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.
So, any thoughts on this and Andrew’s take on Trig?
Oops I forgot to add that Bruce Bartlett, Reagan former economic advisor, also defected.
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.
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.
Parker is OK but I always respected Gergen. But I feel bad for all moderate conservatives. They must be very lonely people these days.
David Gergen was about the only one on CNN who made any sense either during the primaries or the GE, the rest were know-it-all hot heads who obviously didn’t want Obama to win either of them.
Agreed. I appreciate his staid approach.
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.
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.
Well said. Those good conservative or few and far between. Its very sad, especially for those of us who actually embrace those values
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.
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.
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
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.
Hi missfrency. Long time no see. How’s life treating you and soooooo glad to see you here! 😉
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 😉
missfrenchy!!! So great to see you!
Best wishes on your finals!
Good luck MFUSA! Um I never realized what your abbreviated moniker looks like. No double entendre intended. 😉
Oops KQ, a near miss.
When I first saw MoFu on Huff, I was most impressed and thought that the poster spoke Japanese. It means blanket and then someone was kind enough to give me the real meaning. 🙂
And best wishes from me as well on the finals.
LOL, you are so wrong. That was not even my intention
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
I put David Brooks of the NYTs in that category even though he periodically rationalizes things that make no sense just to keep his conservative stripes.
David Brooks is dirt. Utter dirt.
He lies like a rug, and had his tongue right up Cheney’s bunghole.
I guess that’s what puts him in another category. He seems to me like someone who SHOULD know better.
Perhaps he should know better, but he is certainly not going to fess up to it.
Brooks’ latest column on President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan is typical of late. He comes out and says Obama’s decision making process is superior to Bush’s but he finds some meaningless rationalization to say Bush was a better motivator for the troops. The fact is rah rah politics does not help the mission in the field or bring the troops come home earlier but a cohesive strategy does.
That’s why I put Brooks in a separate category like you say he does know better he just does not have the moral courage to admit it.
My feelings exactly. And he was not one of those, such as Sullivan, and Buckley Jr., who came out in support of Obama in 2008.
Hello Nichole, hope all is well. You’ve been missed.
I think moderate conservatives became such a dying breed and sound so much different from the rabid right wing that they almost sound liberal.
missfrenchyUSA great to see you again! I like you saw this coming in fact I actually thought he really gave up any party affiliation before the election. But what he said and how clear he stated it was the shocking part for me. I had no idea where he stood on some of these issues. I knew about Charles Johnson and posted his party monologue below but I did not know about Rod Dreher.
To me the insanity of GOP obstructionism on everything and the crazy right wing echo chamber is what is driving this. How can you be a reasonable person and support a party that literally stands for nothing but hate?
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.
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???
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.
“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”.
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.
I tend to appreciate columnists on both sides that take a pragmatic view of the world.
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.
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.
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.
They eat their own.
They would turn on each other at the drop of a dime.
It’s what Republicans and teabaggers do.
I agree. Adlib are you listening? 😉 😉
We haven’t had a new video in a while.
BTW is there nothing more ridiculous than the quotes coming from the GOP during the Senate healthcare “debate”. I mean these people are just so devoid of reality I don’t know how anyone can follow them.
Coburn Claims The U.S. Is “The Best Place To Get Sick”
Gohmert opposes estate tax extension because “Jesus never advocated the government go steal.” (so Gohmert stop stealing from us and refuse to take your salary and benefits if that’s how you view taxes)
FLASHBACK: In 2006, Sen. Gregg Was Repulsed By “Obstruction For The Purpose Of Obstruction” (no he is writing a manual to obstruct ANY healthcare reform bill.)
Coburn says healthcare bill will make seniors “die soon”.
You can read the full stories on ThinkProgress which is a great site for picking apart the GOP.
Those on the right, and that includes Sarah Palin worshipers, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck followers do not see the obstructionism and corruption and arrogance of Republican politicians as being a bad thing, but rather they cheer them.
Those who watch Fox, stand in lines for hours to see Palin, and listen to Limbaugh are blind to the fact that their leaders are not working for them, but are working against them.
They are using their base and duping them into believing that they are the moral compass of the USA and that the Democrats and Liberals are immoral, socialists, anti-God and are responsible for all that is wrong with our country.
The teabaggers are armed and they are dangerous, but not so much because of their guns.
They are dangerous for their small minds and refusal to open their eyes to the truth.
They are blinded by their hate of powerful women, homosexuals, and people of color.
There is no hope whatsoever for the teabaggers and the Republicans, Fox and Republican pundits know it.
Moderate Republicans must exist within the party, but they are afraid to speak out against the demagoguery for fear of reprisal.
Republicans are weak and spineless.
KQ, this is the memo passed around by the Gop on obstruction:
Cheers for the link.
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:
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.
I think more Republicans defecting and creating a new party is the only choice they have. I think the Republican Party cannot be changed from within with all the extremists in charge. The only way they will change is if they keep losing elections because they lose followers.
BTW there is historic precedent for what the GOP is today. During the 30-40’s the only Republicans left were staunch isolationists and fiscal conservatives. Losing elections is what made them moderate in the 50’s and 60’s.
Hopefully sanity is starting to spread amongst some conservatives. A conservative blogger named Charles Johnson parted with the right the other day as well citing the following reasons.
“Why I Parted Ways With The Right
Opinion | Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 6:49:45 pm PST
1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.)
2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)
3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)
4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)
5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)
6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)
7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)
8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)
9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)
10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)
And much, much more. The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff.”
Two in one week!
But then we all know what the teabaggers will say – they were RINOs.
This doesn’t surprise me one bit but I expected it sooner.
Last year on Huff when I linked to some of Sulivan’s articles, I was srceamed down by progressive bloggers there, saying that Sullivan was just a RW wing propaganda tool. I couldn’t see this anywhere in any of his published articles and continued to include his links.
It was and is, only a matter of time before more people on the Right realize the damage that has been done by the rabid, hate filled loose canons, tripping over their foul mouthed tongues in a bid to show the one-note-samba obstructionist climate displayed in the Republican party of recent years.
People grow up, even adults, and some will not like what they see and hear on closer inspection.
Morning, Kalima, Watched the sunrise over the “rainbow bridge” today.
Afternoon bitihistory, that’s more than I managed. I stumbled into the morning due to lack of sleep during the full moon.
Hope things are going well for you.
Blame it on the full moon. You were out late last nite drinking and dancing. 😆
I’ll have to remember that you can almost see me with your web camera, could you check where I left my shoes?
In Minato Ward.
But…but, I’m in Shibuya Ward, who carried me there?
Some of your young “eye candy” took you there to go dancing.
LOL! Now you tell me, I missed the whole darned thing. 🙂
Your second paragraph…
gave me chills up my spine.
HITO: You don’t have your snuggie on?
I don’t own one of those fine tv-marketed things, silly.
I am still dressed for a concert, having just returned.
How are you my dear friend?
Tired and under the weather, HITO. No known reason.
Are you taking your vitamins…I added a 1K D vit about 6 weeks ago and feel it has helped.
I know I felt quite under the weather upon viewing the main about 20 minutes ago…let the youtubes begin.
I am having problems trying to get in the holiday spirit this year and I’m trying very hard for the sake of the kids. I haven’t even taken a box out in preparation.
Shame on mommy!
HITO: I’ll e-mail you. Several bad puns came to mind!
Very well said and spot on Kalima.
I experienced your pain as well. When I posted the link to Sulivan’s “Why Obama Matters?” article and promoted Democratic Party unity. I knew at the time that many Obama voters were not listening to the message of unity and pragmatism he was preaching. I turns out that many purists really wanted a progressive version of W. after all.
I’m not a centrist because I think progressive or left leaning solutions are better than conservative solutions by far but I’m not a radical purist by any measure because my life experiences have made me enduringly pragmatic because I’ve just have never seen a perfect plan.
Welcome Andrew! That leaves only one ‘conservative’ left and that is Mr Hitchens that I admire. And great post as always KQ.
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.
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.
Grabamop sorry to hear about the loss of your little loved one as well. I know our two little four legged furry ones are part of our family so I understand your loss.
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.
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?
what’s a “regressive”?
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.
Most new found independents were part of the GOP because frankly there is no moderate wing of the GOP these days. I know Dems get mad at the moderates in the Democratic Party but to me it would be far worse if the Democratic Party was nothing but a mirror image of the GOP. However there are some Democrats like Ben Nelson that are not moderate Democrats but really moderate Republicans in Democratic clothing.
Indeed. We calibrate regionally. There’s truth to the line that we don’t need a GOP. The Dems are diverse enough alone.
That’s so true and why in every other Western country besides the US there is no major party like the GOP.
Stupak is worse – far worse – than Ben Nelson. He is a deeply RW ultra-fanatical “The Family” “Christian” – and very scary. He ran as a Dem only because he would have lost otherwise. I hope that Michigan dumps him as MN should dump their “out” RW Republican, Michelle Bachmann. There are some people too utterly weird to serve Congress.
I’d like to make a distinction: my organization is nominally Christian in the sense of serving mainstream Protestants. We come FROM our faith on moral discernment on issues. We do not advocate FOR religion in those positions. We believe we have a role to speak out on policy, but we absolutely believe in the separation of church and state. Mr. Sullivan gets that distinction. The GOP and extremist Christian Dems do NOT. We do not want to build a theocracy (largely since no two of us agree on anything anyway) as the RW does. I can see why Sullivan wants out. Any sane, truly thoughtful person would.