This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

9/24/2004

Sully gets defensive

I get countless emails from mostly conservatives arguing that the only reason that I have become disanchanted with Bush is that I'm gay, obsessed with gay marriage, and nothing else matters to me. They even accuse me of betraying the war because of it. On the left, some agree. These kinds of charges, because they are really about my motives and integrity as a writer, are impossible to disprove, and so I have largely ignored them.
andrew sullivan
I wrote an article at the beginning of March about Sullivan's wobblies at the American Spectator. In it I said,
At a guess Sullivan has been finding it a tad difficult to lead a sushi/latte, blue state lifestyle, replete with liberal friends, old Harvard chums and lazy summer days in P-town without, once in a while, saying what he really feels about Bush’s social conservatism. In that company, and kicking around ideas at The New Republic, it is pretty hard to ignore the absence of any sort of fiscal plan, exit strategy for Iraq or, or candor about WMD’s.

Sullivan has too subtle a mind to miss the inconsistencies between his personal positions and the positions the President has maintained to entice straight, non-blogging, Evangelical Christian, red state core supporters to help re-elect him. So Sullivan has a dilemma. Sullivan wants the Republicans to win in 2004, but he also seems to want the party to ditch the social conservatives and fundamentalists whose politics he despises. Bush doesn’t. Bush can count noses, Sullivan doesn’t have to.
My sense is that the FMA brought home to Sullivan how profoundly conservative, in the non-libertarian sense of the word, Bush really is. His doubts about Bush are very much my own. The essential difference is that when I look at Kerry I cannot imagine America or the West being anything other than devasted by four years of a man so utterly out of touch with America and, frankly, the rest of the world.

If the world worked entirely on the basis of elites Kerry might be a sound choice; but the world doesn't. It works because regular people who know which cars they own - because they have to make the payments every month - show up. Bush understands that, Kerry doesn't and does not, in fifty days, have the capacity to learn, even if he wanted to. Which he doesn't.

It's precisely because I am so pro-war that I am so enraged that this administration went into Iraq on a wing and a prayer, when so much was at stake. I'm not alone in this among many neoconservatives; I'm just alone in being so vocal about it. I still hope we win; and I will support any president, including this one, who is serious about fighting it. But, unlike others, I cannot ignore the evidence of incompetence in front of me for short-term political reasons.
Sullivan is wrestling with his sure knowledge that Kerry really is a threat to the security of the West. His rage is our rage, his anger at the failure of the present Administration to prosecute the war with the rigor and the ruthlessness which it requires is our anger.

The difference is that I know, as does Sullivan though he won't admit it, that Kerry would be ever so much worse.

A bet: come election day Sullivan, disgusted with Johnny Cambodia will be back to holding his nose and backing Bush. What a long strange trip it will have been.