Monday, October 03, 2016

That Fifth Column Gets Bigger Every Day

From the long memory of Atrios:
In the Sunday Times of London on September 16, 2001 (!!), Andrew [Sullivan] had these lines:
The middle part of the country - the great red zone that voted for Bush - is clearly ready for war. The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead -and may well mount a fifth column.
But of course that was so long ago.  So many war and lies ago.  So let up not dwell on it or the long and catastrophic series of events that followed.  Instead let us hail the Triumphant Return of Mr. Andrew Sullivan who this very week has once again descended into the land of messy, grubbing mortals from his fastness atop Mount Niebuhr where he has been very busy deeply contemplating Life, the Universe and Everything, in preparation for a book he plans to write on Life, the Universe and Everything.

I'm sure it will be a book which will be published and which many people will read (although, pro tip, you're gonna need a different title.)

Being low and perverse myself, I am a poor judge of how Mr. Sullivan's many months spent in deep contemplation of Life, the Universe and Everything may have subtly affected his opinion of we poor groundlings on our darkling plain, but it sure as shit looks to my tired eyes that Mr. Sullivan is just slightly repackaging the same brand of Pineapple Ice Cream Conservatism he has been selling for years (from me, long ago):
If Mr. Sullivan suddenly developed a taste for pineapple ice cream, within a week he would be penning columns about how "Liking Pineapple Ice Cream" is a cardinal Conservative value because of something something Edmund Burke.  If he got sick on bad Thai food, we would suddenly see a spate of columns discussing bad Thai food and how it is something that only extreme Christianists or Left Liberal would ever put in their mouths.

He is, at best, a flighty dilettante with a wealth patron and does not have the slightest fucking clue about how his adopted country works.
Mr. Sullivan is still a flighty dilettante who does not have the slightest fucking clue about how his adopted country works, but now that he has touched the nekkid fez of bong God, I guess his words are supposed to have a numinous quality that commands out attention.

Of course we here at the driftglass blog just report.  It is up to you to decide:
Andrew Sullivan: this country conservatism hasn’t really been conservative for quite a while. Conservatism is about the restraint of government, not the empowerment of government, and Trump has no interest in restraint.
Yes Andrew, this is very true.  It was even very true back when you were making a fine career for yourself lambasting people who dared to say such things out loud.  let's let Doctor Krugman in here to say what we're all thinking:
Funny as hell, Paul.  Funny as hell.

Back to Mr. Sullivan:
Andrew Sullivan:  Again, this is a person who has never conceded an error, never admitted a mistake, never taken responsibility for something he's done wrong — even though the examples have been simply extraordinary.
Why so surprised, Mr, Sullivan.  After all "never conceded an error, never admitted a mistake, never taken responsibility for something [they've] done wrong" has been Fox News' fucking business model for 20 years.  It is the foundation stones on which Conservative Hate Radio was built.  It is the caisson to which the mind of Conservative mind anchored.

Then, of course, Mr. Sullivan has to protect himself from the wrath from high atop the whatever by dressing up his narrative in a lovely Both Siderist party dress:
Sean Illing:    I’m glad you mentioned the Republican Party, because one of the common criticisms of your Trump article was that it implied that the left was as responsible as the right for Trump.

Personally, I don't see that symmetry. I see one side as clearly more responsible than the other. The Republicans have muddied the waters, not the Democrats. The Republicans have fomented cultural resentment and white angst for decades, not the Democrats.
And here it comes...
Andrew Sullivan:   I never said there was equal symmetry in terms of culpability, but the left has contributed to this. The social justice left, which is essentially a Marxist construct, has not just advanced an idea of the way the world is but has decided to instantly stigmatize and demonize anyone who dissents from it as a bigot and a racist or a homophobe and all the other litany of bullshit they throw around.
Which is fucking hilarious, but this is cherry on top...
Andrew Sullivan:   And there's only so long that struggling, poor white people can bear being told by what they think is an entire political party, an entire elite, that they are privileged before they lash back.
I for one would love to see a list of the names of any "struggling, poor white people" that Mr. Sullivan regularly stumbles across long enough to plumb the depths of their souls as he flits from D.C. to New York to his fastness atop Mount Niebuhr and back again.

Sean Illing: ... I want to pin you down on this idea that what’s happening on the left is equivalent to what’s happening on the right. In your piece, you say Trump and Sanders are essentially the same. You even called Sanders the “demagogue of the left.”

I don’t think that’s true at all. Unlike Trump, Sanders can be seen as a healthy expression of political discontent. At the very least, he's offering is a positive agenda, one that pretty much mirrors what you see in most of Europe and a lot of the industrialized world, whereas Trump or Trumpism is just pure negation.

Andrew Sullivan: ... Sanders is completely legitimate and not a demagogue insofar as he has outlined what are traditional progressive goals. But his description of our entire system as inherently corrupt, his successful branding of Clinton as essentially a crony of corruption as opposed to an imperfect liberal politician, has helped Trump — there’s no doubt about that.
Well I'm glad Mr. Sullivan clear that up, because just six months ago it sure as shit sounded like he was following the same, deeply dishonest and dishonorable "Trump and Sanders (and sometimes Cruz) are all horrid demagogues" script that Mr. David Brooks was beating to death in the pages of the New York Times.

In fact, Mr. Sullivan never sounded more like he was following that same, deeply dishonest and dishonorable script that when he said this in April of this year in NY Magazine:
Those still backing the demagogue of the left, Bernie Sanders, might want to reflect that their critique of Clinton’s experience and expertise — and their facile conflation of that with corruption — is only playing into Trump’s hands. 
Sure, that sounds damning, but I hear sometimes touching the nekkid fez of bong God can mess with your memory almost as bad as being a Conservative, so enough nit picking!  Let's get back to Mr. Sullivan's critique of Donald Trump as someone who "never conceded an error, never admitted a mistake, never taken responsibility for something [they've] done wrong".

You know, on second thought, let's not.


bowtiejack said...

You with your damn facts and records and video clips and history and stuff.
Is it really fair to make fun of lapdogs like Sullivan, Brooks et al., because they don't or can't use those things?
Well yes, yes it is.

Bob Harrison said...

I hear his book is titled "42."

RUKidding said...

I love how, now that the primaries are over, all of these hacks rush forth to diss Bernie Sanders for being a Mean Boy to Hillary and saying things 'n stuff and being all Mr. Marxist or something. For first several months of the primary, just about everyone totally ignored Sanders and drew a black out curtain over his campaign. It was only when things got hot with Trump - thanks mainly to CNN & Fox who fellated Trump constantly and gave him hours and hours and hours of free "advertising" - that somehow the "media" realized that Sanders was nipping at Clinton's heels.

Of course, Sanders attacked Clinton and some of her policies. Knock knock yoo hoo: that's called a primary campaign. You know, where the rivals, if they're intelligent enough, do what they can to distinguish themselves and explain to the voters why they should vote for them v. the other contender.

Now somehow Sanders is "responsible" for the rise of Trump?? Because he dissed Hillary in some way? What a loada crap. Talk about flailing to find some excuse, any excuse to blame Trump on the "other side," no matter what.

Sully can eat a bag of salted dicks.

bluicebank said...

@RU "Now somehow Sanders is 'responsible' for the rise of Trump?"

Probably because it's always the fault of the Dirty Fucking Hippie.

Whether an actual '60s protester, or the whole collective lot who wrecked the 1950s, their power is so gargantuan as to vex to this day ... while simultaneously being powerless, ineffectual throwbacks.

Lit3Bolt said...

@ RUKidding

Don't give him what he wants.

If there's a Hell, Andrew Sullivan will be licking the bloody vagina of Muslim woman for all eternity while she grinds out her marijuana cigarettes into his back while listening to his own writing.

Paul Green said...

There's a logic puzzle that starts with a town and an out of town speaker who points out that somebody has a spot on his neck and ends a year later with everybody killing themselves. Sullivan hopes that something similar will happen if he points out that somebody on the left said something dumb.