Saturday, January 22, 2005
HE HAS MET THE ENEMY AND IS AS THEM:
The Conjecturer appropriates our good name for a post about the inconsistencies of the Blog Queen’s latest lament for/praise of blogdom:
Sullivan’s self-righteous self-victimization has just gotten on my nerves — he’s at once a victim and scourge of the mainstream media from whom he makes his living, and complains (bitterly) about pundits and politicians changing their views, while offering no explanation for his own. To that I can now add that wonderful lack of memory he so often points out in other pundits.
A few days ago, I pointed out how silly was his complaint of his critics. In the same post, he also laments the blogosphere’s “reflection of [media rigidity].” Without irony, Sullivan then praises a “independent, and often vicious blogger,” known for his complaints that the media is too conservative ...
In addition, Mikey Kaus is now calling Sullivan out on his
multitudinous inconsistencies, using (gasp!) Sullivan’s own archives against him. But, noble Andrew Sullivan is, of course, a victim of a mainstream media blogger “going on a tear.” It’s called fact-checking and consistency, Sully, and you should learn to put up with it. Sound familiar?
Sure does to us. Emphasis and links in original.
posted by Sully 1/22/2005 11:09:00 PM
In addition to lending our support to the anti-Social Security privatization campaign, we’d like to take the opportunity to direct your attention to the latest left-wing watch blog to take the field, MalkinWatch, the virulence of whose subject almost makes us nostalgic for summer 2002-vintage Sullivan.
posted by Sully 1/22/2005 01:22:00 PM
BUT THAT WAS BEFORE HE FOUND GOD:
Steve Brady settles the debate on Bush and homophobia
posted by Sully 1/22/2005 01:01:00 AM
Friday, January 21, 2005
A GOOD FINISH TO THE WEEK:
Sullivan not only has to admit the VW ad is phony, he finally notices the Nation cartoon.
All thanks to our eagle eye and sharp keyboard, of course.
posted by Sully 1/21/2005 11:38:00 PM
A couple of years ago Somerby (see our blogroll) was a real burr on Captain Bareback’s saddle. Sullivan then, when he bothered to respond, treated him with the sniffly contempt all warbloggers reserved for any lefty who dared traipse into their sacred realm:Among some leftists, like Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler, the Goldstein defense is catching on. If you get something wrong, relying on a third-hand inaccurate source, it is not incumbent on you to actually check the source, or apologize ... But why can’t someone like Somerby, who postures as someone who deals in facts to counter “spin,” actually be honest and recognize that ...So all of a sudden now he’s the sort of guy the blogosphere is for? Sullivan must be reading his readership numbers.
posted by Sully 1/21/2005 02:00:00 PM
IS IT A WAY TO AVOID A CEASE-AND-DESIST LETTER? PROBABLY NOT:
The German car company’s name is spelled Volkswagen.
And the link doesn’t quite seem to work.
QUICK UPDATE: John Whiteside not only reminds Sullivan VW didn’t put out the spot in question, he takes him by the hand and offers to help him with Internet basics:LATER UPDATE: Now that we’ve all learned it wasn’t a real VW ad, we have another problem with it.
Meanwhile, I have an open invitation to Andrew. Andrew, if you’d like to learn how to link to the specific post you're talking about on somebody else’s blog,instead of just linking the blog in question, which will be filled with new entries that leave your readers wondering what they hell it is you’re talking about, I will be happy to show you. It's pretty easy. Just let me know when you'd like your lesson.
Can anyone really imagine a suicide bomber carrying out a car bombing by wiring himself with explosives and then pulling the switch while sitting in the car? Nope, we didn’t either.
Even people not inclined to plan acts of horrible terror probably could tell you that, when you do a suicide car bombing, you wire the car with explosives. You do more damage that way, obviously.
posted by Sully 1/21/2005 01:59:00 PM
THE SOUND OF THE GOALPOSTS MOVING AGAIN:
Jo Fish on Sullivan’s latest post hoc ergo prompter hoc decision that the war was justified because, well, the UN was too corrupt to be trusted:
So remember kids, in SullyWorld it’s Okey-Dokey to torture Iraqis, destroy their homes, kill their kids, terrorize and humiliate their women, and commit general atrocities in the name of Beloved Leaders Modified American Freedom plan, because Fabulous Leader put a stop to cheating on the Oil-for-Food program.
Ooooh, now I understand. Moron.
posted by Sully 1/21/2005 01:56:00 PM
Thursday, January 20, 2005
IT ALL COMES BACK TO HIM:
Arthur Silber’s entry in the Sullivan vs. torture derby gets at the real issue:
What seems to concern Sullivan just as much as the barbarity of torture or the disaster in Iraq is the exquisite agony that Bush’s failures have visited upon his, Sullivan’s, precious soul. In fact, the Torments of Sullivan as endlessly detailed by Sullivan himself for all the world to witness – assuming, without any grounds to do so, that any sentient being actually gives a damn – appear to be of considerably greater moment to him than the sufferings visited upon many thousands of people because of the policies he so endlessly championed.
Here’s a news flash for Sullivan: an endless number
of people, Americans, Iraqis and others, have suffered genuine agony and injury – and are now dead – because of people like you, and as the direct result of your unquenchable desire for absolute safety, which in your view requires “benevolent American hegemony” exercised over the entire world by means of military force. Never mind that this fatal Utopian delusion has never led to anything other than death and destruction; you’re scared, you want to feel safe, and you will see the world destroyed before questioning the absolutely mistaken ideas that you treat as axioms never to be challenged.
And Sullivan’s crimes are even worse than this: it was Sullivan (along with many other warbloggers) who fatally poisoned the cultural atmosphere after 9/11, with his interminable rants about the “fifth columnists” who allegedly are enemies as dangerous to us as foreign terrorists. Recall that those “fifth columnists” included anyone at all who failed to embrace George Bush and his program for world domination in the manner that Sullivan himself did. But now – now that everything that many of those opposed to the Iraq war predicted before the fact has come to pass, and now that the details of abuse and torture have surfaced – now Sullivan is having a few second thoughts.
But there is a deeper problem here – namely, that Sullivan’s second thoughts do not go nearly far enough. Sullivan has not given up the program he endorses at all – or even seriously questioned it. He still believes “in this war as a war of liberation and increased security.” This, too, fails to pass the sanity test.
Sullivan apparently has never read the numerous articles by any number of experts on terrorism (genuine experts, I emphasize, not dilettantes who blog in between jaunts to Provincetown and walking the dog) – all of whom have pointed out at great length that the invasion and occupation of Iraq, as well as every other aspect of Bush’s “War on Terror,” have only served to increase the actual dangers we face.
But none of this for Sullivan. (None: “I’ve long admired Bush’s recognition of the life-and-death struggle against Islamist fascism as the central task of his presidency. And it’s hard not to value his grit in pursuing what will, I think, eventually be regarded as critical wars in the defense of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. He comes across as a genuinely kind and warm man, of solid values and clear objectives.”) Sullivan still wants his American Empire (with his other hero, Tony Blair, as a very junior partner), he still wants American hegemony, and he still wants us to impose “freedom” by force on countries that have no history or culture to support a political system modeled on ours. He’s still an apocalyptic crusader, seeking to create a new world through sacred violence and death just like his hero, Bush. He just doesn’t want any of the mess.
Here’s another news flash for Sullivan: if you want empire and military domination of large swathes of the world in an endless, woefully defined “War on Terror,” lifelong detentions and torture are an inseparable part of what you’re going to get. That kind of mess (and much worse) is woven into the very fabric of the program you so enthusiastically supported – and which you still support.
Oh, the horror! His carpet has been soiled, and his soul is tormented – while countless other people are maimed or dead.
In addition to everything else that is so deeply repellent about his writing and “thinking,” Sullivan’s sense of priorities is so fundamentally twisted and perverse that no regrets he expresses at this point deserve even a moment of sympathy. He made his bed, and he deserves to lie in it. That’s the very least he deserves.
Well, that was longer than I had intended. But that’s what I have to say about that. Enough. Save your sympathy and praise for those who genuinely deserve it, and leave Sullivan to the pain and guilt he brought on himself. The price he is paying is nothing compared to that which has been exacted from many thousands of others.
Besides, he seems to have a penchant for self-inflicted pain. His endless attempts to convince himself that maybe, just maybe, Bush’s theocratic Republicans really do like those sickening gays and lesbians after all provide more than sufficient proof of that pathetic fact. The last thing in the world he needs is encouragement.
In a nutshell, that’s why we really don’t read his torture coverage too closely.
posted by Sully 1/20/2005 10:55:00 PM
For those of you who, like us, had pretty much gotten used to Kaus no longer being relevant and didn’t read him, here’s what Sully is referring to:What did the Times and Blix have to do to merit a Sullivan apology? Did they have to guess everything correctly — the exact number of canisters in each bunker, maybe? They said Saddam’s weapons program wasn’t worth going to war over — the “urgency ... was misplaced,” as Sullivan delicately puts it. In that they were right, according to Sullivan. A blogger who wanted to be a “solvent of ... rigidity” would swallow his pride and admit as much. ...
Kaus uncharacteristically sounds like he means it here. Are he and Sullivan on the outs from each other?
posted by Sully 1/20/2005 10:49:00 PM
PROMINENT LEFT-WING BLOGGER CONDEMNS HOMOPHOBIC CARTOON IN LEFT-WING PUBLICATION BEFORE ANDREW SULLIVAN EVEN BOTHERS TO NOTICE; PROBABLY NEVER WILL:
Atrios does the honors on the Nation cartoon we identified a while ago as been far more egregious than the Standard’s cover that (justifiably) upset him.
posted by Sully 1/20/2005 06:04:00 PM
NOT QUITE:Perhaps the hypothesis is wrong, but how would we ever find out whether it is wrong if it is “offensive” even to consider it? People who storm out of a meeting at the mention of a hypothesis, or declare it taboo or offensive without providing arguments or evidence, don't get the concept of a university or free inquiry
This assumes that the person offering the thesis genuinely doesn’t know, or shouldn’t know, that the hypothesis may have already been proved wrong. That they’re not trying to advance any agenda by doing so.
Pinker should know that there is little difference between his argument here and that made by Holocaust deniers. For years, under the guise of the academic principles espoused there, they have made claims that any responsible person with a brain and a sense of how historical truth is agreed upon would have rejected before even bringing to close friends in the public arena just to get the satisfaction of seeing a lot of Jewish people get pissed off as well as ginning up a phony claim of intellectual martyrdom.
It’s a fraud, and they know it. And the university is right to reject out of hand arugments that arguers know or should know to be intellectually fraudulent.
posted by Sully 1/20/2005 05:52:00 PM
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
A PHRASE TO REMEMBER:
Every now and then, in the cultural criticism arena, there are flashes of the great ’80s Andrew Sullivan:Last night gave us that tender line between delusions of talent and borderline personality disorder — and smudged it.
Of course, that could be his own blog, too.
And, if you’re going to (properly) make an issue out of torture, it probably isn’t a good idea to celebrate the early episodes of an American Idol season as “some of the most consistently entertaining and unbearably cruel programs in America.”
posted by Sully 1/19/2005 01:17:00 AM
ONE SENTENCE THAT SAYS SO MUCH ABOUT ANDREW SULLIVAN:This is a moment to thank God for Tom Friedman, by the way.
posted by Sully 1/19/2005 01:16:00 AM
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
STILL NOT GETTING IT. ABSOLUTELY:
Not only does The Sage of East Grimstead’s whining about how the blogosphere has become less nuanced than it was (i.e, his readership continues to decline as he continues failing to realize conservatives prefer blogs that tell them what they already know) ring hollow given some of his rabid partisanship of past days, examples of which are too numerous to list here (but not here), he misses the point of criticism of the war.
Sullivan still seems to think it’s the (ahem) execution that was flawed. He has never come to grips, as we did before the war, with the fact that this was always an accident waiting to happen. Between the many rosy assumptions made in the war plan and the Pollyanna mentality (to say nothing of sheer incompetence) of those in charge, a bunch of tractor trailers pushed off a cliff were more likely to land on their wheels and drive away than this war was to “establishing some democratic space in the Arab world to undermine [Islamism] from within.”
Look, to use the colder language of investment analysis, this war had a lot more downside risk than it did upside benefit. If we had pulled out right after April 9, then it would have made a good campaign commercial. Even if we had pulled out after bagging Saddam, it might still have looked good.
Now we have only the elections left as a fig leaf, and only as a fig leaf. Don’t expect it to come out. The Bush administration, like the late Yasser ’arafat, never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
posted by Sully 1/18/2005 11:56:00 PM
I WITHDRAW THE QUESTION, YOUR HONOR:
Sullivan has still not lost his gift for Mighty Wurlitzer tricks yet, as his response to Hewitt on Kos shows. While seeming to exonerate Kos, Sullivan sets the ground for further innuendos later:Maybe Kos should have made more of a deal about it ... Maybe Kos is worse — but we can’t know that right now.
And maybe Kos beats his wife, but we can’t know that right now, either. But it’s important to make sure you know the idea’s out there. As if that weren’t enough, we learn that Kos is “a rabid partisan” ... true on its face, but why use two words with negative connotations?
Given that Sullivan cannot help but concede Hewitt was full of it on O’Reilly and knew it when he said what he said, one has to wonder why Kos comes out of the post worse.
FULL DISCLOSURE AND THE LACK THEREOF:
Perhaps it’s because of Sullivan’s own past as a blogger on the take.
posted by Sully 1/18/2005 09:04:00 AM
Monday, January 17, 2005
YET ANOTHER MONIKER:
Via Atrios we read Tom Tomorrow’s take on Sully’s latest pathetic attempt to convince himself that Bush still doesn’t really mean any of that FMA stuff.Remember Charlie the tuna? The bespectacled tunafish who, for reasons which are never made entirely clear, wishes nothing more than to be caught by the Starkist trawler (represented by a cartoon fishing hook) and, presumably, chopped up and served as some child's lunchmeat? That’s Andrew Sullivan. Like Charlie, he longs for acceptance into a system that is designed to destroy him, and like Charlie, he is destined for perpetual rejection.
posted by Sully 1/17/2005 06:03:00 PM