Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sharp Bits From Andrew Sullivan

I read Sullivan every day during the last presidential campaign. He was the only conservative I could bear to read and before 2004 I still cared about hearing the other side. He was not a Bush supporter then - mostly appalled by the fiscal diarrheas and the war - but he usually offered smart insights. He was also an openly religious gay man and I liked what he had to say about religion and politics. (He observation that new mega-churches resemble malls for the same reason medieval churches resemble castles was dead on, that reason being that's what the times valued - shopping in our own, political strength 600 years ago. )

Now over the last few days he's offered two sharp bits I have to share.

First on Carville's remark that Richardson's endorsement of Obama, on Friday, was ironic because it was just like Judas on Good Friday betraying Jesus (which actually is remembered in the Christian church on Thursday - but whatever!) , Sullivan wrote this:

it's good to see the mindset of an unreconstructed Clintonite partisan like Carville: the Clintons are Jesus and all disagreement is treason. Sound like the Bush administration to me. Which is why a third Clnton term, while marginally different in policy, would be very similar on issues of transparency, paranoia, entitlement, secrecy and vindictiveness.
I noted that similarity between Bush and the Clinton's behavioral tendencies as well.

And then regarding Bill Clinton astonishing remark about his wife and McCain being two people who love their country, Sullivan wrote this (which had me laughing out loud):

I think the statement just speaks to Clinton's staggering sense of ownership of the Democratic party and the unconcious assumption that his wife deserves to be the nominee. I still think the Clintons cannot believe the gall of anyone daring to challenge their power or their specious self-regard. I've said it before, but imagine if Clinton had won over a dozen primaries in a row, was ahead in the delegate count, ahead in the popular vote, and way ahead in the number of states won. Don't you think the pressure on Obama to pull out would be enormous? And wouldn't Clinton regard his persistence as treachery? And yet Clinton in the exact same situation carries on, with a minimal chance of victory,and actually had the gall to offer Obama a veep slot. Who on earth does she think she is? At best it's pure Clinton entitlement. At worst it's white entitlement.

Oh, well, I tried to defend the Clintons and look where I ended up. Better luck next time.

Later, he quoted a reader who noted, accurately to me, that
I felt the same way as you about B. Clinton's "love America" remarks, until I saw the whole thing: he ended with the words (as I recall them) "That's my argument for Hillary." In saying that, he, in fact, made it particular and implied that the same would not apply to Sen. Obama. As you have noted many times, there's not much they say that's not carefully calibrated. So whereas I agree with the core of his sentiments -- that it would be nice to have a campaign strictly about issues -- he actually made a differentiation between Hillary and Barack. I'm a strong Democrat, and a (former) admirer of both Bill and Hillary. I heard her talk a year or two ago in Seattle and was highly impressed. Now, I find myself wanting to switch channels when I see her; as I do when I see Bush.
I too want to change the channel whenever I see her. I stopped being an admirer of Bill and Hillary in 1992.

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