Hitting Unsubscribe

Yesterday Rush Limbaugh issued an obviously sarcastic rant about the killing of bin Laden. Andrew Sullivan’s reaction was that Limbaugh was “going out of his way to celebrate Obama’s singular role”. Even after his readers alerted him that Limbaugh was being sarcastic, Sully added:

Some readers seem to think Limbaugh is being sarcastic. I didn’t.

After it dawns on him that Limbaugh wasn’t serious, and about the time that Media Matters posted the clip embedded above where Rush points and laughs at a Hill item that says essentially the same thing as Sully did, he posts a “world may be flat, opinions differ” item about what Limbaugh said. Finally, seven hours after it was obvious to anyone who listened to the three minutes excerpted above, he begrudgingly admits that “It’s become pretty clear it was sarcasm.”

Because this happened so quickly, the only difference between it and the lengthy Ryan fiasco was that Sullivan didn’t have time to shower his critics with Moore awards for being insufficiently respectful while pointing out the bloody obvious.

I can stomach wrongheaded analysis, different political views, bad musical taste and a whole host of other annoyances if the blog I’m reading at least gets the facts right. Sullivan is wrong on the facts far too much of the time to be trusted on anything, and when he’s wrong, he commits the even worse sin of being unable to issue a speedy and complete correction. I’ve subscribed to his blog for years, but I hit unsubscribe this morning with very little regret and a fair amount of relief.






124 replies
  1. 1
    nancydarling says:

    Welcome to the club, mistermix.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    Being gay is that dumbass MFer’s only redeeming social feature.

  3. 3
    Michael says:

    On a meta-note, I’ve been saying this sort of thing about Sully for years, and I’m glad you’ve finally come around. :)

  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    “Being gay is that dumbass MFer’s only redeeming social feature.”

    Oh, and by that, I mean Sully, not Rush.

    Rush has NO redeeming social features.

    At least not until he’s 6 feet under.

  5. 5
    Elroy's Lunch says:

    Thanks for reading Sully for us. I stopped some time ago. You have grit, sir.

  6. 6
    RosiesDad says:

    I’ve subscribed to his blog for years, but I hit unsubscribe this morning with very little regret and a fair amount of relief.

    And it didn’t even require a complete 12 step program.

  7. 7
    Ash Can says:

    So was Sully hanging around McMeggie for too long, or was it the other way around?

  8. 8
    jomo says:

    It wasn’t just Sullivan who thought there were sincere moments in the Rush monologue. The list is long of people who bought it. Listen to the original monologue – he argued several cogent and strong points regarding the method and planning of the successful operations – and then said “thank gawd for President Obama – he was the only person to have seen the right way.”. Beyond these followups – what exactly about Obama is he mocking? That he was competent? or Resolute? Of course he was kidding; it’s Limbaugh – but people were confused because it honestly failed as sarcasm.

  9. 9
    Ash Can says:

    And BTW, who the hell still listens to Rush Limbaugh, anyway?

  10. 10
    Peter J says:

    I’m not clear about the minions posting for Sullivan, but two hours after his last post on Limbaugh, Z.P. wrapped the day up with this:

    Limbaugh praised Obama, and Dish readers were convinced it was all sarcasm.

    It’s just sad.

  11. 11
    Emma says:

    From those of us who have been pointing out the failure of intellectual courage called Sullivan, we welcome you into the “Andrew who?” club.

  12. 12
    Peter J says:

    Took me about 4 seconds reading the transcript to understand that Limbaugh was mocking Obama.
    I guess bullshit or sarcasm detecting isn’t a requirement for a nice job at the Atlantic or the Daily Beast, or Sullivan would have been without a job a long time ago.

  13. 13
    johnny walker says:

    Same here, though I quit reading a while back. The combination of his festishes for austerity and gatekeeping the public conversation became overwhelming, and it just got old watching him make the same mistake (or “mistake” ?) over and over. If I’m going to read a blog about not learning lessons it might as well be amusing stories about John injuring himself and repeatedly getting too drunk. That I can relate to.

    @Peter J: Well it’s either that or they place a high value on playing the role of ever-credulous well-meaning useful doofus.

  14. 14
    Lee says:

    I read Sully for years as well. When I finally stopped reading him I had the exact same feeling.

    Now if I can just get other people to start ignoring him as well.

  15. 15
    Pancake says:

    How does one “unsubscribe” to a blog other than simply deleting from the bookmark list, or the functional equivalent?

  16. 16
    Lee says:

    @Ash Can:

    Scared old white people.

    My father-in-law listens to him religiously. The sad part is that my father-in-law ONLY gets his news from Rush/Beck/Fox. He still thinks we found WMDs in Iraq, that Iraq trained the 9/11 hijackers and any other wingnut ideas of the last 20 years.

  17. 17
    AAA Bonds says:

    Great day for this title:

    On this day, May 3, in 1978, the first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (which would later become known as “spam”) was sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.

  18. 18
    Lee says:

    @Pancake:

    If you get the blog via RSS you unsubscribe to it.

  19. 19
    alwhite says:

    Remind me again why anyone reads that piece of shit.

    Seriously -I am not being sarcastic. What is the fascination? I quit a long time ago when it became obvious he never, even once, not by accident had a column that was accurate and made sense. Did he do that once? I must have missed it.

  20. 20
    Alexandra says:

    Funny coincidence, mistermix. After yesterday, unprompted, last night I took him down a couple of dozen notches in my US politics bookmarks list and unsubscribed from his RSS feed. Thanks for confirming that I’m not the only one who thought yesterday’s foolishness was such a blindingly poor misreading and misjudgement.

    Besides… the windows, faces, awards and beard frottage are getting dull as fucking hell.

  21. 21
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I noticed that Sullivan still is not in the Blogs We Monitor And Mock As Needed section…

    @Pancake:
    People use newsfeed aggregators like Google Reader so they don’t have to visit each of the dozens of sites and blogs they read every day individually.

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    There’s a sequence here:

    1) Sullivan wishes that American conservatism hadn’t sold out to thugs. He’s not a dummy, he understands what that signifies and what it points to.

    2) Some American conservative says or does something that, if you kinda squint and hyperventilate, does not absolutely and immediately appear to be thuggish. Rapture.

    3) This is the revealing bit: anyone who disagrees gets attacked as ‘hard left’. Something for the psychologically inclined to chew on.

    4) Rapture fades, subject gets changed.

    5) Rinse, repeat.

  23. 23
    johnny walker says:

    jomo: I don’t see where there would be confusion. It was blatantly obvious that his thing was playing up the whole “Obama is arrogant; Obama said ‘I’ too many times” thing from the get-go. Maybe I just roll in more sarcastic circles than most, but wouldn’t intentionally making it subtle mean some portion of his audience would honestly think he was praising Obama? Or was the idea that they’d pick up on it while the rest of us gave him credit? Would that mean Limbaugh just invented dog-whistle sarcasm?

    @Ash Can: A fuckload of people, unfortunately, and even more through second- third- etc-hand retellings of his nonsense.

  24. 24
    AAA Bonds says:

    Sullivan nurses the “George Orwell” fantasy of many unskilled iconoclasts: he wishes to believe that his inconsistencies prove his independent thinking. If you grasp this, it’s easier to understand Andrew Sullivan, but you don’t have to because you can also just stop reading him like I did years ago

  25. 25
    cleek says:

    i dropped him last week, after his “why did Obama wait so long to release the BC” nonsense.

  26. 26
    AAA Bonds says:

    Seriously, folks, why would anyone on the left want to read this guy after he accused all of us of being fifth columnists and then attempted to roll it on back so he could join us on the war? With all sensitivity to stereotypes, the man is prone to fits of hysteria. As far as I know, Mr. Cole never accused us of being traitors to our country.

  27. 27
    Chyron HR says:

    @Lee:
    @Jay in Oregon:

    Correcting Pancake? That’s a Pancakein’.

  28. 28
    nancydarling says:

    @Chyron HR: I thought Pancake was just behaving pedantically.

  29. 29
    saucy says:

    I stopped reading Sullivan about a year and a half ago. I experienced the same reaction as mistermix. Sullivan’s negative energy is remarkable and I was a happier person (and wiser, I suspect) once I stopped reading.

  30. 30
    Nylund says:

    “It’s become pretty clear it was sarcasm.”

    “It’s becoming?” Like it’s something in transition, that is evolving? That’s like saying, “It’s becoming clear that the Green Bay Packers won the superbowl.”

    It’s a static event that happened in the past. “It” isn’t doing anything. The only thing in transition is the opinion of Andrew’s slow mind as it catches up to everyone else, but every time it takes one step forward, it takes two steps back.

  31. 31
    Ash Can says:

    @Lee: That’s just sad.

  32. 32
    johnny walker says:

    @alwhite: I think some of us really, really want to find a sane conservative to read. I know I personally hate the idea of being stuck in the lefty echo chamber and turning into some liberal version of the dude Lee is describing upthread, and I’d love to read someone who isn’t a raving nutcase make an intelligent argument for stuff I don’t believe in. That’s a great way to get better at forming your own arguments, but where do you turn? Am I supposed to read David Fucking Frum and pretend that he didn’t help create a bunch of the garbage he’s now decrying?

    At this point, for me it’s down to Larison, Weigel and a piped OTB thread that excludes everyone but Taylor, Knapp and of course Joyner. Thinking that there are maybe a half-dozen sane conservatives out there on the internets anymore really sucks. So you hope that Andrew isn’t crazy… and eventually you give up.

  33. 33
    Jon Marcus says:

    I’m no big fan of Sully’s, but this is what caused you to drop him? That he made a mistake and it took him a whole 7 hours to correct himself?? Even you acknowledge that this correction “happened rather quickly.”

    Hell, how many people (especially conservatives) are willing to ever admit error, let alone do so within 24 hours?

  34. 34
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Andrew Sullivan = Charlie Brown
    Conservatism = Lucy
    The lesson will never be learned ball will never be kicked.

  35. 35
    Pococurante says:

    MM, your blood pressure thanks you. Your brain will no longer try to escape in the morning…

  36. 36
    Young Conor says:

    He’s not had an auspicious start to his Daily Beast tenure, I’d say. Maybe he’s gaining more Politico-style heh indeed wannabe insider conservative types, but I’m not reading him even half as much as I used to, and am now at the point where I don’t even find his failures to be interesting. As someone earlier said, he makes the same mistake in the same way over and over, and, at heart, all of his positions and opinions are abnormally determined by his immediate psychological needs — more so than is usual for a bllogger (which is something, indeed).

  37. 37
    Quiddity says:

    I am glad that mistermix made this post. I listened to Limbaugh on Monday and it was clear he was being sarcastic (and it’s clear even from reading a transcript).

    Here’s the thing – Sullivan has already shown his inability to understand math, as evidenced with his obtuseness regarding the Ryan budget plan or any form of Keynesian economics. But there was a perception in some quarters that, Sully don’t do math, but at least he’s good with words. Well, so much for that.

    More and more he’s coming off as a dim bulb. Either that, or he’s happy in his prosperous married life in the USA and has become flat-out lazy.

  38. 38
    WereBear says:

    I never got “the Sullivan” in the first place.

    But, pleased to hear people actually ran around and praised Rush for giving credit where it was due. Probably because it’s inconceivable that someone would find something to complain about on that particular front.

    Hope it stung.

  39. 39
    Young Conor says:

    @johnny walker: Co-sign all of this. Especially the filtering of Mataconis.

  40. 40
    Trinity says:

    Come on in mistermix. The gang’s all here.

  41. 41
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @MattF:

    I think you nailed it.

    Sullivan wants so badly to believe that his cherished ideology isn’t a refuge for thieves, hucksters, bigots and hypocritical scolds that he will bend over backwards, plug his ears and scream “LALALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” when people try to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

    I mean, seriously; Rush Limbaugh would probably choose to be waterboarded over giving a Democrat one word of genuine praise.

  42. 42
    johnny walker says:

    @Jon Marcus: Er, huh? It isn’t this in isolation. It’s this combined with a long history of other incidents just like it. It’s the fact that he didn’t admit he was wrong so much as he described the situation as having changed. “It’s become pretty clear it was sarcasm.” — oh hi there, it’s our old friend Mr. Passive Voice — is nowhere near the same as “I fucked up, I got taken again, my bad.” Not only is he still hedging by describing it as “pretty clear” rather than using words like blatantly, obviously, inescapably, etc. but in Sullivan’s formulation, “it” is the non-entity that made (or more accurately caused) the mistake. If only it would stop letting Sully down.

  43. 43
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @alwhite:

    EDIT: IGNORE, please ignore, mistook who alwhite was referring to in his post, my bad, it’s morning, I need caffeine.

  44. 44
    Erin says:

    This is exactly the problem I have, Johnny Walker. I am desperate for a sane conservative to read. Everyone, even intelligent people on the Left, can run the risk of being trapped in the echo chamber. Outside perspective from a sane conservative is necessary in order to keep re-examining my liberal perspectives. Andrew Sullivan is the only person I’ve found who can fill that niche for me, and why I persist on reading him.

    Yes, he is often wrong. Yes, he is maddeningly inconsistent. Yes, his blind spots are big enough to drive an Apache helicopter through. But, in his defense, he is smart, he is always willing to question his own side, and he goes out of his way to find different perspectives on almost every situation. (Unfortunately, even when those perspectives are from dumb-asses.)

    Until someone can suggest an alternative, I’m stuck with Sully.

  45. 45
    WereBear says:

    @Jay in Oregon: ullivan wants so badly to believe that his cherished ideology isn’t a refuge for thieves, hucksters, bigots and hypocritical scolds that he will bend over backwards, plug his ears and scream “LALALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” when people try to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

    Which actually makes him a highly typical conservative, and can be read for his weather vane abilities.

    But I’ll read a sensible conservative when there is one. I don’t need a vague sense of false equivalence by so doing; that’s a feeling I try to avoid.

  46. 46
    martin says:

    Why pick on Sully? Maura Liasson NPR’s White House correspondent and Fox “liberal” was reporting yesterday on All Things Considered that Rush was congratulating Obama. She dropped it by this morning, but there was no excuse for it in the first place.

  47. 47
    johnny walker says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Have we considered the possibility that he simply doesn’t spend much time with a given post, video, quote, etc? I haven’t been following him at BrownPo, but the sheer quantity of stuff he used to put out at the Atlantic makes me wonder.

    Of course he’s Oxford-educated and has assistants, and I’m a community college grad who is easily distracted by shiny objects. It may just be that my estimation is off given I tend to read everything 3 times to make sure I have it right.

  48. 48
    alwhite says:

    @johnny walker:

    Name a single subject on which the modern “conservative” can be sane. There was a time when conservative meant something & it was possible to be reasoned, reasonable and conservative. But we passed that several years ago. Sane conservative are now Democrats like Obama. All that is left for the conservative movement is a blind adherence to insanity and sadism.

  49. 49
    johnny walker says:

    @alwhite:

    Name a single subject on which the modern “conservative” can be sane. … Sane conservative are now Democrats like Obama.

    Well, you basically answered your own question.

    Democrat != Liberal

    Republican != conservative (I know this one sounds sillier given there are no moderate republicans, but think about their record on ie. spending. not the least bit reflective of conservative values.)

    So it would be someone who can argue conservative ideas and etc. that I don’t believe in without resorting to made-up crap like death panels. In general, I agree that conservatism sucks. That’s why I’m a liberal. That said, I’d be nutty in my own right to convince myself that every single tenet of the stuff I believe in is correct, but it’s kinda hard to actively seek to prove yourself wrong and I’m not getting much help from rightbloggers who all seem to be attempting to transcribe fart noises.

    Without a little assistance from the so-called loyal opposition, I kinda worry that someday I end up in the echo chamber to the point where, ie, I’m defending state liquor monopolies and other things that I honestly can’t figure out the use for, simply because IM LIBERAL. Know what I mean?

  50. 50
    Blue Galangal says:

    @johnny walker: I can read David Frum, albeit with a jaundiced eye, but the problem there is wading through the frickin’ crazies all over FrumForum. And I don’t mean the commenters.

  51. 51
    johnny walker says:

    @Blue Galangal: You mean the other Frumbloggers? If so check out Yahoo Pipes.

    http://pipes.yahoo.com

    You can create a feed that excludes any posters you don’t like. I have one for OTB that cuts out Mataconis and (ugh) Dodd.

  52. 52
    RossInDetroit says:

    I unsubscribed from Sullivan last fall. So many words, so little thought. You’d think he was being paid by the character and saving up for a house. When your commenters have to regularly straighten you out on basic facts you’re Doing it Wrong.

  53. 53
    JAHILL10 says:

    I dropped Sullivan over the murder of the abortion doctor in Kansas. It took I don’t know how many stories from real women and families who had had to make heartbreaking decisions about late abortions to make that dumb, unempathetic mo-fo realize that the entire world is not encompassed within his limited experience. I just got so tired of the Sully’s preconceptions/catholicism meets the real world faux drama. He might eventually make a correction, revise a statement, but that only brings him momentarily up to the level of reasonable, empathetic human being. Before long he’s dropped back down to trolling with the other Republican hand maidens.

  54. 54
    SFAW says:

    Name a single subject on which the modern “conservative” can be sane on

    Baseball? (Except for George Will, of course.)

    Nylund –

    “It’s become” is not the same as “it’s becoming”. The former is approximately past tense, the latter is not.

    Thx from Pedants’R’Us

  55. 55
    jim filyaw says:

    as for sully, if he were convinced that all post-65ers were gay and hiv positive, i’m sure he’d see the absolute need for medicare.

  56. 56
    johnny walker says:

    @JAHILL10: Right, it’s kinda like repeatedly hitting your kid and then feeling bad and apologizing. After a certain point we have to acknowledge that if you really gave a shit you wouldn’t hit him in the first place.

  57. 57
    Sapheriel says:

    welcome to the club. i hit unsubscribe a long time ago.

  58. 58
    SFAW says:

    When your commenters have to regularly straighten you out on basic facts you’re Doing it Wrong.

    One would have thought that Sullivan would have picked a better role model than Pantload. Although, I guess technically, Jonah gets his commenters to do his work for him, so that may not come under the heading of “straighten you out”.

  59. 59
    Joy says:

    I used to read Sully to find a somewhat sane conservative blog so that I wasn’t caught up in a vaccuum too, but about a year ago, he REALLY got nutty and I had to stop. His posts usually made no sense and the fact he doesn’t allow comment bascially made his arguments one-sided, which I suppose was the purpose anyway. Some days it appears he’s off his meds. He’s all over the place.

  60. 60
    Perfect Tommy says:

    While watching coverage of the raid last night on CNN this crawled across the chyron:

    Rush Limbaugh: Thank God for President Obama.

  61. 61
    PeakVT says:

    I think it’s pretty hopeless to find a “sane” conservative for regular reading on a broad range of issues. There are conservatives that I read because they confine their writing to a few issues that I am interested in, which means I don’t have to wade through crap about Obama’s birth certificate or how the Democrats are socialists or any of the other bullshit that circles the wingnutosphere.

  62. 62
    kamalokitty says:

    For what it’s worth, Sullivan says a lot of half baked things, but he also puts up the criticism of his half baked shit, and takes the public flogging. I’ve been reading him for years, despite the irrational religiosity, because he has an impressive, smart audience. The ones who schooled him on the fakery of “tort reform” sticks out most in my mind.

    However, the Ryan crap of late, his opinion that harming people for religious reasons should be constitutionally protected, his chime in on “what took you so long,” and then Rush Limbaugh, huh? Whatever happened to considering the source?

    I took him off my bookmarks. It’s not worth mining through shit to get to some interesting reading. I’ll miss his really smart dissenters, though.

  63. 63
    Uplift says:

    I applaud this.

  64. 64
    JAHILL10 says:

    Actually I think it must chap Limbaugh’s big ass that so many people missed his sarcasm simply because most folks are really pleased that we got bin Laden. I think that is hilarious.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @johnny walker: Rushing into print is an explanation for error, but, were it the sole explanation, some of his errors would favor the left. They don’t seem to do so. If all of his misunderstandings and jumping to conclusions favor conservatives, I put it down to preference. The fact that he eventually responds to the beatings he takes does redound slightly in his favor, but the boy doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes. He is like a goldfish and little plastic castle is a surprise every time (h/t Ani DiFranco).

  66. 66
    slippy says:

    What took you so long? I swear, I had had enough of Sullivan’s pearl-clutching self-reverential horseshit about four years ago. He’s nothing but a hack, and a stupid one. His half-baked pseudo-intellectual bullshit contrarian turds were so rancid I couldn’t stand hearing his simpering narrative voice in my head. What a total fucking wankmachine he is.

  67. 67
    whetstone says:

    I hit “unsubscribe” after The Bell Curve.

  68. 68
    WereBear says:

    @JAHILL10: It was a line too fine to walk.

    And that’s not a comment on his avoirdupoisity. He’s not a big enough person (gd, there I go again) to acknowledge that he’d be praising Bush to the skies for the very same action.

    Flow, wingnut tears, flow. Something you claimed you wanted so very much was brought to you by someone you find impossible to praise.

  69. 69
    PeakVT says:

    Reposting because of of the spam filter…..

    I think it’s pretty hopeless to find a “sane” conservative for regular reading on a broad range of issues. There are conservatives that I read because they confine their writing to a few issues that I am interested in, which means I don’t have to wade through crap about Obama’s birth certificate or how the Democrats are soçialists or any of the other bullshit that circles the wingnutosphere.

  70. 70
    JAHILL10 says:

    @WereBear: Tell me if you think this is wrong, but with this coming so closely on the heels of the birther nonsense, do you suppose the big squishy middle of the electorate is finally seeing this “Obama can do no right” drum beating for what it really is?
    I am super interested to see how the whole debt ceiling thing plays out now, because I think the Republicans just lost their hand. They have no hand.

  71. 71
    gex says:

    Fortunately, we have just the commenter ranks who can justify calling him a FAG as in insult, but not in a homophobic hateful way. See, to describe something we dislike we often compare it to a bundle of sticks to really get our message across, right Yevgref or whatever your fucking handle is?

  72. 72
    cmorenc says:

    I watched a clip of Rush’s opening monologue yesterday. Yes, Limbaugh was attempting some sarcasm toward Obama with the he did it alone meme. NEVERTHELESS it was obvious that Rush couldn’t help himself from hugely admiring Obama’s sheer brass balls in pulling off such a bold, stunningly successful accomplishment of the exact sort Rush approves of (and wishes had been done under a conservative GOP President). That’s why the sarcastic element fell so flat; for one day anyway, Rush couldn’t help himself being an O-bot fan-boy. This won’t last long, of course, but for one day, Rush was an O-bot, whether he wanted to be or not.

  73. 73
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @PeakVT:

    I think it’s pretty hopeless to find a “sane” conservative for regular reading on a broad range of issues.

    I don’t see why so many people find it worth trying to find a sane conservative in the first place. It’s like seeking out the least rank bottle of spoiled milk, then passing it around so that everyone else can smell and taste how rotten it is. Just don’t drink it. It’s long past its sell-by date.

  74. 74
    Barry says:

    @MattF: “Sullivan wishes that American conservatism hadn’t sold out to thugs. He’s not a dummy, he understands what that signifies and what it points to.”

    But he goes along with the thug ideas. For example in economics, he’s 100% onboard with the idea that anybody who’s not rich should be scr*wed over by the government, as much as possible, while the rich get protected and subsidized.

    See ‘Plan, Ryan, Oh So Courageous’ for a prime example.

  75. 75
    gex says:

    @Erin: I went looking for a sane conservative to read too. I found Balloon Juice via Sullivan and was happy to upgrade.

  76. 76
    WereBear says:

    @JAHILL10: I am super interested to see how the whole debt ceiling thing plays out now, because I think the Republicans just lost their hand. They have no hand.

    No hand at all!

    I completely agree; I think this incident is such a game-changer. On a deep, fundamental, emotional level, where Right Wingers have been used to effortlessly pressing buttons like Freedom! Death! Skeeery Mooooslims! we now have President Obama reaping the benefit.

    To cite just one example: for decades Republicans OWNED the National Security Issue. Unquestionably, shut down debate bone deep reflex; oh, yeah, you want Republicans for that. (Buzzer!) Not any more, suckers!

  77. 77
    Mike in NC says:

    Sullivan wishes that American conservatism hadn’t sold out to thugs.

    He’ll never get the fact that they’re not really admirers of Winston Churchill, but adore George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, and Lester Maddox.

  78. 78
    gex says:

    Where is Yevgref anyway? I can’t start my day with out an anti-gay slur, and I’d rather take it from “friend” rather than foe. I’m from Minnesota, I’d rather hear him slur gays before I have to take one from Bachmann.

  79. 79
    Keith G says:

    When Sully gets called on his more imbecilic writing, he trots out the excuse (paraphrased) “I blog in real time, so what you see is the development of thought, not a final product.”

    I have a relative who likes to bully and berate others with her “honest and outspoken” opinion. Her excuse to me was, “I just speak my mind.”

    My response to her was, “It would help if your mind was more advanced than a twelve year old’s.”

    She has stopped sharing with me.

    edited

  80. 80
    danimal says:

    Sully is a proxy for the conventional ‘wisdom’ and can be useful in that role. He’s such a knee-jerk emo fool that not everyone should read him as he goes off the rails and slowly gets back on track.

    ANYONE who understands Limbaugh knows he was being sarcastic. The man is a partisan through and through. The GOP POV yesterday was to compliment Obama and pivot to Bush policies as the real impetus for getting Bin Laden. Admittedly, I didn’t listen to him, but I’ll still wager that he choked on any compliment to Obama before touting GOP accomplishments. It’s who he is.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gex: Sleeping it off and/or hungover.

  82. 82
    Jim Pharo says:

    I’ll just say this once and then shut up: Why does anyone care about Andrew Sullivan outside of his family and friends? As a public intellectual her’s a farce. He’s not even an entertaining writer. I long ago dismissed his “opinions” because they were, well, dumb.

    Must be that English accent…

  83. 83
    RossInDetroit says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t see why so many people find it worth trying to find a sane conservative in the first place.

    Because there’s hope that someone somewhere is trying to represent what was good about American conservatism before it disappeared and evil took its place.
    We live conservatively at home because we have the means. We vote liberal because others don’t. There used to be Republicans who were moderate on social issues. No, really. You can look it up. Old style economic conservatism had something to contribute to the political debate. I don’t know where that’s gone but I really hate what replaced it.

  84. 84
    jazzgurl says:

    Sully is just one person,people. I used to have him bookmarked and go there everyday skipping over the catholicism , the beagle, the husband, the beard, the knee-jerk anxieties, the awards. And then since his hiatus and consequent return and on to the rambling meandering gig at the Daily Beast I realised that I was skipping most of what he said and now I simply don’t bother! Sad really. especially since I had recommended him to a few of my friends a few years ago. I guess he hasn’t grown much but is simply stuck!

  85. 85
    burnspbesq says:

    @jomo:

    It wasn’t just Sullivan who thought there were sincere moments in the Rush monologue. The list is long of people who bought it. Listen to the original monologue – he argued several cogent and strong points regarding the method and planning of the successful operations – and then said “thank gawd for President Obama – he was the only person to have seen the right way.”. Beyond these followups – what exactly about Obama is he mocking? That he was competent? or Resolute? Of course he was kidding; it’s Limbaugh – but people were confused because it honestly failed as sarcasm.

    Not only that, Limbaugh played with the timeline in a fairly scurrilous way. After listening to his open, if you didn’t know the truth, you would believe that the torture that pried loose the identity of the courier was conducted on Obama’s watch.

    The guy is awfully good at what he does.

  86. 86
    LosGatosCA says:

    It’s getting harder to distinguish between the nonsense that is Sullivan making a huge gaffe in an obvious way due to illogical non-reasoning and the ‘I’m so frustrated by Sullivan making a huge gaffe in an obvious way to illogical non-reasoning’.

    Glad to see some people are finally able to quit him, and join us in the fact based, critical thinking community. Even if we don’t understand the thrall you’ve been under in any way.

  87. 87
    Alex S. says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Yes, me too ( I also think it’s hilarious.).

    Well, Sully’s opinion was very bold and courageous.

  88. 88
    burnspbesq says:

    @Peter J:

    Took me about 4 seconds reading the transcript to understand that Limbaugh was mocking Obama.

    So fucking what? Did you listen? The transcript doesn’t even come close to telling the full story.

  89. 89
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim Pharo: To be all superior here, since I knew of him as the TNR editor of Bell Curve and Health Care character assassination fame, I was never drawn to his blog. Being accused of being a fifth columnist, in and of itself, would not have turned me away, but, when it was heaped on top of Sullivan’s pre-internet history, it was enough of a turn off that I only ever read him if someone links. Even then, I am often not sure why people thought him worth the html code.

  90. 90
    cinesimon says:

    Yep I’m well over mister Sullivan, too.
    I got this feeling that maybe a few weeks prior to his move to the Daily Beast, also around the time Ryan’s plan came out, he suddenly became Andrew Sullivan six months prior to Shock and Awe. Maybe worse, I don’t know.
    It blew my mind the shit he threw at his left-leaning readers: basically telling us we were all essentially as silly as those who wrote him the nastiest commie-lite notes of derision.
    I’ve long appreciated him as an honest and balanced view of what conservatism should and could be – but when he begins to behave like Bill O’Reilly does toward people disagree with him(and then tells everyone else they’re just as bad as the worst), and when he so gleefully celebrated Ryan’s plan with such clear ignorance and actual dishonesty with regards to what he thought he understood about it – I don’t know. Maybe he’s getting really ill.
    Because he’s certainly not the smart, considered guy I was reading only six months ago.
    And his nonsense about “liberal bullies” and his tantrum about Hunky Jesus topped it off for me. He clearly has no interest any more in open dialog and respectful, empathy -oriented disagreement. I wonder if he even bothered to think those queens might have found great comfort in mocking the symbol of an organisation that has systematically made so many of their lives a living hell. He certainly ought to have, but I very much doubt it.

    Such a shame.

    So who’s the 2009/2010 Sully?
    I really do seek a conservative of 2009/2010 era Sullivan’s stock to read, consider, respect and debate.
    Anyone?

  91. 91
    SBJules says:

    I still look at Sully for the view from my window features and contests. Sometimes I guess the continent correctly.

  92. 92
    stormhit says:

    So he had 3 or 4 posts detailing his exact thought process, but this is not fast enough a retraction for you?

    That’s actually a fairly moronic take.

  93. 93
    thm says:

    By the end of his three-hour show, then sure, it became obvious that Rush was being sarcastic. Or “came around to his senses.” But none of the sarcasm came through in the eight-minute clip that Sully linked to. I listened to it and kept waiting for the joke, the punch-line, the disgusted sigh, or any of the usual signs that Rush is in sarcasm mode, but it wasn’t there.

    Sully should know better than to think Rush has flipped. We could also wonder how much of his own shtick Rush himself actually believes: perhaps there was a little bit of Rush-the-real-nonstupid-person poking out, at the beginning, before Rush-the-radio-personality took over.

    But the eight-minute clip itself, out of the context of the three hours, sounds sincere. It creates a “Rush praises Obama” meme. Why is it a bad thing to push this? Isn’t it a good thing if non-Rush-listeners start to believe that “even Rush Limbaugh praised Obama on this”?

  94. 94
    Thymezone says:

    Sure, Sullivan is a complete ass and nobody in their right mind would pay any attention to him whatsoever.

    But luckily we have this blog whose only apparent purpose for existence is to watch him like a hawk and blather endlessly about every stupid inane thing the guy says and does, week after week and month after month and year after year. Thus, we perform an essential public service.

    What a fine, elegant system we’ve devised. It’s a perfect machine of futility. Like Donald Trump, you can be very proud of yourselves for exposing a necessary truth.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @stormhit: The straw that breaks the camel’s back need not be a large one.

  96. 96
    cinesimon says:

    Yes, Thymezone: let’s just all decide to see what we want to see.

  97. 97
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    Because there’s hope that someone somewhere is trying to represent what was good about American conservatism before it disappeared and evil took its place.

    There was never anything good about American conservatism. It was always based on either greed or pure malevolence.

  98. 98
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Perfect Tommy:

    While watching coverage of the raid last night on CNN this crawled across the chyron:
    __
    Rush Limbaugh: Thank God for President Obama.

    Headline News was also rocking that for quite some time yesterday.

    Best laugh I had all day when I saw that on the telly.

  99. 99
    Fred says:

    To the OP. Why not just poke needles in your eyes. It would be more fun!

  100. 100
    piratedan says:

    so in short… Sullivan is the last of the “honest” used car salesmen and essentially he’s running out of inventory.

  101. 101
    300baud says:

    I’ve never read him much, and really only find him interesting when he’s struggling with his internal contradictions (e.g., gay and conservative, gay and catholic, catholic but a free thinker, foreigner living abroad). But in regards to this:

    Sullivan is wrong on the facts far too much of the time to be trusted on anything, and when he’s wrong, he commits the even worse sin of being unable to issue a speedy and complete correction.

    Could it be that you’re expecting too much?

    This guy has an opinion on a wide variety of things, 30x day, every day. I don’t think one can post at high volume without revealing pretty much every personal flaw. And I suspect that if Andrew hadn’t had a particular set of useful flaws, he never would have ended up as one of the world’s most popular bloggers.

    He could just be running one of those shows that’s built more for growth, or an appeal to people with similar flaws. Getting over those is pretty natural.

  102. 102
    GregB says:

    The novelty of Sully is that he’s a conservative who will admit he’s wrong and the fact that he’s a conservative means he’s wrong 100% of the time.

  103. 103
    adolphus says:

    Wow, A Balloon Juice frontpager is swearing off Andrew Sullivan for good. Is it Tuesday again, already?

    Whenever Sully comes up it becomes a game of conspicuous non-consumption similar to that Monty Python skit where rich men were claiming ever increasing levels of poverty.

    “You just stopped reading him? I stopped last year when he wouldn’t drop his Trigger happy pontificate.”

    “Last year? I stopped reading him when he was at Time”

    “That’s nothing, I stopped reading him two weeks before he started his blog!”

    Sullivan is the Abba of political blogs. In public no one can denounce him strong enough. In private you know those same people are zipping up their spangly jump suits and shaking it to Dancing Queen.

  104. 104
    DRN0001 says:

    Sully’s pal, Conor Friersdorf, has a much more sophisticated read of Limbaugh’s devious and gutless gambit than either Sully or this article. http://www.theatlantic.com/pol.....es/238229/

  105. 105
    JAHILL10 says:

    @adolphus: Okay, that was funny and probably accurate.
    I think the reason a lot of liberals have a Brokeback Mountain relationship with Sullivan is his infrequent, nicely written fanboy posts for Obama. What I slowly came to realize is that in Obama Sullivan thinks sees a president/politician gifted enough to bring all the Republican wet dreams to fruition (destroy entitlement programs, etc.). Republicans will never have the guts to do it themselves because it will mean the end of their party; they need a charismatic liberal in name only to drag the country down that road. Someone of the “other” they can pin it on. Sullivan thinks Obama is that man. Hence all the brave and courageous talk about Ryan’s disastrous budget and “Where’s Obama’s plan?” crap of recent memory. Fortunately for us, Obama IS a charismatic liberal and he ain’t going down that road, let alone doing the Republicans’ dirty work for them. Sullivan is wrong again. Sun rises in east, water is wet…

  106. 106
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Erin:

    But, in his defense, he is smart,

    Dubious.

    he is always willing to question his own side,

    Did you miss that whole debacle with the Ryan plan?

    and he goes out of his way to find different perspectives on almost every situation

    You missed that whole debacle with the Ryan plan.

  107. 107
    danimal says:

    @adolphus: Bravo. Well played, sir.

    Balloon Juice: Come for the front-pagers, stay for the snark.

  108. 108
    Frank W. says:

    But I love “Dancing Queen”!

    Funny stuff, adolphus!

  109. 109
    HyperIon says:

    FRer wrote:

    I’ve subscribed to his blog for years, but I hit unsubscribe this morning with very little regret and a fair amount of relief.

    So can I take this as an indication that YOU will not be the source of anymore “Oh, that Sully can be such a moron” posts with links to his site?

    Because I am really tired of carefully reasoned posts from FPers here that conclude over and over that the guy is a moron and then link to him. He’s not the only guy who is wrong on the internet. Why not go for something besides the low hanging fruit?

  110. 110
    jim filyaw says:

    the only explanation for missing the intentional insult in limbaugh’s remarks is the lingering naivete about the man, the refusal to believe that some people are utterly without decency, morality, integrity, or honor. limbaugh is. he would rather see this country burn than to admit obama’s competence. he would have gladly preferred that the operation ended in the same kind of failure as carter’s ill fated raid in 1979, so he could chortle about obama’s ineptness. that american lives would have been lost wouldn’t have mattered to him as much as partisan advantage. and this is another example of republican patriotism!

  111. 111
    mistermix says:

    @DRN0001: And it’s too clever by half, IMO.

  112. 112
    Mr. Long Form says:

    I got off the Sully wagon after I finally realized (duh on me) that he is really just a knee-jerk emotion-reactor, not a real thinker. That explains why he could say stuff like “thank God Bush is president and not Al Gore” on 9/11, and then get all hot and bothered by the subsequent war mongering. I guess to his credit he rescinded his Bush lust eventually, but the fact that he could engage in it so mindlessly and immediately made me distrust even his opinions I agreed with (like his embrace of Obama.) Everything is personal with him. I honestly think if he weren’t gay, he’d be very “meh” on the whole marriage equality issue. Like most conservatives, he doesn’t really do empathy for those who are different (and/or poor.)

  113. 113
    les says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    Because there’s hope that someone somewhere is trying to represent what was good about American conservatism before it disappeared and evil took its place.

    But there is–his name is Obama. By any reasonable standard, moderate/centrist Dems occupy the American conservative position. Republicans/”conservatives” vary between radical reactionary/corporatist, and batshit insane. No one can speak rationally on their behalf.

  114. 114
    sukabi says:

    cheezus christ, that took long enough… now if only the other FPers would do the same thing…

  115. 115
    WereBear says:

    @les: Brilliant!

    And true.

  116. 116
    BombIranForChrist says:

    Yeah, I dumped Sully a couple months ago. It’s a good thing to read intelligent commentary by people you disagree with, but it’s a waste of time to read the work of a hack.

    I’m sorry, I know Cole is holding out for some kind of Sully-ian apotheosis where Andrew will suddenly not suck, but it’s never going to happen. Sully is a member of the Village now.

  117. 117
    Carol from CO says:

    I have never understood what attracts so many left-leaning people to Sullivan. I’ve never found anything substantive in his blog the few times I’ve looked in on him. He seems to just skim the surface.

    I have the same impression of Atrios, which is heretical, I’m sure. I keep trying to decide if there’s some inside joke that I’m not in on, or if there’s just no there there.

    I do understand wanting a sane conservative to balance the echo chamber, though. I subscribed to the Economist for just that reason although they’ve become a bit insane in their admiration for Singapore recently. Please keep us advised if one shows up on the web.

  118. 118
    freelancer says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    “Unskilled Iconoclast” is the perfect description for Andrew Sullivan.

    He’s a decent writer, but the guy thinks he’s this century’s Twain, Mencken, Orwell, and Murrow rolled into one.

  119. 119
    Mumbly_joe says:

    I’m deeply confused as to how someone could be this dense. I mean, didn’t the British basically invent sarcasm? You’d think they’d be able to spot it in the wild.

  120. 120
    gex says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Well hell. How are we supposed to fully rebut Sullivan if we don’t have someone on hand to call him a faggot?

    At least, I’m going to assume that word was necessary in a Sullivan criticism. Because Yevgref ain’t no homophobe intending to insult gays. I wonder if he knows the word “is” is like the operand “=”. The “Sully is a fag” construction, intended to say something bad about Sully necessarily says something bad about fags.

    Christ, I hate this country. Our culture is so sick. The dominant culture goes from making these things words of hate, the switches right around to bitching you out for being too sensitive about the word.

    Like I said, as much as the coded racism Obama and all black Americans have to endure sucks, I can only long for the day when homophobia has to be coded.

  121. 121
    Keith G says:

    @gex: Put away the razor. This is only a comment thread on a blog. It’s gonna be okay.

  122. 122

    @gex:
    Some of us have gotten this – after multiple comments by you it begins to simply grate. I don’t and haven’t used the term “faggot” or “nigger” because I consider them to be of the same family of derogatives. A commenter used it and you’ve gone on and on as though it were the ordinary.

    I’ve worked in construction for for over 30 years so I’m pretty used to rough and unsophisticated talk – and I don’t use the terms. Do you somehow expect the world to suddenly become devoid of assholes and insensitive people? It is classless, tasteless, and rude – and that’s supposed to be indicative of the course of US society today?

  123. 123
    Susan SC says:

    I don’t understand the hyper-critical focus on Sullivan. Other than the embarrassing Trig rants, I find him to be basically a force for good. His writings are compassionate, curious, smart, and not cemented in dogma…I, too, was at one time more conservative, and relate to his change of heart and the struggle and guilt that is involved.

    He often links to you guys here at Balloon Juice-it is how I found you. I like it here, too, other than the specific piling on of Sullivan; way too negative, and a turn-off.

  124. 124
    Cerberus says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    I think that relates to a deeper flaw we have in our obsession with dualistic systems, which is:

    Being an independent thinker means being “centrist” where centrist is holding positions between the current ideological positions of whichever party holds itself as “the right” and whichever party holds itself as “the left”.

    There are a lot of people who think that it is a mark of a serious mind to not “parrot” the “talking points” of the left or right and that as long as you can say that with a straight face, you are a free spirit smart thinker who can see through lies and flim-flam.

    It comes from a lot of bullshit sold to people by politicians chasing after that all important “swing voter” but it leads to a lot of Dunning-Kruger among people who see all the media and politicans fawning over this and deciding that they fit or should fit.

    It’s also why we get a lot of “Overton Window” effects, because the main people who are affected are those chasing the center in order to be serious.

    Of course, Sullivan isn’t even that. Sullivan is what used to pass for brain-dead conservative before the lurches rightward of the “center” placed him in that “middle” zone making him de facto serious and a “free-thinker”. The centrist-chasers linked to him and focused on him, because everyone knows that those who mock the left and the right must be “unbiased” and full of good political analysis (rather than a nutjob attracted to conspiracy theories about both left and right figures such as Palin Birther nonsense mixed with Randroid handjobs).

    The rest hoped that the centrist change marked a “John Cole moment” where a break from the crazy would also lead to an openness to education, genuine critical analysis and a potential boon to the political wonk blog community.

    Sadly, that isn’t going to happen. Sullivan has no interest in education and has never been all that deep of a thinker. And I think a big problem is that he’s a glibertarian true-believer. John Cole was raised wingnut. Raised wingnuts can be logic bombed, but a glibertarian true-believer is a neurotic case who simply wants everything they are used to, not have to pay for it, get all their rights to do what they want, and not to feel guilty when they give into their urges to screw over others and limit their rights. And until you can get that person to no longer be terrified at the tremendous loss of ego that genuine education and growth entails, well…

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