people who lost their jobs during the first Bush term get them back? Again, we know who suffers at the ballot box for that.

Put all this together, and it won’t be a surprise when Nancy Pelosi sits next to Cheney as Bush gives his 2007 State of the Union address.

Assuming either of them are there, of course. Bush could well put political sense over loyalty and ease Cheney out sometime before then, of course ... but changing number twos creates its own set of problems.

Or Bush could start drinking again (or drinking less furtively, depending on your point of view) to the point that we can’t help but notice anymore, and the Cabinet may have to follow the 24 example and invoke the 25th Amendment to get him into rehab (nor would he go quietly).

So do let’s have fun watching, and helping, Bush and the Republicans self-destruct over the next four years. But do not at the same time blind yourself to the fact that we’ve got to pick up the pieces somehow, and that people will be dying and lives will be destroyed. Maybe even your own.



posted by Sully 11/03/2004 02:23:00 PM

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

GETTIN’ KINDA SLOPPY THERE:
If Kerry wins today, Mark Steyn has said he won’t wrote again for a while

Is that supposed to be “write” or “vote”? Both, we can only hope.



posted by Sully 11/02/2004 11:02:00 AM

FOR ALL THAT’S WORTH:

Hold me to it. Somehow, I think you will.
Notice how he disingenuously puts the onus on his readers, not himself (much like the fabled 1994 Republican Contract on with America said that if voters weren’t happy with how Republicans kept their purported promises, they should vote the signatories out) to keep him in line.

Yes, he hedded the item “I TAKE THE PLEDGE,” but if he were truly interested in being honest and aboveboard he’d have made it explicit in the body of the post that he was binding himself.

Of course, if he was ever serious about holding himself to any standards, this blog probably wouldn’t exist.

posted by Sully 11/02/2004 10:54:00 AM

THE SHORTEST AND LATEST PRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENT YOU WILL EVER READ:

We all voted for Kerry already. So should you.

posted by Sully 11/02/2004 10:51:00 AM

Monday, November 01, 2004

NOW HE’S DEFINITELY LOST HIS EDGE:

Deep in the bin Laden transcript, there was this, that which Sullivan would have jumped at like a crazed rabid beagle maybe even last year:
You can observe it practically, if you wish, in Kenya and Tanzania and in Aden. And you can read it in my interview with Abdul Bari Atwan, as well as my interviews with Robert Fisk. The latter is one of your compatriots and co-religionists and I consider him to be neutral.

Bin Laden says something nice about Fisk! There’s the “proof.”

Or, of course, Sullivan just doesn’t bother to read what he links to.

posted by Sully 11/01/2004 09:55:00 PM

AND WHOSE FAULT MIGHT THAT HAVE BEEN?:
I wish more pro-Bush endorsements were like this one. Instead of the usual “Vote for Bush or You’re a Pussy” crap we get so much.

Forget Michael Barone. Does The Blog Queen even read his own blog from back in 2002 or so?


posted by Sully 11/01/2004 01:47:00 PM

MORE DISPLAYS OF EDITORIAL PROWESS:
Some surprising supporters for the president amng Arab regimes ...


posted by Sully 11/01/2004 01:45:00 PM

DUST IN THE WIND:

Justin Katz points out that Sully is trying to have it both ways (as usual) with his arguments that bloggers have to leave their thought processes open for inspection:
Leaving aside the question of the Daily Dish’s “point,” Sullivan’s plea skirts an important distinction. The piece in support of Kerry wasn’t on the blog; it was on TNR. And my central complaint is that many of those who “really care that much” about his formative grappling see underlying agendas that aren’t clearly acknowledged, either on the blog or in more polished pieces.


posted by Sully 11/01/2004 01:34:00 PM

BACK FROM THE EDGE:

We apologize for our sudden absence over the last couple of days ... we had the usual ill-timed computer problems. But they’re fixed (mostly) now.

So, just a few quick hits before tomorrow’s big rumble:
Of course, there have been vile, rancid distortions from the Michael Moore wing; and if you read this blog, you will not have missed them.

If you don’t say so yourself, Smalltown Boy.

Jo Fish reacts to Sullivan endorsing Kerry.
And no, his endorsing Kerry does not make him any less of a gasbag, it just provides him cover for his unique Royal-Pain-in-The-Ass nitpicking of everything President Kerry does or doesn’t do to make him happy beginning on November 3rd when Kerry wins.

And then more demonstrations of his total lack of a need for an editor:
An email on the high rates of dovorce in the Bible Belt:

Another candid admission:
When someone writes daily, hourly, as I do, you don’t just make arguments or points. You’re showing the whole inglorious sausage-making of the intellectual process.
Excuse for not eating it. You just don’t make arguments or points.

Finally this admission:
Do I sound like I’m looking for a gig on NRO?

You’ve sounded that way for a long time, Andrew.

posted by Sully 11/01/2004 01:21:00 PM

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Blogging the Blog Queen

or,

“appl[ying] a magnifying glass to Andrew Sullivan’s performing-flea antics” – James Wolcott, Vanity Fair, April 2004.

Passionate rebuttal to Andrew Sullivan's frequent rants.

The Guardian

sullywatch AT mail.bg

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THERE IS NO SOCIAL SECURITY CRISIS

There Is No Crisis: Protecting the Integrity of Social Security

Also see:

Smarter Andrew Sullivan (on hiatus, alas)

More blogs about Andrew Sullivan.

And for satire:

Neal Pollack (on hiatus as well)

Our inspiration:

Media Whores Online (presently out to pasture, but hopefully to return soon now that they are needed again)

Other watchers:

InstaWatch

WarBlogger Watch

LGF Watch

HorowitzWatch

MalkinWatch

KausPatrol

DeCal (Cal Thomas)

ConWebWatch

LucianneWatch

The Daily Howler

Media Matters

 

The small village of bloggers who try to keep Sullivan honest (among other things):

 

Democratic Veteran

By the Bayou

WareMouse

Best of Both Worlds

Steve Brady

Other blogs of interest:

 

Eschaton

The Daily Kos

The Rittenhouse Review

Roger Ailes

TAPped

Max Sawicky

Very Very Happy

Talking Points Memo

uggabugga

TBogg

No More Mister Nice Blog

Steve Gilliard

Hullaballoo

Pandagon

Abu Aardvark

Ted Barlow (now at

Crooked Timber)

CalPundit (now at the Washington Monthly as Political Animal)

David Ehrenstein

Brad Delong

World O’ Crap

Tom Tomorrow

Oliver Willis

skippy the bush kangaroo

Public Nuisance

Bruce Garrett

are you effin’ kidding me?

Light of Reason

Terminus

Onanism Today

The Suicide Letters

The Antic Muse (now Wonkette)

Sadly, No!

corrente

Anonymous Blogger

Scoobie Davis

Textism

Baghdad Burning

Whiskey Bar

Busy Busy Busy

We Report, You Deride

Silt

The Tooney Bin

Adam Kotsko

Nasty Riffraff

A Brooklyn Bridge

Suburban Guerrilla

Dave Cullen

Approximately Perfect

Trust me, you have no idea how much I hate Bush.

Beautiful Atrocities

  

 

 

Also worth checking out

 

The Cursor

Journal of American Politics

The George Bush AWOL Project

The Daily Kos

 

 

Greatest Hits (ours):

 

The Alaskan climate graph examined

Proof positive that Sullivan cannot, and should not, be trusted as a journalist to get his facts right.

 

The fisking of Norah Vincent

How we drove her out of Blogistan almost all by ourselves.

 

Excerpts from Lee Siegel's 2001 Harper's piece

Online here exclusively.

 

Why we blog the way we blog

A reply to some legitimate and friendly criticisms from Andrew Edwards

 

Why we blog the way we blog, Part II.

A reply to some of the same criticisms from the less friendly (back then) Arthur Silber

 

Bush-hating and proud of it

Our response to David Brooks.

 

Who Was That Masked Man?

The Horse remembered.

 

How the media lynched O.J. Simpson

Off-topic and our most controversial post ever.

 

Journalists behaving badly, updated.

Our wedding gift to Ruth Shalit, former TNR It Girl

 

(others)

 

Eve Tushnet's classic zinger

Sullivan has never quite been put in his place like this. Even Mickey Kaus thought it was funny.

 

"Bush reveals his poisonous colours"

Diane E. goes digging through the memory hole and finds a Times of London column Sullivan would prefer be forgotten.

 

The Datalounge list of potential titles for his memoirs

As reposted by Atrios

 

"The Princess of Provincetown"

Jim Capozzola goes further in that direction than we would ever dare.

 

Sullivan urges the Bush Administration to lie to the public

Brendan and Ben catch him in the act.

 

The Washington Times: An irredeemably left-wing rag

Bob Somerby shows the consequences of Sullivan's own logic of media bias

 

The Central Tenets of the Blogosphere

Derived from Sullivan’s blogging by s.z. of World O’ Crap and posted as a comment at Sadly, No!

Past
current