Monday, May 05, 2003

Hee, hee, hee, hee! More lefty goodness on This Modern World as Tom Tomorrow notes Andrew Sullivan's creeping realization that Republicans are intolerant bastards.

I recently had an email exchange with a (gay) friend who complained that Sullivan is seen as some sort of spokesman for the gay community. Indeed, this view has given rise to a number of hatchet jobs (such as this one) from the gay left. (Read this Salon article -- harsh, and deservedly so -- for a take-down of Sullivan's absurd comments about AIDS.)

But what bothers me the most has nothing to do with the fact that Sullivan's gay. Rather, it's that he clearly sees himself as a sensitive, thinking man's conservative. He's not. He's nothing more than an urban, pseudo-sophisticated Rush Limbaugh, with the same cocksuredness and the same truncated worldview. Which is precisely why Sullivan's blog is only amusing (and then, unintentionally) when he get itchy and almost, for a moment, looks like he might actually be questioning his own assumptions. Very rare, but you sort of saw it happen with the Rick Santorum flap:

And I've learned a lot this past week - especially about elite conservative indifference to limited government, if it means offending the religious right. One factual note: I don't consider myself a Republican. Never have. Given what some of the party base represent, I'm relieved not to carry that burden. It may be necessary to support Republicans at times -- in the war on terror, for example, we have precious little choice right now. But no-one should ignore the dark thread of big-government intolerance that exists in the G.O.P. It's still there; and it threatens you and me.
"I've learned a lot"? What, that the American right is intolerant? Woah, stop the presses.

More recently, Sullivan received a bunch of hate mail when he dared criticize Bush's ridiculous aircraft carrier campaign speech. Tom Tomorrow's comeback:

The irony, of course, is that Sullivan has been doing his damndest for the past several years to polarize politics, to blot out all grey tones until nothing is left but nice, clear black and white divisions....

And now he's shocked that the audience he has attracted with such rhetoric has little use for nuance. That distant, lonesome wail you hear, Andy? It's the Clue Train, and it pulled out of the station long before you ever got through the turnstile.
I laughed uproariously.


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