Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Sullivan: Far be it from me to lay into someone who is less than starry eyed about the blogosphere. (I've never been particularly boosterish about the much-bandied influence of blogging, though it sure seemed Sullivan was when Howell Raines was forced out.) It's a good time to give it a rest, I think. I've toyed with the idea myself, though Razor's snippy attitude always brings me back to thrash him a bit more.

To be frank, Sullivan's site dropped off my own must-read list about 5 minutes after he went off the rails over the war/WMD/quagmire in Iraq stuff. For a prominent supporter of the war, he blanched pretty quickly when things turned rather war-like in Iraq. And I have no patience for his Kerry-istic critiques that imply or state that one only had to do this Iraq thing the right way, a way that was, it seems, obvious all along. Hogwash. It was Monday morning quarterbacking, nothing more.

The other thing that gets me is Sullivan's attitude toward the GOP. Now I make no claim to being Mr. Republican, but I'm realistic enough to see that socially liberal, market-minded independents can either assert themselves within the only major party that is not openly hostile to the free market, the GOP, or they can continue to wander in the third-party wilderness. Sullivan must have known how the GOP was going to play a marriage amendment. He's a Republican, after all. He must get the mailings. His attitude was a little too "how dare you" to be believable. Recall that the man Sully ended up endorsing, John Kerry, tried to claim that there was no daylight between himself and Bush on gay marriage.

I have to admit that a small part of my hostility is due to Sullivan's pledge drives. As I've said before, I get analysis as good as his for free, from any number of sharp sites. But if he wants to make money at it, I'd respect him more if he just made his site pay-only, competing with the likes of the Salon (chotle), the WSJ, or soon enough the NYT. Don't drag me through the drama of how hard you work and how much you pay for bandwidth, or any of that public broadcasting guilt trip. It's demeaning, and just not professional.

Oh, well. Good luck, Andrew. I hope you find yourself.

More: I think Razor nailed it: Becoming the darling of the non-religious GOP forced Sullivan into publishing apologetics. (Some of the early ones he wrote about Bush must really embarrass him now.) But part of the problem was that Sullivan did go squishy, did flip-flop. Like I said, the gay marriage thing didn't just come out of the blue, and the Dems sure didn't stick up for marriage rights, preferring to whimper in the corner. His endorsement of Kerry was the last straw. I fail to see how anyone with any sympathy for the GOP could warm to Kerry. In fact, I bet even Razor briefly considered voting for Bush. It may have been just a tiny flicker, but somewhere, deep down, some part of you said, "Am I really going to vote for this Massachusetts clown?"


Razor said...

Yes, yes I did momentarily flicker and consider punching a chad for W. Kerry stirred about as much passion as Dukaka did, and well, I didn't march to the polls full of strident confidence that I was about to change the country.

It was simply the great, immense, tactile unease about W being my president for 4 more years that kept me from doing an about-face. In the end I figured that we couldn't possibly be worse off with Kerry - just that the muddled incoherence would be in different areas.

Anyway, bye Sully. Can't say I'll miss you terribly, but you had a good run.

enobarbus said...

Razor, you remind me of my brief (but serious) swoon over Joe Lieberman last year. It occurs to me that if either party had run a hawkish, socially liberal, business-friendly tax skeptic, he or she would have won in a landslide, the likes of which . . .

It seemed like the non-protesting Democrats looked at Kerry and said, "Oh, all right -- we'll back him if we have to." The non-Jesus-pleasin' Republicans looked at W and said, "Well, he is the incumbent after all. It is traditional." If either party had flashed a little leg to the other side -- a la McCain or Lieberman -- the stampede across the aisle would have been huge.