|The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)|
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Sullivan discovers that minorities who live in urban areas are more likely to vote Democrat:
And if Billy Beane discovers a magic pony who shits hundred dollar bills, the rest of the American League is really up against it.
It amazes me to recall that Sullivan was once considered the sine qua non of the blogosphere. Someone (I forget who) once proposed a "Sullivan count" whereby bloggers would be rated by the number of links from Sullivan's blog to theirs. (At the time Sullivan had three links, to Instapundit, Steven Den Beste, and Mickey Kaus.) I enjoyed reading Sullivan when he debuted in 2001, but 9/11 was clearly out of his league. He turned maudlin and incoherent, viz. his praise for the first post-terrorist Onion issue:
I loved The Onion in its heyday, which is long past. The TV listings of that issue were marginally amusing; everything else sucked. (What the Wisconsin emigres had to offer was "Holy Fucking Shit", which they had already used for their historical satire of the Apollo moon landing.)
Sullivan was already pro-Bush, and became a supporter of the war on terror. He did some useful work exposing the shameful beliefs and tactics of the anti-war left:
Sullivan mocked the more egregious bloviations of the left with his "Sontag Award Nominees" (which we haven't seen for awhile; wonder why?). For instance:
But fundamentally, Sullivan was only in favor of war if no one got hurt. He did not understand that even with the best intentions and meticulous care, war is a dirty, messy, bloody business. Thus when some American jailers were caught posing Iraqi prisoners Mapplethorpe-style, Sullivan snivelled like a child who finds out where meat comes from and insists that her family turn vegetarian:
Over the past few months Sullivan increasingly sniped at Bush and twirled his hair when Kerry was nearby. Finally he endorsed Kerry. I won't bother criticizing Sullivan's endoresement, because Lileks has already torn it to shreds. Sullivan's detractors claim that his rather sudden switch is due to Bush's support for the anti-gay marriage "Federal Marriage Amendment" is the only issue that Sullivan finds dear. But I think that the aspects of Sullivan's personality that caused him to flip-flop have nothing to do with his sexuality.
Sullivan is a self-absorbed individual, as you can tell by reviewing the title of the post I quoted above. "The Chastening?" Has there been a more pretentious title for a blog post? The Abu Ghraib scandal affected many people: The prisoners who were abused, the guards who will break rocks for the next decade or two, and the chain of command of those guards. No one gives a damn that Mr. Sullivan's face turned a delicate shade of red.
Sullivan also shares many character defects with the pundit class as a whole. While always happy to criticize others' actions, he sees no reason to question his own doings. In his endorsement Sullivan claims that "in wartime, a president bears the greater responsibility for keeping the country united. And this president has fundamentally failed in this respect." Never mind, as Lileks noted, that half the political spectrum now entertains itself by mocking Bush as a moron and holding Two Minute Hates with the president playing the role of Emmanuel Goldstein. And never mind that Bush was able to convince the Senate to approve his adventure in Iraq -- and that one of those Senators voting yes was his opponent in the presidential race. (For that matter, Kerry claims to have the same position as Bush on gay marriage. Sullivan -- and I -- may not like it, but opposition to gay marriage is one issue where America is quite united.)
What has Sullivan been doing for the past three years to foster unity in this country? The answer, of course, is "not a fucking thing." Sullivan attacked the excesses of the anti-war left, and the homophobic troglodytes who make up the right. He has more scornful "awards" -- Derbyshire, Sontag, Hoffman -- than I can keep track of.
Like many pundits, Sullivan has vast areas of ignorance and has no real interest in patching the gaps in his knowledge. Witness this complaint about Bush:
It doesn't help that Sullivan appears to have no idea of the enormous authority that the President commands -- or for that matter, that campaigning is a politician's natural habitat in an election year. Bush is head of an enterprise with millions of employees, and is many layers removed from the happenings of a military prison. Just what did Sullivan expect Bush to do, drop everything and return to the White House to engage in nonstop teleconferencing with the prison guard's superiors? "I want to see photos, every hour on the hour, and I'd better not see anyone's bare ass!"
Finally, Sullivan is prone to making ridiculous arguments just for the sake of taking a contrary position. Some of his rationalizations for supporting Kerry were so incoherent as to be borderline insulting to his readers' intelligence. For instance:
"It's a simple argument and it goes as follows: One reason to vote for John Ashcroft for president of the ACLU is that he will be forced to take civil liberties seriously." Drivel like this is almost too painful and too embarrassing to read. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: What remains of nexus of the early 2000's blogosphere.
(Please note that although Sullivan makes considerable money off his blog, and has an intern to help him, his site has no search function and I had to find many quotes using Google.)
Yeah....Sullivan was once one of like 5 blogs that I read religiously every day for the last few years, but I just can't do so anymore.
By 5:52 PM, at