It is reasonable to ask we spend so much time on Sullivan. The other front pagers have their own reason; you can find mine right here. Two weeks after he wanted to crown Paul Ryan king, Sullivan seems to fully understand the rot at the core of Ryan’s plan.
The process matters. Although he did not articulate it clearly enough at first, his overriding concern was long-term Medicare cost expansion. When people pressed him he reiterated the point more explicitly. When people (presumably including me) pointed out logical holes Sullivan absorbed their argument and slowly migrated towards reality. In other words Sullivan acknowledges criticism and responds to it appropriately. You may not realize how unusual this is but believe me, I make a point out of engaging with people who will engage and it is rare as hell. James Joyner is another example, and it’s no coincidence that he found himself alienated and anathematized from the conservative borg. In his Republican days John Cole accommodated new ideas better than most people on any side of the internetosphere, and look what happened to him.
The point is not that that Sullivan will ever become Markos Moulitsas. No sense waiting for a train that won’t come. The point is that intelligent and openminded people are a precious commodity on the internet. We do well to engage with people like that, even when they’re being so openminded (as with the Bell Curve crapola) that their brains fall out.
Since I swore an oath about no more Sullivan posts and I did kind of break it, here’s a picture of Max.