For the lulz.

He just can’t help himself.

It’s this simple. One party talks about the debt, one party is trying to do something about it. One party wants to slash taxes and follow policies that would make the debt worse, the other is willing to come to the table and make hard decisions. That’s the reality of the matter; that is what is undeniable. Yet every Friday night, Sullivan finds himself in bed with the Burkean/Hayakian eunuchs sitting on the corner of the bed telling him how good it is going to be this time. Just wait, this time will be different.

It’s both sad and hysterical to watch.

56 replies
  1. 1
    Ed in NJ says:

    Well he had to say something nice after the shitstorm he stirred up on the right with that Newsweek article.

  2. 2
    Comrade Mary says:

    Needs a boom-chicka-wow soundtrack.

  3. 3
    driftglass says:

    I just wish someone would lift the horrible, horrible blacklist against which this poor man must struggle every day:

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    I sorta see the fascination with Andrew Sullivan by some people. He wears his neurosis on his sleeve, while at the same time struggling mightily to suppress his Tory sensibilities to keep supporting Obama. So we go through this ritual of angst writings, followed by a reckoning on the merits of the issue alone, when all the prevailing conservative demons have been put in their place. Sound familiar?

  5. 5
    Ziggy says:

    Seriously, what an assclown. Daniels said that Obama is “pro-poverty” and that’s supposedly enlightened? Come on…

  6. 6
    DCLaw1 says:

    It’s true. Maybe after another day or two of publicly cutting himself over Obama’s again failing to live up to the Oakeshottian Fantasy Leader in his mind, he’ll be able to go back to penning elaborate expositions on the president’s 11-dimensional chess.

  7. 7
    flukebucket says:

    Sullivan has not run out of weed. He is obviously smoking some of the best there has ever been.

  8. 8
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Sully reminds me of a bit from an old Roger Ebert review that’s stuck with me: “She makes many helpful suggestions, while studiously avoiding the most helpful suggestion of all, which would be that the story itself is complete crap.” Until Sully realizes that the GOP is selling complete crap, this hoping, yearning, sniffing around the edges in search of some redemption dance will go on forever.

  9. 9
    DCLaw1 says:

    That was in reply to @Ed in NJ. I keep clicking “link” instead of “Reply.”

  10. 10
    cay says:

    It’s why I read your blog after his; to confirm that his is crap. (I just like the view from the window schtick). :)

  11. 11
    Aqualad08 says:

    Maybe it’s just the combover…or perhaps how kept to a side profile…but starbursts for Mitch? Must have been a slow, lonely month at the Beast for Andy Pandy…especially after the Newsweek story…

  12. 12
    DMcK says:

    Sully still nurses a raging Ron Paul boner, yet he called out Obama for being…isolationist? At this point he is so unable to reconcile his fantasy conservatism with reality that his opinions are quite literally meaningless.

  13. 13
    Nemo_N says:

    Sullivan is sad simply because Obama didn’t scream SUFFER, BITCHES! SUFFER!

  14. 14
    John Weiss says:

    Sully? Shmully. Smarty guy with no clues.

  15. 15
    Turgidson says:

    Yep, Sullivan’s live-blog and Daniels reaction shows that he just can’t accept that one side is mostly sane and occasionally good, while the other is entirely insane and always destructive. Daniels is no different than all the insane GOPers Sullivan rightly hates – he just has learned to wipe the spittle from the sides of his mouth before he goes in front of the cameras and speak in complete sentences.

    Apparently he missed that whole fucking year when Obama and the Democrats were talking about the deficit and actually offering plans to cut spending. Even though it was the wrong thing to be doing policy-wise.

    And he makes several references to parts of the speech being “tired liberal plans” or something like that. Guess what you innumerate clown, LIBERAL PLANS WORK. And then there’s the “there’s no big vision here, just a whole bunch of small initiatives.” Uhhhh look you fucking idiot, a whole bunch of small things getting done is a critical element in having a vision.

    And the Daniels fluff. God. Daniels is the moran who ran up the deficit on Bush’s smorgasbord of bullshit, and he said plenty of the same “Obama hates America” stuff, he just said it more politely. He’s a fucking hack and should not be allowed within 1000 miles of the White House.

  16. 16
    Percysowner says:

    I actually clicked through. I had forgotten how bad Sully really is. He so wants the Repubs to embrace gays and he so wants The Bell Curve to be true and he’s never going to get either. What a sad man. Enormously self-involved and entitled, but sad none the less.

  17. 17
    Carolina Dave says:

    Sad, because Sully did a good job on Colbert of combating the GOP talking points. Then he fluffs Daniels. He is not consistent in his own head.

  18. 18
    Schlemizel says:

    Sully has never been much of a thinker. He stakes out some idea that seems right to his little pea-brain and then rationalizes the living hell out of how it simply must be true. No actual intellectual would have supported the bell curve for 5 minutes when it came out let alone years later after it had been completely discredited. But he rationalized that it explained why blacks do don’t do as well as whites in this society so he grabbed on to that lead sinker in hopes it would keep him afloat.

    He loves tax cuts & he knows his owners want him to fluff them. but reality has shown that tax cuts are not the magic these asshole claimed they are and his owners and their friends are despicable people with no socially redeeming qualities. So he has to rationalize why reality is not real & that next next GOP daddy is the real savior that will make tax cuts work and the 1% rape of America trickle down to rainbows and puppies for everyone.

    Sully is a sad, pathetic little man and it seems he knows he is only masquerading as an intellectual. In his heart he envies Hitchens his cancer as it got him out of the endless cycle of ignorant rationalization his life became & sullys still is.

  19. 19
    freelancer says:

    I didn’t really dig the speech until about 40 minutes in. I muted Daniels after 15 minutes. This is one of Sullivan’s “Hi There! I’ve gone off the fucking deep end for deeply personal psychological reasons, and I don’t care to admit it, but it will take me 4-6 weeks to have my sanity hand-delivered by a UPS guy in a box I will sign for and then pretend it was all a part of my ongoing ideology all along” moments. I read what he says and like his voice in the national fracas, but I shudder to think of him as someone to point to and say, “This writer says what I think, but better.” He’ll come back, but as always, it has the atmosphere of tragedy on a very small scale.

  20. 20
    sneezy says:


    healthcare reform… which he didn’t mention tonight?

    (Italics in original.)


    I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny you coverage, or charge women differently from men.

    I recognize that people watching tonight have differing views about taxes and debt; energy and health care.

    That’s why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a Government program.

  21. 21
    DCLaw1 says:


    I’ll get some sleep, and think this through some more. But thanks for all the emails taking me to task. There was a lot of love in that stream of vitriol. Seriously. You wouldn’t be so mad if you didn’t give a damn.

    From emo cutter to Stuart Smalley in one night.

  22. 22


    Uhhhh look you fucking idiot, a whole bunch of small things getting done is a critical element in having a vision.

    No, no, no. Sully wants a strong leader who can reassure us that all our problems have a nice simple, single solution. That’s a vision. He doesn’t want a technocrat to tell him that we need a separate plan for each subproblem, even though that’s undoubtedly true. It doesn’t matter that the vision involves seeing things that aren’t there. He wants what he wants, and if Obama can’t give it to him, he’s going to have himself a snit.

  23. 23
    Lev says:

    @Percysowner: Andrew Sullivan wants to live in a world where being a gay Catholic conservative is no big deal. Which, hey, me too! I’m not any of those things but there are a lot of people are, and I sure don’t want them turning out like Andrew Sullivan. But the simple fact is that the Republican Party and the Catholic Church are lost causes on any of that stuff for the forseeable future. He can fluff all the reasonable people he wants, it just ain’t gonna happen because these institutions depend on fear of change as a lifeline. Sully can’t understand that because he’s not smart, and he also has incredibly bad judgment in general. I cut him out after he fluffed Paul Ryan.

    I watched Daniels’s speech. Was sort of surprised he stated so boldly that we should save the safety net, but not so much when it was merely an angle to decimate it for future recipients. I just found the thing to be a boringly delivered laundry list of GOP talking points, and my opinion of its mediocrity was sealed when David Gergen raved about it.

  24. 24
    The Other Chuck says:

    Having watched Sully speak enough times on Bill Maher’s show, I came away with the impression that Sully is a poncey faux-intellectual poseur who laughs at his own cleverness entirely too often, and fashions himself a rapscallion of an iconoclast merely by dint of pissing people off in a way that he imagines to be because they’re foiled by his withering witticisms, but actually because they’re hair-tearingly frustrated from repeated attempts to explain to him the difference between his ass and his elbow, and yes this sentence really is quite a run-on.

  25. 25
    DCLaw1 says:

    Oh and, by the way, how telling is it that this was the sentiment to finally trigger Sullivan’s doubts about his initial take on the SOTU?

    Buck up, Andrew! Have some faith in your own thesis – Obama’s playing the long game and doing it rather well.

    Implied flattery and reiteration of Sullivan’s “thesis.” The reader basically said, “Andrew, look over here! It’s your friend Andrew. He is very smart and incisive, and thinks you should reconsider.”

  26. 26
    MikeJ says:

    Sully’s idea of “vision” is one answer to solve all problems. Smeckler’s powder. It fixes unemployment, the deficit, healthcare, income inequality.

  27. 27
    Yutsano says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Sully wants a strong leader who can reassure us that all our problems have a nice simple, single solution.

    Sully wants Maggie Thatcher back. The rest is commentary.

  28. 28
    Lev says:

    @DCLaw1: I laughed at that one. Look, I like Obama and I liked the speech. I think he made tons of mistakes last year and I’m hopeful that he’s going to make fewer this year. And I doubt anyone who supports the guy (even Obama himself, I suspect) really thinks he hasn’t made any mistakes in office. Well, except for Andrew Sullivan, who is incapable of any sort of subtlety in judging peoples’ character and ability. Either every one of a leader’s choices is a success or part of a grand strategy we can’t entirely see (Obama), or every one is a terrible failure and any successes he has were accidents (Clinton). The man can’t…aw, fuck it, I’ve written enough about this idiot.

  29. 29
    DCLaw1 says:


    The man can’t…aw, fuck it, I’ve written enough about this idiot.

    Likewise. It’s been fun though.

  30. 30
    Keith G says:

    Sullivan finds himself in bed with the Burkean/Hayakian eunuchs sitting on the corner of the bed…

    Do the eunuchs have beards?

  31. 31
    sloan says:


    There was nothing new here, except the mortgage relief, nothing fresh, nothing inspiring, no reason given to re-elect him, except that things are improving and the alternatives are insane.

    Isn’t that reason enough?

  32. 32
    burnspbesq says:

    @Keith G:

    Do the eunuchs have beards?

    Yes. They look exactly like last year’s LA Angels gnome bobblehead doll, except that they wear bespoke suits, with shirts and ties from Turnbull & Asser, so that they look like proper Tory MPs.

  33. 33
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Carolina Dave:

    He is not consistent in his own head.

    This is true. And he doesn’t really hide it. Any attempt to impose coherence on him requires more effort than he puts into it himself. He has crushes, not judgements.

  34. 34
    DCLaw1 says:

    OK one more!

    Who’s the poor bastard who has to write the “Daily Wrap” post at the end of each day, while Sullivan snores and dreams of his next vacation?

    Whoever it is, I hope the job includes latex gloves to wear as he picks up all the hardened tissues scattered on Sullivan’s floor and fashions them into yet another sculpture nobody ever looks at.

  35. 35
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Eh, Sully is a George Will who hasn’t gone senile yet. A conservative who needs to believe that there is some sort of logic or justification for his views. A British conservative too, a Tory, a died-in-the-wool FYIGMer yet allergic to the Bible thumpers that are shot through the American reactionary right. Claims to be libertarian but really just wants freedom from private groups such as god-botherers. (IOW, a more narcissistic and far less clever Hitchens, if you think about it.)

    Sully is like that forum troll you just can’t stop responding to. It’s not Sully who gets close to the truth and Just. Doesn’t. Get. It. By Jove, that man is never going to change! No, the enemy is us. Our fantasy that he is going to come over to the side of light (thinking he is almost there–when in fact, he hasn’t moved in the slightest–his Britishness causes political parallax) keeps the pagehits coming.

    Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that his entire career has been a train wreck with plenty of sex, scandal, embarrassment, and controversy to keep even the most jaded gossip queen going. Remember when he was trolling poz barebacking sites and blogging about how much fun he was having tripping on steroid cream? (I threw up in my mouth when he had that dead tree weekly cover story about his “perfect” married life last year.)

  36. 36
    Another Halocene Human says:

    while at the same time struggling mightily to suppress his Tory sensibilities to keep supporting Obama

    Obama is a Rockefeller Republican. I hope that isn’t flamebait here. While he may feel some discomfort with Obama, especially when activated by the activist, leftyish House of 2009-2010 (oh, that was a lovely run, wasn’t it!), all this fiscal conservatism shit is what middle right folks have been dying to see from the GOP for years! (W wasn’t it, for sure.) Of course, Obama has just put forth a timid, modest tax increase on the 1%, up with which we shall not put and all that rot, wot?

    Sullivan probably has way more in common with Bush I than the current crop of Republicans. Of course, like a majority of US voters (present company excepted, of course) he championed the MARCH TO WAR, falling right in line with the merry gang of thieves headed by W, Rove, and Rummy. But, you know, why hold that against a guy? Nobody could have foreseen, &so forth, &so on.

    Also, too, not stating Bush I wouldn’t have invaded other countries after a terrorist attack, but to his credit he condemned to expansion into Iraq. Of course, as former head of the CIA, he had at least two clues about the f*cking region, which is more than the entire Bush II cabinet combined.

  37. 37
    Sleeper says:

    What is the bizarre fascination that the proprietors here have with this Thatcherite asshole? I’ve never understood it. His ideas are shit and he’s not even an entertaining writer.

  38. 38
    burnspbesq says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Obama is a Rockefeller Democrat. There are no more Rockefeller Republicans. The last one was Bill Weld. Rocky was far too left for the current Republican Party. Hell, Goldwater was too far left for the current Republican Party.

  39. 39
    Sleeper says:

    @burnspbesq: I think Obama is more like a Scoop Jackson Democrat, or what used to be called a Cold War liberal. A War on Terror liberal? Is that a thing yet?

  40. 40
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Something along those lines, from the Wikipedia entry on Rachel Maddow:

    Asked about her political views by the Valley Advocate, Maddow replied, “I’m undoubtedly a liberal, which means that I’m in almost total agreement with the Eisenhower-era Republican party platform.”

  41. 41
    freelancer says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    This is what I was too lazy to post. I’m no super-lefty. Domestic Policy, it’s Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower. Foreign Policy, well there haven’t been many heroes there: erm, Bush I (minus Gulf War I), Clinton and Obama.

    Foreign Policy is messy.

  42. 42
    dogwood says:

    Technically Sullivan is a very good writer. Intellectually, he is probably gifted. Nonetheless, those attributes don’t amount to much when you are emotionally and socially a 16 year old.

  43. 43
    sherparick says:

    Sullivan really, really hates social democracy and the great welfare state programs of social security and Medicare. So, hence his disappointment that Obama does not simply throw those programs under the bus.

    I think it was very good speech for SOTU. It is what people want to hear, lots of details about what the Government is going to do about the problems that the private sector and the states are not handling well. And yes Sully boy, that is what modern, American liberalism is about, doing the stuff the private sector, can’t or won’t do because it does not fit into the profit motive that drives business.

    As for Daniels speech, he essentially called for the Ryan plan on Medicare and to privatize social security. But he called them “reforms.”

  44. 44
    brantl says:

    @MikeJ: and Hemorrhoids, too!

  45. 45
    brantl says:

    @MikeJ: and Hemorrhoids, too!

  46. 46
    brantl says:

    @MikeJ: and Hemorrhoids, too!

  47. 47
    brantl says:

    Sorry, I don’t know how the triple post happened.

  48. 48
    rikyrah says:

    this gave me my morning laugh

  49. 49
    jim filyaw says:

    had he not been born gay, sullivan would be just another mark levin or gerson. anyone who bothers to check his blog for anything more than the links to better writers and deeper thinkers is wasting their time.

  50. 50

    I think I only know of Sully for the same reason I know of this site. The both of you once were foolish enough to fall for the Bush WMD Iraq scam. Correct me if I’m wrong. I see both of you in that light, and as such take special care in offerings from either direction. If I were forced to pick my favorite between the two of you I’d certainly favor you though. I see the same nonsense as you do in Sully, with his regular injection of Catholic hooey as an added bit of pablum that is specially hard to choke down given his homosexual lifestyle. I think his lifestyle is relative in this discussion only so much as it has to have some effect on the psyche of a person juggling the lifelong effects of such cognitive dissonance. My apologies if I am confusing you with Charles Johnson at LGF.

  51. 51
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Don’t always agree with Sullivan, but he does come down on the right side of too many things for me to dismiss him completely. Even so, he’s a frigging psychological mess–all over the map so often it’s scary.

    He can’t help but support Obama because he is undeniably a decent, sane and moderate politician. Sullivan sees how unfairly he is being treated by an unserious, insincere Republican Mafia who’s only goal is gain back veto-proof power in government.

    It’s just that he wants so badly for that guy to suddenly morph into someone who holds all of Sullivan’s conservative point’s of views,too–even if the two are diametrically opposed. Which is Sullivan: a man trying to pretend to himself and the world he is a Conservative, but who guiltily holds so many Liberal beliefs that he is constantly fighting himself. He borders on multiple personality disorder: every day, Sullivan wakes up in a different meat suit.

  52. 52
    Cluttered Mind says:

    I don’t really understand why someone like Sullivan isn’t comfortable throwing his full support behind Obama. Obama is a post-war style conservative, if he was on the political scene 50 years ago (and white) he’d have been a Republican. The only reason for anyone who identifies as conservative to not support Obama is because they’ve been brainwashed by the poison of FOX and hate radio. Looked at objectively, Obama enacts policies that were once widely agreed to be conservative, but since it’s a BLACK KENYAN MUSLIM doing it, somehow people think it’s socialist. I don’t really understand where it all comes from, it’s not like socialism was ever widely practiced anywhere in Africa or in any Muslim countries, but consistency isn’t the modern right’s strong point.

    I’m rambling a bit but really all I’m trying to say is that Sullivan knows what’s what but doesn’t want to admit it to himself thanks to the ingrained sense of party loyalty that most right wingers have. It’s hard to accept that a party you once respected has become a laughingstock and the party you once opposed has taken up most of your favored positions.

    If he had any real insight though, he might stop to consider how liberals feel about this development. Then maybe he might understand why people like Paul Krugman and Glenn Greenwald are spontaneously combusting.

    For the record, I support Obama fully and will vote for his re-election. Just because I disagree with many of his policies and am unhappy that he’s not really a liberal doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize that he’s the best we’ve got. It’s entirely possible to hate the bad things he’s done, praise the good things he’s done, take a step back and look at the big picture, and then vote for him with no regrets.

  53. 53

    I heard Speaker Boehner on the radio today, and he said that he’s put in dozens of calls to the President over the last month in an effort to talk about legislation (like the 30 different ‘Jobs’ bills the GOP has sent over to the Senate or the budget the GOP sent to the Senate), and Obama refuses to talk to him.

    I know, I know- “it’s all a big lie and a giant conspiracy because all Republicans are evil and hate poor people” or whatever. But it is true that legislation is being passed out of the Republican House and going over to the Democratic Senate… and it is true that Boehner has spoken on many different occasions about calling the President and all Obama does is provide empty rhetoric about working together… perhaps you’ve got it backwards, and the GOP is not the problem, but rather Obama is?

    Just a thought. Go ahead and deny reality though- I know for most of you there is no proof that will convince you that unicorns are not real and that the Jews are not behind every plot.

  54. 54
    patrick II says:

    Sullivan is just dishonest.
    First this:

    its unreconstructed micro-paleo-liberalism, its lack of imagination,

    Where he complains about the dreary specificity of Obama’s speech, but not:

    nothing fresh, nothing inspiring, no reason given to re-elect him

    where he complains about there being no overarching reasons that might inspire.

    Sullivan is a libertarian. There is no overarching reason Obama would give that would inspire Sullivan.

    Obama’s overarching reasons — community, a sense of shared destiny, social responsibility — are anathema to Sullivan’s philosophy, where individual decisions in the magic free market equals nirvana. Yet when it comes to specifics Sullivan does not support Ron Paul because the outcomes of the various programs Paul proposes would be disastrous.
    So, Sullivan is doomed to be unhappy by his own cognitive dissonance. He cannot support the specific policies espoused by the leader of the philosophy he supports, Ron Paul, because those policies would obviously be disastrous. But specific policy that he might support he finds uninspired because he cannot come to terms with the reason they would work — common interest.
    Sullivan isn’t really worth reading until he works this out.

  55. 55
    Turgidson says:


    Truman for foreign policy. I know Korea was a gruesome affair but it did result in a free and relatively prosperous South Korea where one wouldn’t have existed otherwise, but containment, writ large, provided a framework for the Cold War that endured and kept us out of significantly more shooting wars. Also too, the Marshall Plan, firing General MacArthur and thus avoiding a constitutional crisis, even at his own political peril, and seeing through most of the good parts of FDR’s postwar vision, minus the bad parts like the Morgantheu plan.

    Truman’s recent ascendance into the top tier of presidents is entirely deserved, I think. He steered us through a crazy time with more skill and foresight than anyone thought him capable of, or gave him credit for at the time.

  56. 56

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