andrew sullivan

Kudos to Mr. Sullivan:  Why he matters.

I have always enjoyed reading Andrew Sullivan’s columns even though he is a conservative because he’s not part of the right wing echo chamber and thinks for himself. His piece on Obama before the election “Goodbye to All That:  Why Obama Matters” is one reason I started looking at Obama when he started running for office. Because unlike the purists on both sides I think the only hope for solving our problems is national reconciliation like Obama stated clearly in his book “Audacity of Hope”. Sullivan saw this chasm too as our nations biggest problem. Obviously this cold civil war is still with us today because the right is just too vengeful to moderate themselves at all and unfortunately thanks to the constant outrage generated by left leaning blogs and media more progressives want to keep the war against the right and moderates raging as well.  My only big disappoint in Obama’s presidency so far is that he has not brought this country any closer together.  But I am beginning to think no one can.

Andrew Sullivan was sober from the beginning about what a horrible decision McCain made about picking Sarah Palin as a running mate. He touted her obvious unworthiness for the job of VP and her corrupt to the bone nature as reasons McCain made a huge mistake in the most important decision in his life.  From this point I could tell Mr. Sullivan was starting to be disenchanted about the right wing party he supported.

I do not agree Andrew Sullivan’s role of government in our society but those differences are honest differences and I could debate them honestly with Mr. Sullivan without all the uncivil discourse that has unfortunately become the norm.  I would love if our opposition was really loyal and the GOP took on the attributes of people like Andrew Sullivan rather than Sarah Palin.  Then maybe we could move forward as a nation and not two waring camps.

These are the reasons below why he can no longer support the GOP machine.

Leaving the Right

“I cannot support a movement that claims to believe in limited government but backed an unlimited domestic and foreign policy presidency that assumed illegal, extra-constitutional dictatorial powers until forced by the system to return to the rule of law.

I cannot support a movement that exploded spending and borrowing and blames its successor for the debt.

I cannot support a movement that so abandoned government’s minimal and vital role to police markets and address natural disasters that it gave us Katrina and the financial meltdown of 2008.

I cannot support a movement that holds torture as a core value.

I cannot support a movement that holds that purely religious doctrine should govern civil political decisions and that uses the sacredness of religious faith for the pursuit of worldly power.

I cannot support a movement that is deeply homophobic, cynically deploys fear of homosexuals to win votes, and gives off such a racist vibe that its share of the minority vote remains pitiful.

I cannot support a movement which has no real respect for the institutions of government and is prepared to use any tactic and any means to fight political warfare rather than conduct a political conversation.

I cannot support a movement that sees permanent war as compatible with liberal democratic norms and limited government.

I cannot support a movement that criminalizes private behavior in the war on drugs.

I cannot support a movement that would back a vice-presidential candidate manifestly unqualified and duplicitous because of identity politics and electoral cynicism.

I cannot support a movement that regards gay people as threats to their own families.

I cannot support a movement that does not accept evolution as a fact.

I cannot support a movement that sees climate change as a hoax and offers domestic oil exploration as the core plank of an energy policy.

I cannot support a movement that refuses ever to raise taxes, while proposing no meaningful reductions in government spending.

I cannot support a movement that refuses to distance itself from a demagogue like Rush Limbaugh or a nutjob like Glenn Beck.

I cannot support a movement that believes that the United States should be the sole global power, should sustain a permanent war machine to police the entire planet, and sees violence as the core tool for international relations.”

I personally agree with many of his reasons for leaving the right.

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Khirad
Member

So, any thoughts on this and Andrew’s take on Trig?

missfrenchyUSA
Member
missfrenchyUSA

Oops I forgot to add that Bruce Bartlett, Reagan former economic advisor, also defected.

FrankenPC
Member

I used to be a right-wingnut in 2000. I’m now a progressive for exactly the same reasons Andrew woke up to.

At some point, you just have to admit it. The republicans are dead and the closest thing you have to your viewpoint are the Democrats. Even that makes me sad. But I have no alternative.

Bravo Andrew. I hope many people hear your cry and leave the wingnuts as well.

kesmarn
Admin

Kathleen Parker (who actually wrote an open letter to S’arah Palin, urging her to withdraw late in the campaign) and David Gergen seem like decent types. But not especially well regarded by the loonie fringe these days.

Corgi Lover
Guest

The other day I posted something at HP about true conservatives, and their absence in modern Republicanism. I mentioned the late William F Buckley, Jr. The most noteable right wing feedback was that he was “boring”. I suppose to today’s trolls and rethugs the concept of an erudite man speaking in precise English, expressing a point logically and with background, constitutes a boring person.

But Sarah Palin, now that’s excitement to them.

What a pile.

WLA
Member

The further they push right, the more openly hostile they become toward intellectualism of ANY stripe. To tell you the truth, I am not certain whether I find that more funny or frightening.

nicole473
Member

Sadly true. During the 2008 campaigns, Buckley Jr. was asked to resign by the mag his father founded because he came out in support of Obama. Palin was his tipping point also.

missfrenchyUSA
Member
missfrenchyUSA

Well said. Those good conservative or few and far between. Its very sad, especially for those of us who actually embrace those values

Khirad
Member

They’re all abut Rand now. I don’t know if anyone saw the Stewart interview with her biographer, but he pointed out all the ironies in FOX and the GOP embracing her. True her juvenile writings work only within their own construct (like a science fiction novel on another planet with different laws of gravity, atmospheric makeup and biology – in short, fantasy), and she was intolerably preachy; but she was an atheist and for her time, I’d argue a feminist.

George F. Will is about all they have left high profile – and he completely lost it with his Roony-esque bit on blue jeans. There’s a woman who got blasted for writing anti-Palin op-eds from Town Hall – what was her name?! – whom I’d add to the list of the few reasonable ones out there, your Peggy Noonan type – still ideological, but showing that by today’s standards Nixonites and Reagonites are downright reasonable. David Brooks is a puzzle to me though, a little like Olympia Snowe. For goodness sake just ditch them already.

But it isn’t surprising that with someone like William F. Buckley Jr, who could eloquently and coherently present his views, in a way that even though I disagreed with his argument’s foundational premises, were thought provoking nonetheless. I’m admittedly only going off a few pieces I ever read and his debate with Noam Chomsky, but I had deep respect for him still and awe of his erudition – while, this bears repeating – disagreeing with him.

missfrenchyUSA
Member
missfrenchyUSA

Wow, although I should have seen this coming, I am still shocked. Another defection this week! Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs also defected. I am waiting for Rod Dreher of the Crunchy Con to do the same. The trifecta of reasonable conservatives leaving the GOP will reflect very badly on them

nellie
Member

missfrenchy, bien venue! ça va?

I don’t know Rod Dreher ( or the Crunchy Con ), but I’ve always liked Andrew Sullivan. I was shocked to find out he considers himself a conservative. What it means these days is nothing like what Sullivan writes.

missfrenchyUSA
Member
missfrenchyUSA

Andrew (and his counterparts at the Ordinary League of Gentlemen, Rod Dreher and the authors at the Front Porch Republic) are what I would consider principled conservatives, much like the Tories and Canadian conservatives. They believe in limited government, believe in liberty, do not think the government should tell you how to live your life, etc… Not like the social conservatives who holds the reign in the GOP

VegasBabe
Member

Hi missfrency. Long time no see. How’s life treating you and soooooo glad to see you here! 😉

missfrenchyUSA
Member
missfrenchyUSA

I am studying right and am taking a small break. Finals week is upon me and then I am going to hibernate for a few weeks 😉

AdLib
Admin

missfrenchy!!! So great to see you!

Best wishes on your finals!

SueInCa
Member

I don’t know too much about Sullivan. I read an op-ed from him for the first time the other day. I agree though that we can have civil discourse and I know alot of convervatives who do just that. It is too bad the fringes in both parties are making it harder for the President to reach his goals. I am so tired of the sniping back and forth.

KevenSeven
Member

You can find him speaking on various news talk shows if you search his name in youtube.

He is a brilliant thinker. Bit odd as a gay conservative, but what can you say about Brits???

SueInCa
Member

Hey thanks for the tip, I will look him up. I will also take a look now and at the Daily Dish to see what direction he is going.

KevenSeven
Member

“I cannot be part of a movement that falsely claims to have a lock on patriotism, and fascisticly denigrates the opposition as treasonous”

“I cannot be part of a movement that labels some of America “real” and other parts “communist”.

HITO
Member
HITO

I became familiar with Andrew Sullivan’s blog “the Daily Dish” during the Iranian election debacle. Was it an election? Or was it an appointment?

I read him consistently day and night, and found many things Pitney had missed over on HP…not that Nico didn’t work his ass off 24-7. Those were amazing days filled with emotion and outrage. The people shouting from their rooftops at night in unison to feel united as a force against the paramilitary in the streets the next day.

Thanks KQuark, you filled me in on many things I did not know about Sullivan.

Questinia
Member

Someone needs to develop a good narrative about the GOP craziness, say within the theme patient health care. We can see how that works.

It has to have identifiable characters, like two medically uninsured Joe Plumbers who get cancer, use all their money to have their limbs cut off as part of the treatment and protest against the health care reform in Washington DC in their wheelchairs. They die in the end. But like the movie “Brazil” it can have an alternate “American ending” where they miraculously put two and two together and turn on the GOP.

It has to be concrete and easily reproducible as a narrative. There’s a viral narrative re Obama’s birth certificate. The same needs to happen to the GOP.

javaz
Member

Well, real people, people in wheelchairs, and people with cancer and people who have lost loved ones due to lack of health insurance have been shouted down, taunted and threatened by teabaggers at town halls.

And remember what the Republicans did and Ann Coulter said to Captain Max Cleland, a decorated war hero that lost both legs and part of an arm in Vietnam.
They mocked him and Coulter accused him of whining.

Republicans and teabaggers have no compassion, no hearts, no souls but they call themselves Christians.

Questinia
Member

No. The point of the narrative is that the GOP Joe plumbers end up dying, not the opponents.

The taunting teabaggers are the characters who die in the end.

javaz
Member

They eat their own.
They would turn on each other at the drop of a dime.
It’s what Republicans and teabaggers do.

nellie
Member

Wow, KQuark. This really surprises me. And disappoints me.

I was holding out for people like Andrew Sullivan to hang in there and help turn the conservative movement around. But if people like this are bailing, then there is no loyal opposition. And that’s not a good thing. This is the linchpin for me — the principle that leads to all the other problems:

I cannot support a movement which has no real respect for the institutions of government and is prepared to use any tactic and any means to fight political warfare rather than conduct a political conversation.

We need diversity of opinion. Right now, we have it within the Democratic party, but in reality, the Democratic party is our only political party. That is the only party striving to govern. And then we have all these other (GOP) people occupying spaces in congress with no other agenda than to occupy spaces in congress.

Obama20082012
Member

Welcome Andrew! That leaves only one ‘conservative’ left and that is Mr Hitchens that I admire. And great post as always KQ.

Hallucinocynic
Member
Hallucinocynic

Hitchins would prefer not to be labeled as a conservative, though he does hold some conservative views. Take a gander at his “The Rights of Man” (an insightful examination of Paine, and Burke) and you’ll get a taste of his political philosophy.

BTW, why is it so difficult for regressives to recognize that one can hold fiscally-conservative and socially-progressive beliefs at the same time?

nellie
Member

what’s a “regressive”?

escribacat
Member

I’ve never read the above mentioned conservatives, but the one I’ve always enjoyed reading is P.J. O’Roarke. He used to be a leftie years ago, then swung right. But he’s very funny. Haven’t seen him around much lately.

Corgi Lover
Guest

Grabamop: As I expressed yesterday elsewhere, I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your feline friend. Pets are sometimes far more human and caring than many humans. And we miss them so when they’re gone.

Khirad
Member

I’m still bemused that a self-described socialist was invited as a Hoover Institute fellow. A list he would have to make like Sullivan’s though is going back on his foreign policy worldview in the Middle East.

javaz
Member

I am not familiar with this person, except from links posted here by PPOV members, but it’s nice to see some Republicans taking a stand against the insanity of the GOP.

I keep hoping that Republican senators and congressmen take a stand and speak out against the extremes of their party, but they’re weak and fearful of Rush Limbaugh’s wrath.