Friday, May 05, 2017

Andrew Sullivan: Vituperative, Foul-Mouthed Blogger of the Left*


Andrew Sullivan quits the Right.

Again.

You know (he said, repeating virtually word-for-word what he wrote about George Will just yesterday), it is a helluva thing when a bitter gay Catholic Conservative drama queen whose primary claims to fame have been defending crackpot eugenicists, camping out in Sarah Palin's uterus, hating Hillary Clinton with the unhinged heat of 1,000 suns and staunchly defending a wholly imaginary Pineapple Ice Cream Conservatism which exists only in his imagination...

...can only manage to pry his way back into the national conversation ripping off the core Liberal critique of his Conservative movement, sanding off its icky Liberal pedigree, and passing it off as the Cutting Edge of Serious Conservative thinking...

Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine:

Trumpcare Destroys Any Notion That American Conservatism Gives a Damn

...
The Trump GOP’s attempt to abolish [Obamacare] is therefore, to my mind, neither conservative nor decent. It’s reactionary and callous. Its effective abandonment of 95 percent of us with preexisting conditions will strike real terror in a lot of people’s hearts. Its gutting of Medicaid will force millions of the poor to lose health care almost altogether. It will bankrupt the struggling members of the working and middle classes who find themselves in a serious health crisis. It could hurt Republicans in the midterms —though that will be cold comfort for the countless forced into penury or sickness because of Trump’s desire for a “win.” But it’s clarifying for me. It forces me to back a Democratic Party I don’t particularly care for. And it destroys any notion I might have had that American conservatism gives a damn about the vulnerable. It really is a deal-breaker for me. I hope many others feel exactly the same way.
After all the decades Mr. Sullivan spent holed up in his tiny, cosseted, Washington D.C. bubble writing sweeping, declarative columns about a country about which he still knows virtually nothing...

After all the decades Mr. Sullivan spent selling his toxic Conservative delusions to the public as the Pure Quill...

After all the decades Mr. Sullivan spent peddling Both Siderism and profiting by slandering the Left...

...if he really wants to "back a Democratic Party [he doesn't] particularly care for" here is the single most productive thing he can do.

Shut.  The.  Fuck.  Up.

Seriously.

Stop with the ridiculous fan dance about "quitting blogging".  Stop pretending that there was ever any point to your ostentatiously leaving this vale of political tears forever other than shedding your "Dish" obligations so that you could Triumphantly Return once one of your friends put together a sweet enough offer:
A word on Obamacare. I relied on it until just recently when I joined New York’s staff and went on an employer’s plan, and, to tell the truth, part of me didn’t even want to make the change — even though it will obviously save me a lot of money. 
Just go away.

Again.

And why do I say "Again"?

Because I am so old that I remember the very first time that Andrew Sullivan stormed out the Conservative whorehouse and swore Never To Return!  So gather 'round kiddies and old unca driftglass will tell you a Hair!Raising,!Totally!True tale from the olden days (which is blogger-speak for "reposting some of my old material".)

Yes, twas the winter of Aught Nine.  I remember it well.  I had been blogging incognito for nearly five years, and was staring down the barrel of my first anniversary of being unemployed and probably unemployable for the rest of my life.  Meanwhile, halfway across the continent, Mr. Andrew Sullivan was pretending to discover for the Very First Time that American Conservatism was full of shit...

From me, in December of 2009...

"Here is a Revised List..."


"This is your captain speaking.
There is no need for panic...do not rush for the lifeboats ...
Women, children, Red Indians, spacemen
and a sort of idealized version of a gay Republican
expatriate Libertarianish papist Renaissance Man
(but definitely NOT a Liberal) first!" 
...
Sullivan delivered his “Tis a far, far better place I go” speech here, which said, in part:
For these reasons, I found it intolerable after 2003 to support the movement that goes by the name "conservative" in America. I still do, even though I am much more of a limited government type than almost any Democrat and cannot bring myself to call myself a liberal (because I'm not). My reasons were not dissimilar to Charles Johnson, who, like me, was horrified by 9/11, loathes Jihadism, and wants to defeat it as effectively as possible. And his little manifesto prompts me to write my own (the full version is in "The Conservative Soul").
Now in the whole of Mr. Sullivan's text, I could not help but notice that he italicized-for-emphasis only twice, one of which he deployed here -- "cannot bring myself to call myself a liberal (because I'm not)" -- to underscore how very much NOT a Liberal he is.

And yet in his enumerated reasons for leaving the Right I see nothing that would freak a Liberal out. I see no point-of-view that wouldn’t find a cozy, conversational corner at one of our Sekrit America-Hating Box Socials.

In fact there is virtually nothing in the whole, Lutheranesque list of grievances digitally spiked into the front door of the Party of God (May it forever be Holy, Reagan and Apostolic, amen!) that Liberals haven't been warning people like Mr. Sullivan about -- in ever-more urgent tones -- for the last 30 years...

So it turns out that virtually all of Mr. Sullivan's hard-won epiphanies amount to little more than the well-thumbed history and plainsong lore of our Fucked Up Modern Age as it has been long understood and passed down among those awful Liberals. And so when I see statements like this -- "Does this make me a "radical leftist" as Michelle Malkin would say? Emphatically not." -- what I see is a man who might want to distance himself from the appalling actions and despicable outcomes of his former allies, but still wants to continue honoring their idiotic parameters and debased vocabulary.

Yes, Mr. Sullivan, your objections emphatically do make you a "radical leftist", because in the hands of the shitkicker demagogues of the Right like Malkin, phrases like "radical leftist" have long since lost any meaning. They are just the pejorative-du-jour, pulled from a random grab-bag of Limbaugh-words -- socialist, elitist, feminist, Marxist, anti-American, compassionate, cut-and-run, surrender, Liberal, extremist, collectivist, queer, Communist, fascist, atheist, humanist, "New York", "San Francisco", “Chicago”, French, European -- that each used to have discrete and very different meanings, but are now bleated interchangeably by the Pig People and their overlords at anyone with a softer heart than Curtis LeMay and less imperial ambitions than Genghis Khan.

But then again, if Mr. Sullivan simply outed himself as a Liberal, he would instantly lose his place in the food-chain, wouldn’t he? Because like that microscopic number of self-loathing black Conservatives who make their daily bread by serving the interests of the Southern Bigot Party, more than any other single factor, it was always the sheer gawking, oddballness of the brazen self-delusion inherent in being the gay champion of the Christopath Homophobe Party that put Mr. Sullivan in the spotlight.

That was what gave him his unique and lucrative cache.

After all, Liberal gay political writers are a dime a dozen, and so in a strange way we find Andrew Sullivan locked in the same kind of mortal combat over labels -- and for exactly the same reasons -- as Roy Cohn's character in "Angels In America" as he adamantly insisted -- even as he was dying of AIDS -- that he was not a "ho-mo-sex-shall". 

(Not Safe For Work)

Because, Cohn reasoned, homosexuals were nobodies; losers who had zero clout and “in 15 years cannot pass a pissant anti-discrimination bill from City Council.” And since Roy Cohn could get the President of the United States (or his wife) on the phone -- could take the man he was fucking to the White House and make Ronald Reagan smile at him and shakes his hand -- it therefore followed that Roy Cohn could not possibly be a homosexual.

That unlike every other person in his position on Earth, Roy Cohn was a heterosexual man, who fucked around with guys.

Likewise, even though Mr. Sullivan now, belatedly comes to believe much of what Liberals believe and finally deigns to notice a horde of grotesque truths about his Conservative Movement about which Liberals have been sounding the alarm for 30 years, Andrew Sullivan nonetheless looks us all straight in that eye and argues that he could not possibly be some mere Liberal.

Because in Mr. Sullivan's world, "Liberal" does not refer to a political ideology, but to an impoverishing political ghetto from which no amount of "being right about everything" will permit you to achieve escape velocity. In Mr. Sullivan's world, "Liberal" is a terrible disease that afflicts losers who do not get invited to spout their views on teevee.

Mr. Sullivan regularly receives such largess, therefore he must not be a Liberal.

He instead must be the lone member be of some rare and singular new species; some miraculous form of haploid political minotaur.

Because if he is not something spontaneously-generated and utterly sui generis, then he is just another Lefty-Come-Very-Lately, showing up at our door at 3:00 A.M., 20 years late and trailing toxic baggage behind him like a Halley Comet.

And who in the world would pay him to do his little dance then?
+ + + + + 

And eight years later, Mr. Sullivan is still finding plenty of privileged chumps with clout willing to pay him to do his same, tired little dance over and over and over again

*From the late David Broder -- the First Pope of the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism -- back  in 2006:
Now, however, you can see the independence party forming -- on both sides of the aisle. They are mobilizing to resist not only Bush but also the extremist elements in American society -- the vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers on the left and the doctrinaire religious extremists on the right who would convert their faith into a whipping post for their opponents.



8 comments:

Vinay Edwin said...

Don't forget anti-colonialist!

trgahan said...

meh...for the conservative apologist "intelligencia" caste yesterday was just another moment that will make the beltway charity cocktail circuit uncomfortable for a few months.

Sully is just having a sad because he will have to refrain for a bit from dismissing any sitting Democrat as a "neo-Marxist" to the breathless awe of other similar privileged sheltered nitwits in rented tuxes.

I am sure the media will rush to the front the first Republican Rep or Senator that says "I voted for it, but didn't like it" as the new "reasonable" Savoir of the Republican Party and Sully will be back once he sees his share of the coming tax cut.

Lawrence said...

And here's the tell:
" It’s reactionary and callous. Its effective abandonment of 95 percent of us with preexisting conditions will strike real terror in a lot of people’s hearts."

Us. If it's happening to You or Them, hey, man, that's the breaks. But Me or I or Us suddenly makes conservatives pat down their pockets looking for the post it that has the safeword written on it. (When in doubt, try Green Balloons)

RUKidding said...

Gee, Sully, ya just got woke to the fact that Republicans mean YOU harm? Just NOW? Really?

dinthebeast said...

"Trumpcare Destroys Any Notion That American Conservatism Gives a Damn"

Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I have a great notion
To jump in the river and drown

("Goodnight Irene" by Lead Belly)

Just where did you get that notion in the first place, Andrew? Would I be crass to suggest that it was probably your bong, your butt, or perhaps both?

-Doug in Oakland

Karen Rea said...

What, NOW they're callous? Now that YOU just might be hurt? Oh, poor baby. You know what my dream is? That Fox News decides to opt out of employer provided health care for anyone with pre-existing conditions, maternity care and contriceptive care (stick to your principles, Fox!). Let's see how many long-legged, short-skirted young things stay around. There isn't a woman alive that a Health Insurance Provider can't find a pre-existing condition for. Next, throw in all the men with clogged arteries or high blood pressure. What about men in possession of a prostate that could, maybe, possibly, sometime get cancer?

Fuckers. Republicans have been fucking over Americans since I can remember and I'm a baby boomer. But it wasn't really until St. Ronnie when fucking over anyone who wasn't rich or anyone who actually believed that workers had rights became a Holy Sacrement.

And it has now, with the blessings of the so-called "Christians" of the Holy Right, that the Republican Party is the Party of mass Government sanctioned murder. Cold blooded, with malice aforethought, Murder. First degree.

There is no, none, nada, nyet, nein argument for being a Christian conservative and hasn't been for a century or more.

Don P said...

And this time, he means it!

Paul Coppock said...

You probably know, somewhere deep in your heart, that it's "'Tis a far, far better thing I do . . ."