Mr. Andrew Sullivan -- who is definitely not blogging -- has nonetheless conned someone at New York Magazine to pay him genuine money to put together rambly sentences about Murrica and such and publish them in e-lect-tronic form on The Internets.
So for legal and contractual purposes, not blogging, but, y'know, blogging-adjacent.
Anyway, many and many years ago I began to notice that for a man who has some very definite certainties and divination about the politics, media and culture of the United States, Mr. Sullivan seemed to know fuck-all about our actual country and our actual history from, say, 1710 until last Wednesday. Very much a Mycroft Holmes-type, but without the intellect or observational and deductive skills: a man who sits comfortably in his own version of the Diogenese Club and judges American by what passes by under his window
Sherlock Holmes from "The Greek Interpreter":
“If the art of the detective began and ended in reasoning from an arm-chair, my brother would be the greatest criminal agent that ever lived. But he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solution, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right.”Which is why, from time to time, I would uncharitably mention that I think "Mr. Sullivan is an aging fop living in an ivory tower who does not understand the first damn thing about his adopted country" and would suggest that his muse would be better served if he got off his ass and actually toured the nation about which he has been opinion ferociously his whole adult life. Come for a visit. Go for a stroll through any of the tens of thousands of unique, American places which are not Sullivan-friendly college campuses and not White House state dinners. See what we see and hear what we hear out here in Flyover country.
And so this bit of underdone potato in the middle of Mr. Sullivan's weekly perambulation through the America of his imagination did not surprise me at all:
I’ve always been unusually attached to places. It’s one reason I still call myself a conservative. Travel doesn’t attract me. I’ve now lived in the same loft in D.C. since I bought it, in 1991 (apart from an ill-fated year and a half in New York City); I’ve spent 20 consecutive summers in the same little town at the end of Cape Cod, and have no desire to go anyplace else. Even when I go home to England, I tend to spend around half my time near where I grew up.The reason the Andrew Sullivan's of the world are given enormous megaphones has never to make it easier for them to tell the straight truth about this country to a wider audience, because they haven't the first damn clue about this country.
No, they provide a very different service.
They spin the comforting fairy tales about an Imaginary America that their fellow bubble-dwellers want to hear. And for which they are willing to pay handsomely.