Public-Private Poutrage

Modern conservatism in the US is predicated on a bizarre, ongoing inversion of reality. Item: an addled B-movie actor explodes the national debt and is lionized as a champion of small government. A cowardly, none-too-bright male cheerleader from a patrician clan is packaged and sold as a brush-clearin,’ neo-Churchillian, genius cowpoke.

The party that bankrupted the country through ruinous, pointless warmongering and Wall Street wilding markets itself as the fiscally responsible foreign policy grownups. The party that lets a gun manufacturer flak organization intimidate it into allowing terrorists and the floridly insane to purchase unlimited semiautomatic weapons bills itself as tough on crime. Etc.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that conservatives’ perception of their ongoing defeat in the culture wars is exactly the opposite of reality on every level too. But that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at the ahistorical ranting. Cue the Powertools, lamenting the resignation of erstwhile Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich:

So the liberals claim another scalp. This is something new in our history, as far as I know. Until now, private citizens could hold whatever political beliefs they wanted, and support political causes as they chose.

Ever heard of the McCarthy hearings? Where a wingnut senator persecuted private citizens and destroyed their livelihoods because of their political beliefs? See, when the party of free markets decides to regulate political beliefs, it does so via the government.

What happened to Eich is a free market phenomenon. You can make the argument that the companies and developers who balked at the prospect of working with a CEO who thinks gays are icky should have given Eich a chance. But the companies and developers are independent agents who are free to vote with their feet because freedom.

Over at Heritage.org, they’ve discovered the power of government policy in leading social change:

Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation, or contracting against such groups and individuals.

Okay, so you guys were for prohibiting the government from discriminating against same sex couples in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation or contracting, right? Nope.

Once again, the self-proclaimed anti-nanny state crusaders and champions of free markets are revealed as sniveling hypocrites. Hoocoodanode?

[X-posted at Rumproast]

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196 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    He’s Sully’s conservative martyr of the week. Which may surprise some, but didn’t surprise me.

  2. 2
    Betty Cracker says:

    @geg6: Contrarian is contrary. Still, despite being wrong very often, Sully isn’t a complete idiot (I know some will accuse me of assuming facts not in evidence, but this is my opinion). And yet, he has a Sarah Palin-level grasp of how the First Amendment works.

  3. 3
    Rob in CT says:

    Sully knows it’s not a 1st Amendment issue. His point is smaller (and weaker) than that. He’s bascially saying (and has been saying for a while) don’t spike the football.

    My natural inclination would be to agree, but at this point I’ve seen too much. The Right won’t EVER hestitate to spike the football. Give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile, etc. Given that, I’m in a “oh cry me a river” place.

  4. 4
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Stll, Mozilla knew this guy’s background, yet went ahead and made him CEO. And Eich could have said no as well. So a pox on both of them.

  5. 5
    J.Ty says:

    @Betty Cracker: He actually was like “Yeah, I know, private employer, he still has his First Amendment rights” in his follow-up-follow-up yesterday IIRC.

    I can usually stand flipping through his blog for the links and stuff, but he’s been having way too much fun hippie-punching this week. He’s even mad at a made-up “PoMo left-liberal gay rights movement” because some invisible queer studies professor in his head is persecuting him for pointing out that Tom Daley is probably gay, not bi.

  6. 6
    NCSteve says:

    The thing we of the left just don’t seem to be able to grasp is that the elites of the right live in, and are of, the world of advertising and PR. They live in the Activia world. Spend two years putting out ads that falsely claim Activa is better for your guts and immune system than regular active culture yogurt and watch people pay 30% more for for nothing. Then when you get sued, back off the false claims, secure in the knowledge that the idea is so firmly planted in the minds of the drones that all Jamie Lee has to do is mug and raise her eyebrows to convey the false message.

    For them, reality is just a thing you spend money making people believe. Academics who were mostly of the left may have invented deconstructionism, but the right’s been living it for decades.

  7. 7
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NCSteve: Wasn’t Paul de Man a fascist? ;-)

  8. 8
    Alexandra says:

    Driftglass has labelled Sully as ‘increasingly trivial’. Best thing he posted yesterday was the post about chicken beauty pageants. Never knew they existed.

    Although I’ve lived in London for most of my life, I’m not British (yet)… but I’m sorry we keep sending mouthy twits across the Atlantic like Andrew Sullivan and Piers Morgan.

  9. 9
    Amir Khalid says:

    American “conservatives” do want a nanny state. They just want one where Nanny is always on their side.

  10. 10
    Karen in GA says:

    @NCSteve:

    For them, reality is just a thing you spend money making people believe.

    Sums it up perfectly.

    I avoid Sully. There are plenty of better, smarter writers in the world. Why waste time on him?

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Alexandra: I had missed the chicken beauty pageants! They really are lovely critters (when not molting).

  12. 12
    big ole hound says:

    Gay activists are really grinding on this old brain especially when nothing is really gained. It took a few decades for me to accept marriage equality and so forth but viciousness like this is not helping. The gay community has been accepted here in CA so don’t fight the war over and over like the old south because all it can do is create a backlash. Carry the fight to the correct locations.

  13. 13
    srv says:

    It’s a good thing Bobby Kennedy’s career was met by “BURN HIM!” from liberals after his service to McCarthy.

  14. 14
    AnonPhenom says:

    Until now, private citizens could hold whatever political beliefs they wanted, and support political causes as they chose

    *cough* Dixie Chicks *cough*

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:

    @Rob in CT:

    He’s bascially saying (and has been saying for a while) don’t spike the football.

    We aren’t; this is what the drive looks like when you’re in the red zone.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    @Roger Moore: Act like you been there before!

  18. 18
    tavella says:

    Eich actively sought to strip people of their civil rights and destroy their families, _including employees of Mozilla_. It wasn’t a matter of goddamn ‘speech’ or ‘opinion’. CTOs don’t make personnel or non-technical policy decisions, so it wasn’t really relevant when he was that (apart from revealing him as a dick.) CEOs run the company, and his *actions*, not opinions, disqualified him from being the boss of the people he tried to harm. It’s not that complicated and once again Sullivan reveals himself as a moron, as do a bunch of other people.

  19. 19
    BGK says:

    So this explains the retweets of Ben “Dover” Domenech and his voluble call-to-arms for conservatives to uninstall Firefox etc.

    Also too, remember the Kerry campaign volunteer in Ohio who got canned from her full-time job because her boss was a Republican stooge? IOKIYAR again.

  20. 20
    Karen in GA says:

    @tavella:

    Eich actively sought to strip people of their civil rights and destroy their families, _including employees of Mozilla_. It wasn’t a matter of goddamn ‘speech’ or ‘opinion’.

    Why I don’t comment much — all I’d do is quote people here who say it much better than I could.

  21. 21
    J.Ty says:

    Remember, the Conservative reading of the First amendment is “I am free to do or say whatever I want without fear of repercussion or criticism from anybody.”

    (The Second is “I am free to shoot whatever I want without fear of repercussion or criticism from anybody.”)
    etc.

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    It is why we so often throw up our hands and say, “They must really be that stupid!”

  23. 23
    ruemara says:

    I <3 Betty! *slaps a "Betty for President" bumper sticker on your ass* I guess if Cole is going to reserve his rants mostly for blog trolling for insufficient fealty to Rhymes With Bowlden, you're here to take the crown. Most excellent.

  24. 24
    Senyordave says:

    @Amir Khalid: 10X

  25. 25
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Thank goodness that neither carried interest nor artificially low tax rates for the 1% aren’t ‘An Elite Luxury Good Bought For On The Backs Of The Poor.’

  26. 26
    Senyordave says:

    @tavella: In some ways this was analagous to the Al Campanis issue years ago. Some conservatives said Campanis was entitled to his opinions (he claimed that it was possible blacks were not up to managing a baseball team). He was the general manage of the LA Dodgers at the time. He was IN CHARGE of hiring and firing for the organization. The CEO of a company is in charge of hiring for an organization. If Eich had donated money to an organization that sought to deny basic rights to Jews or blacks he would have been fired on the spot. Case closed.

  27. 27

    So the liberals claim another scalp. This is something new in our history, as far as I know. Until now, private citizens could hold whatever political beliefs they wanted, and support political causes as they chose.

    So Richard Stearns, the guy at World Vision, the religious charity who said it was okay to hire people who were in same-sex marriages, got off scot-free from the wingers?

    Um, no.

  28. 28
    J R in WV says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Out in Cochise county AZ I giggle (6′ – 240 lbs, basso giggle) whenever we pass the Byers’ farm sign = “Show Pigs for Sale!”

    So anything can have a beauty contest. I think many chickens are pretty, too. We had a Rhode Island Red rooster that was 3 feet tall, what a majestic critter!

    Not afraid of anything, either.

  29. 29
    Kylroy says:

    @Senyordave: Precisely. Just like Paula Deen, this is completely a case of the free market rendering a verdict. And just like Paula Deen, conservatives cannot accept the reality that even their beloved free market will not always be on their side.

  30. 30
    Belafon says:

    @big ole hound: I was going to write something, but instead I’ll leave you with this Op-Ed about a former Marine Sergeant that has decided it’s no longer time to be quiet.

    ETA: Too many whites keeping quiet in the early 20th century allowed those in power to strip blacks of their rights.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    Paula Deen’s in the news again.

    Employees showed up for yesterday’s shift at Uncle Bubba’s restaurant in Savannah to find it closed, and severance checks being distributed in the parking lot. Oh, and restaurant appliances being carted off. (Seizing assets?)

    Classy way to treat one’s employees.

  32. 32
    Mandalay says:

    I suspect that Mozilla’s board had a rapid change of heart when a web site did this:

    But the most damaging act of protest came via dating website OkCupid.

    Users who went to the site using Mozilla’s Firefox browser were greeted with a message that read: “Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.

    Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.

    Had Eich remained I’m pretty sure a lot of other web sites would have done exactly the same thing. And the beauty of their devastating approach, probably not appreciated by the right, is that it is the free market at work.

  33. 33
    Comrade Jake says:

    My problem with Sully is the fact that he’s casting all of this as an awesome example of “liberal intolerance”. I get the “don’t spike the football” sentiment, but he’s way beyond that.

    Josh Barro had a nice set of counters to him last night on the Twitter machine. He didn’t call out Sully directly but it was pretty clear that’s who he was targeting.

  34. 34
    Cacti says:

    Eich would probably be more comfortable as the IT guy for Chick-fil-A or Hobby Lobby.

    There are companies out there where hating teh gheys is a corporate value.

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    Also too, Brendan Eich has donated to presidential campaigns of Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul.

    His dislike for the demon homos probably also extends to blacks, browns, and Jews.

  36. 36
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    If the free market actually inflicted meaningful consequences on bigots then the conservatives would be whining for Congress to enact a law that would protect them from those consequences.

  37. 37
    Feudalism Now! says:

    Every intended and unintended offense possible, but spike the football. Rub the Rightwing conservative twits nose in it. Fudge their fee-fees, civil rights are not an opinion. If you are stupid enough to be on the wrong side of history, you deserve to be ground down into mulch for your idiocy.

  38. 38
    srv says:

    I always thought wingnuts should have their own browser and search engine, but sadly, Benghazi.com is already taken. Wonder what other domain names would be appropriate.

  39. 39
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @big ole hound: Thanks! Been a while since I’ve seen a good, old-fashioned 2004-style concern troll.

  40. 40
    MomSense says:

    Remember when Republicans loved burning and crushing Dixie Chick CDs?

    If I am going to give my business and my hard earned dollars to a company or product, I am going to do my best to choose companies who share my values. I try to do this as much as possible except when it comes to cable/internet/wireless because they are all assholes and I have no good options.

    In other news, anyone see the President’s speech at the University of Michigan? He was so funny. Lawrence did a great segment on it last night. He actually said “get off my lawn”!

  41. 41
    Belafon says:

    @MomSense: Have you seen the Honey Maid commercials? I haven’t bought graham crackers in years, but I will this weekend.

  42. 42
    Cacti says:

    @Feudalism Now!:

    Every intended and unintended offense possible, but spike the football. Rub the Rightwing conservative twits nose in it. Fudge their fee-fees, civil rights are not an opinion. If you are stupid enough to be on the wrong side of history, you deserve to be ground down into mulch for your idiocy.

    Naturally, the professional contrarians like William Saletan of Slate are making a tortured analogy of “why not fire every worker who donated to it?”, as though a regular working stiff and the public face of the corporate brand are in any way similar to each other.

  43. 43
    Petorado says:

    What’s this outrage that what happened at Mozilla is some lefty dogmatic thing? A blog post at NYT opens with this perfect sentiment:

    Can a chief executive run an open-source software company while simultaneously holding views some say are antithetical to the ethos of the open-source community?

    The people Eich was supposed to lead simply said they wouldn’t follow him. No vast left wing conspiracy thing here.

  44. 44
    MomSense says:

    @Belafon:

    No, but will go take a look now!

  45. 45
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Once again, the self-proclaimed anti-nanny state crusaders and champions of free markets are revealed as sniveling hypocrites.

    Yeah, well, that’s what they do. Wait for Tailgunner Rafael’s campaign in 2016, where his unquestioned and provable – unlike Obama – foreign birth, Canadian and Cuban citizenship will suddenly not be a big deal.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Grade Z, Betty.

    Grade Z.

    Otherwise, spot on in every fucking way possible.

  47. 47
    Fuzzy says:

    @Belafon:Hey Mr. Judge, walk in my shoes. I too am a former Marine Sgt but with a lot more water under the bridge. The guy you referred me to did not grow up in the 50s and in Nam so he only years instead of decades to reflect on. My attitude has changed from way back then so lay off.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti: Saletan is a guy who thinks that if only we’d find a compromise on the abortion issue that it would go away. His solution is more contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies thereby obviating any need for abortion in the first place.

    DUH!

    But, of course, in the process he misses the point of the forced birth movement. To punish the sluts. Because the sluts should NEVER HAVE AGENCY AT ANY TIME AND MUST BE PUNISHED!

  49. 49
    Belafon says:

    @MomSense: I posted links to the youtube videos last night.

  50. 50
    RSA says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    So Richard Stearns, the guy at World Vision, the religious charity who said it was okay to hire people who were in same-sex marriages, got off scot-free from the wingers?

    Or Jim Turley, who spoke out against anti-gay policies in the Boy Scouts, as a member of the executive board? It’s easy to find conservative calls for the resignation of private citizens from the jobs or positions they hold.

  51. 51
    Pee Cee says:

    Ever heard of the McCarthy hearings? Where a wingnut senator persecuted private citizens and destroyed their livelihoods because of their political beliefs? See, when the party of free markets decides to regulate political beliefs, it does so via the government.

    Funny, the conservatards on my Facebook are saying that Mozilla’s CEO leaving is just like the McCarthy hearings.

  52. 52
    Librarian says:

    Yeah, sure, John, persecuting people for their political beliefs is a totally new phenomenon, never before seen in this country until those evil leftists started doing it. It’s something only the left would do. It’s totally a left-wing invention. The right has never, ever done anything like that. nosiree. Perish the thought! Anything you say, Hinderaker, you stupid fucking ignorant motherfucker.

  53. 53
    MomSense says:

    @Belafon:

    WOW!

    Darned seasonal allergies make my eyes sooo teary.

    Did you see their ad about what they did with all of the responses to that ad?

    Awesome!

    ETA You did see their response!

  54. 54
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: That’s more or less what corporate America demands all the time.

    They loathe competition, they loathe actual free markets.

    Adam Smith had their number more than two centuries ago.

  55. 55
    fidelio says:

    @Betty Cracker: I had a friend who kept Crested Polish chickens. She wanted some Onagadori, but I’m not sure she ever got any.

  56. 56
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Can’t help wondering how the Putin-worshipers on the right will react to the decision by McDonald’s to close its three (corporate-owned, not franchised) restaurants in occupied Crimea? Free market making its decisions freely, no?

  57. 57
    Belafon says:

    @Fuzzy: Huh? I was using the Marine’s Op-Ed to counter big ole hounds “gays are being too loud.” I thought the Op-Ed was really good.

  58. 58
    El Cid says:

    Remember, for conservatives, any barrier to their free exercise of complete and unchallenged authority is tyranny.

  59. 59
    Belafon says:

    @MomSense: I think those would look great on the front page here.

  60. 60
    BGinCHI says:

    Booman takedown of Sully on this issue:

    http://www.boomantribune.com/s.....3321/40861

    First Amendment, how does it work?

    Also, they love them some free markets until the market gets all uppity and fights back.

  61. 61
    El Cid says:

    @Karen in GA:

    I avoid Sully. There are plenty of better, smarter writers in the world. Why waste time on him?

    This is my view on so many writers, particularly conservative writers, beloved by many liberals, often with the justification that they just write soooooo well. (Which if it were as true as is repeated, I’d understand, but I read such as Sullivan and it’s mediocre. I’d much rather read better writers who actually have something to say.)

  62. 62
    Ash says:

    Can someone please point out to Sully that he did the same damn thing to Alec Baldwin, who supports LGBT rights?

    Oh, and according to this article he was made to resign after it was discovered that the bigot donated to a lot of other right wing causes, including Pat Buchanan’s campaign! All of these people tripping over themselves to defend this bigot are fucking idiots.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Rob in CT:

    He’s bascially saying (and has been saying for a while) don’t spike the football.

    Sorry, Sully. You are the Denver Broncos. We are the Seattle Seahawks.

    Suffer, pathetic wusses. Suffer.

  64. 64

    Okay, no, look. When people describe consistent actions with obviously false and inconsistent motivations, or even bizarre meaningless babble (Liberty! My Freedoms!) it’s a defense mechanism. They do it because they cannot admit, even to themselves, what their real motivation is.

    Conservatism is bigotry and hate. Celestia knows they’ve made that obvious enough, even while denying it. For decades they actually have been more and more persecuted, and they feel it and hate it. They’ve been persecuted for being racist assholes, which they deserve no sympathy for. In fact, that lack of sympathy is a big part of the persecution. They can’t talk about fags having lisps or blacks being drug-addicted petty criminals without being called bigots, and they have to hide everything in code even from themselves. Their other bigotries are following a similar course. When a bigot is publicly shamed, they see how far the tide is turned, and they feel oppressed. They are oppressed. Asshole bigotry should be oppressed.

    Heritage, which hires people to really think about this stuff and recommend conservative laws, comes damn close to straight out admitting it here. ‘The law should allow no restrictions on our bigotry!’

  65. 65
    JPL says:

    @Belafon: Mediaite has it on their front page. Like you, next time I’m in the supermarket, I’m going to buy some honey maid graham crackers.

  66. 66
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Amir Khalid: That, indeed, is their only principle.

  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @Ash:

    Oh, and according to this article he was made to resign after it was discovered that the bigot donated to a lot of other right wing causes, including Pat Buchanan’s campaign!

    The Pat Buchanan donation was a real eye opener. He gave $1,000 to a guy who unrepentantly hates gays, hates blacks, hates browns, hates Jews, and hates wimmins.

  68. 68

    I should never post on BJ first thing when I get up. I’m so cranky and lecturey!

  69. 69
    GregB says:

    @Pee Cee:

    I thought Ann Coulter wrote a revised history book claiming that McCarthy was on the side angels.

    They are back to thinking McCarthy is a bad guy again?

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m sure the Big Gay Protests helped a lot, but IIRC several members of the Mozilla Board of Directors resigned when Eich was hired, so I think there were a few additional problems with the guy.

    But God forbid you should try and point out to a conservative that maybe some of the Board didn’t think he was up to the job.

  71. 71
    shelly says:

    As the Brits would say, “Awww, poor diddums.”

  72. 72
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    So the liberals claim another scalp.

    Assrocket is projecting.

    For the Nth time.

    It’s always, ALWAYS projection with these assholes.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @GregB:

    They are back to thinking McCarthy is a bad guy again?

    They can’t make up their mind on Hitler, either.

  74. 74
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Belafon:

    Even better than the original ad, did you see their beautiful response to the haters?

  75. 75
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: You have written one of the better posts I’ve read here in a long time. Kudos. That is very insightful and utterly true so far as I can tell.

  76. 76
    Pee Cee says:

    @GregB:

    They are back to thinking McCarthy is a bad guy again?

    Consistency was never their strong suit.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: That op-ed was EXCELLENT. That man should be a role model for us all.

  78. 78
    MomSense says:

    @Belafon:

    They would be perfect for the front page here!

  79. 79
    Mandalay says:

    @Cacti:

    The Pat Buchanan donation was a real eye opener. He gave $1,000 to a guy who unrepentantly hates gays, hates blacks, hates browns, hates Jews, and hates wimmins

    Even that would have been fine with me if he had he had repudiated his past behavior, and made it clear that his views have genuinely changed. But he hasn’t. Once he landed the CEO job he posted a load of pablum on his blog about inclusiveness, but said nothing about regretting anything he had done in the past.

    That really made it clear that he was just going through the motions.

  80. 80

    Conservatism: ‘I’ve been losing my rights to oppress people for fifty years, and I’m not going to take it anymore!’

    There, that’s the short version.

  81. 81
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Belafon:
    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Here’s the Honeymaid response to the haters.

  82. 82
    cmorenc says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Okay, so you guys were for prohibiting the government from discriminating against same sex couples in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation or contracting, right? Nope.

    Heritage.org’s actual answer to this is that the free market, rather than legislation, is a far more effective and proper means of insuring nondiscrimination against LGBTs. Because the free market was SO highly effective before the mid-1960s in inhibiting racial discrimination in commerce and housing until the civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s intruded onto the scene and spoiled racial harmony. Now tell us another story Uncle Remus, er DeMint.

  83. 83
    Linnaeus says:

    No one really believes in the free market. It’s an abstraction for economics textbooks.

  84. 84
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Oh, and according to this article he was made to resign after it was discovered that the bigot donated to a lot of other right wing causes, including Pat Buchanan’s campaign!

    @Ash: Funny that the live wire, the third rail, the thing that killed America’s Favorite Abusive Uncle’s political career, was not that he hated browns, blacks, or queers, but Jews.

  85. 85
    Linnaeus says:

    @cmorenc:

    Because the free market was SO highly effective before the mid-1960s in inhibiting racial discrimination in commerce and housing until the civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s intruded onto the scene and spoiled racial harmony.

    The conservatarian response to this argument that I’ve seen from time to time is that the free market was never really allowed to work because of laws that instituted and maintained segregation and discrimination.

  86. 86
    Culture of Truth says:

    Al Gore grew up in a hotel while regular guy George Bush was paddled at San Jacinto Middle Schoool.

  87. 87
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Here’s the Honeymaid response to the haters.

    @SiubhanDuinne: That will have the bigots strangling on their own bile. Excellent work by Honeymaid.

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cmorenc: The most libertarian period in US history was the late 19th century, and as we all know, that’s when the “free market” decided that Jim Crow laws were needed.

  89. 89
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Those fucking German fascists. Screwed it up for everyone.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    Culture of Truth says:

    Andrew “Fifth Column” Sullivan is now disgusted by criticism of others’ political beliefs? Is that a joke?

  92. 92

    And doesn’t ‘Don’t spike the football’ mean ‘This guy was wrong, but let’s not act like asshole bigotry is inherently bad, okay?’

    ARRG SO CRANKY WHEN I GET UP. I must find food to fix my blood sugar.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yeah, I’m in the same boat as you. Also, too, need coffee.

  94. 94
    Belafon says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: yeah, I saw both of them last night. I posted links to both of them. They are both great.

  95. 95
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: We’ve had trouble breeding them in captivity.

  96. 96
    Belafon says:

    @Linnaeus: If the free market is so awesome, why can’t it overcome government regulation? Or, if it’s so awesome, why won’t it convince people not to vote against their own pocketbooks? Why would Southerners choose to not serve 25% of their population?

  97. 97

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    That made me feel a lot better. Thank you.

  98. 98
    Matt says:

    The wingnut version of the First Amendment has some extra clauses:

    * the religious beliefs of your company’s owners supersede your own; suck it, laydeez

    * if the speech in question is conservative, “freedom of speech” also includes freedom from having anybody say anything mean about what you said ever. On the other hand, if you’re saying liberal things you’re not only responsible for the consequences of what you said but also anything you can be edited to make it *look* like you said.

  99. 99
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s always appropriate!

  100. 100
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Belafon:

    Oh, sorry, I missed your links. I must say, I am really heartened by the quick, clever, and compassionate advertising and PR that’s popping up recently — Honeymaid, Cheerios, and Ford’s response to Cadillac, to name just three.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: Already been nuked. That didn’t take long.

  103. 103
    Culture of Truth says:

    To be clear, that bootlicking McCarthyite Sullivan disgusts me, and always will.

  104. 104
    Seanly says:

    @Belafon:
    That was an excellent essay.

    I grew up in a very liberal & tolerant household. However, we lived mostly in Little Rock AR and subtle, systemic racism was in-grained from school & classmates. While I wasn’t racist, I wasn’t the most generous in my thoughts. In my sophomore year, I developed a deep friendship with a woman who was dating an African American. That made me re-examine my views on race. I found myself lacking and set myself on a path to be more open & accepting.

    I’m not a rock-the-boat person so like the sergeant in that editorial, I thought “what’s the problem with civil unions?” I didn’t think it fair that some states outlawed even the potential for that, but being straight, I wasn’t in any hurry to expand the civil rights of gay people. I thought they should wait and push in 10 or 20 years for expanded rights. But they deserve full human & civil rights now, not when it’s more convenient (as do all people).

  105. 105
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Why are you asking all those commie questions, commie?

  106. 106
    tybee says:

    @Elizabelle:

    excellent news. the food sucked.

    wonder what that building will be in its next iteration?

  107. 107
    cmorenc says:

    @Linnaeus:

    @cmorenc:

    Because the free market was SO highly effective before the mid-1960s in inhibiting racial discrimination in commerce and housing until the civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s intruded onto the scene and spoiled racial harmony.

    The conservatarian response to this argument that I’ve seen from time to time is that the free market was never really allowed to work because of laws that instituted and maintained segregation and discrimination.

    Because libertarianism, like conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed by meddling fools and socialists.

  108. 108
    Seanly says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    They are! That’s one of the impetuses for all those “religious freedom to be an asshat” bills.

  109. 109
    Mandalay says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    And doesn’t ‘Don’t spike the football’ mean ‘This guy was wrong, but let’s not act like asshole bigotry is inherently bad, okay?’

    You give Sullivan far too much credit. He didn’t even acknowledge that Eich was wrong.

    But what make Sullivan’s complacency really offensive is that he has personally benefited enormously from those who have far more balls and courage than him, and suffered and lost far more than him, when it come to standing up for gay rights.

    Now he is sitting pretty; he has his husband and his blog and his books and his TV shows, and he now wants us all to play nice in the hope that we will win over hearts and minds. And so he can afford to spout this evil nonsense:

    “If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us”

    .
    Why? Because FYIGM, and it’s good for mouse clicks. I really can’t think of any media figure more self-centered than Sullivan, and the bar is already set pretty high for those fuckers.

  110. 110
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Linnaeus: you see, I always thought that in a democracy laws were created according to demand, in a way that closely resembles the free market. But libertarians don’t believe in democracy so I can see how they’ve had trouble with this.

  111. 111
    Linnaeus says:

    @Belafon: @cmorenc: @SatanicPanic:

    All of you: exactly.

  112. 112
    Botsplainer says:

    ErickXErickXErick had this brilliance to offer over at Clownhall:

    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full

    Last week in Texas, Republican gubernatorial nominee and current Attorney General Greg Abbott released a comprehensive education plan for Texas. It is thorough, well-documented and heavy on citations. But one of those citations comes from well-respected scholar Charles Murray. Murray’s work on IQ has, for years, been badly mischaracterized by the left. Liberal journalists in Texas, joining the Democrats’ gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis, are now willingly painting Greg Abbott as a racist for relying on Murray’s work. In doing so, they are again misrepresenting Murray’s work, largely because it ran afoul of acceptable standards of political correctness.

    Sadly, to date, no pudgy white christian conservative activist/pundit grifter has had to hire a food taster or someone to run a mirror under his car every morning.

    I do, however, remain hopeful that something really bad can happen to some of them.

  113. 113
    Schlemizel says:

    JAY-ZEUS! I didn’t even know Time ™ Magazine bloggers of the year assrocket and strapon trunk even existed any more!

  114. 114
    Schlemizel says:

    JAY-ZEUS! I didn’t even know Time ™ Magazine bloggers of the year assrocket and strapon trunk even existed any more!

  115. 115
    Mandalay says:

    @Belafon:

    If the free market is so awesome, why can’t it overcome government regulation?

    The free market doesn’t need to overcome government regulations; it sets them.

    Do you think Mitt Romney’s tax rate is lower than yours because politicians were responding to voter demands?

    Do you think corporate welfare exists because politicians were responding to voter demands?

    Do you think tax havens in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands exist because because politicians were responding to voter demands?

    Do you think deferred compensation tax benefits for high income earners exist because because politicians were responding to voter demands?

    These are all examples of the free market setting the regulations.

  116. 116
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: Word. Also, it’s a little premature for Sullivan or anyone else to proclaim the marriage equality / LGBT civil rights game over. He may have money enough for the legal services it requires to ensure spousal inheritance rights, etc., but plenty of other gay folk are in states (like mine) where they are still subject to blatant employment and housing discrimination, their marriages and families unrecognized, etc. Gay kids are still killing themselves at appallingly high rates due to bullying. We’re not in the end zone; as someone said above, this is a red zone drive in process.

  117. 117
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: On a serious note, to a very fine post:

    Conservatism is bigotry and hate.

    Well, it is, but it’s more than that. It’s defending the status quo no matter what the consequences might be. Conservatism has always been about defending the current order no matter what flaws it may have, because it’s the current order. If it includes the killing of kittens as a ritual of fealty to those who rule, that should never change. It’s tradition. We’re not going to sexual intercourse (conservatives would NEVER EVER use the vulgar “fuck”) with tradition. No way, no how.

    If hate and bigotry are part of the traditional way of doing things (oh, and rest assured, they are!) then they will be defended no matter what the cost or consequences.

    This is how we get pleasant intervals in Human history like the French and Russian Revolutions.

  118. 118
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Does he still have a job?

  119. 119
    Belafon says:

    @Mandalay: I agree with what you wrote, but the argument was that the free market couldn’t work it’s magic on the South because of laws enforcing segregation. It’s libertarians once again refusing to see the flaw in their arguments, and thinking that the market somehow exists independently of the people involved.

  120. 120

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I disagree. That may be what conservatism was. That certainly is how it is defined in theory. Conservatism, as a movement and in common American usage, has very little to do with the status quo. The status quo is only useful if it supports bigotry and hate. The closest they get to the theoretical definition of conservatism is that they’ve made up a past based on 1950s stereotypes they can point to as an authority argument. They don’t want traditional American values, they want to claim that the changes they want to make now were always true.

  121. 121
    Mandalay says:

    @Belafon: I was probably a bit too flippant, and you were on the money with your specific comment about the South.

  122. 122
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: Dunno, but the page is the Facebook equivalent of a 404 not found right now.

  123. 123
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Well, then, they’re more like fascists, who want to return to an imaginary past that never was.

    But then again, contemporary American “conservatives” are anything but. I mean, how “conservative” is it to denounce energy conservation as one means of achieving energy independence? Yet the Dark Lord said this and no one in the Village gainsaid it.

  124. 124
    Belafon says:

    @Mandalay: No biggie. We’re all in agreement that libertarians are assholes.

  125. 125
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yeah, I looked him up. He “apologized” and deeply regrets his “poor choice of words”. I wish someone would regret putting a sharp stick through his face.

  126. 126
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Botsplainer: Well, if “liberals and Democrats” are painting Abbot as a racist for citing the work of Charles Murray, then they are absolutely on target, because Murray is racist shit who should be flayed alive on pay per view.

  127. 127

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Right. Really, it’s a semantic argument. We both agree on what they’re like, and what the textbook definition of ‘conservative’ is. We just disagree about whether that word should be used to describe people who self-identify with the word but are totally unlike the textbook definition.

  128. 128
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: OK, who is this guy, anyways? By the time I saw your post, the page in question had gone the way of the dinosaurs.

  129. 129
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    We’re all in agreement that libertarians are assholes.

    @Belafon: Even libertarians agree.

  130. 130
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Good. Let’s start a war over the semantics! I mean, it’s probably more justified than invading Iraq to find WMDs…

    /heavy sarcasm, hold the mayo

  131. 131
    Ernest Pikeman says:

    @srv: benghazilla.com is available.

  132. 132
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Sadly, to date, no pudgy white christian conservative activist/pundit grifter has had to hire a food taster or someone to run a mirror under his car every morning.

    @Botsplainer: Then goddammit, we are not working hard enough. I want these fuckers to live in the state of abject terror that liberals have been living in for decades.

  133. 133
    scuffletuffle says:

    @Belafon: Wow…awesome article. Thank you for posting it.

  134. 134
    SatanicPanic says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: I’d just be happy if they would get to work on those seasteading plans.

  135. 135
    Cassidy says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: This guy

    Some nuggets of his wisdom. And now he’s a state rep..

  136. 136

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I think Iraq applies to the original topic, about racists feeling oppressed because they’re not allowed to oppress others.

    9/11 and the Bush administration was a godsend for bigoted assholes. Like I said, they’ve been watching the bigotry they’re allowed to express slip away for fifty years. Suddenly they had a new ethnicity they could pick on, Muslims, and they pounced on that opportunity like junkies in withdrawal. They loved it. They got to say all kinds of openly hateful things, calling Muslims inherently immoral and mosques terrorist training centers and denying that Islam is even a religion. This wasn’t any of that weak ‘family values’ shit they’ve been forced to swallow, oh no. This was pure bigotry they could spew without self-censorship for the first time in decades.

    Ironically, this annihilated Bush’s purely political scheme to bring Muslims into the Republican fold.

    When Iraq turned into a fiasco and 9/11 started fading from public memory, they had to start dialing back. That frustration no doubt contributed to the racist freakout – going strong for five years now – when the first black man was elected president.

  137. 137
    Mandalay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    We’re not in the end zone; as someone said above, this is a red zone drive in process.

    Exactly so. This country’s lack of progress (after decades) on rights for women and blacks is disgraceful. For evidence see OPs on BJ every day. So where the hell does Sullivan get off telling others from his lofty perch that we now need to play nice over LGBT rights?

    Now that he has his marriage and his money and his medical benefits, Sullivan has chosen to make himself an opponent of advancing gay rights.

  138. 138
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cassidy: Ah, a teatard asswipe. Poor choice of words, my ass. He meant every one of them, then he got caught.

    Another name for the tumbrel manifest.

  139. 139
    KS in MA says:

    @Belafon: Good for that marine sergeant. And the rest of what you said. If any historians out there are looking for a book to write, I’d say we could use a book about whites in the Jim Crow South who kept quiet. (Or maybe there already is one.)

  140. 140
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay: It’s always about Andy, and Andy alone. Others can go straight to Hell, or your particular supernatural belief system’s equivalent thereof.

  141. 141
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yup, I do believe you’re on to something there.

    They also demolished the plan to bring Latinos into the fold through their blind hatred of melanin, even in very small amounts. The irony is that people with vowels ending their last names were hating on others with closely related ethnic backgrounds. For example, Tancredo bitching about signs in Spanish in Miami.

    They’re also not too bright.

  142. 142
    Rob in CT says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Yeah, I agree.

    The more I think about this the less valid I find Sully’s argument (I never agreed with him, but now I really think he’s full of it).

  143. 143
    D58826 says:

    I don’t particularly like witchhunting/scapegoating/blacklisting from left or right so I’m not comfortable with this guy being forced to resign. On the other hand the right wingers certainly were in full burn them at the stake mode with acorn, Suisan Rice, Shirley Sherrod, Martin Bashir and a whole host of others.

    It isn’t as clear cut as McCarthyism. I think the guy does have a right to speak his mind and contribute to cause’s he supports. Words have consequences however. The rest of us have the right to take our business else where if we disagree with him. My problem is the scope of these disagreements is getting smaller and smaller and the angry voices louder and louder. The slightest thing, no matter how out of context or just a joke that didn’t quite work as intended, sets off a twitter storm (i.e. cancelcolbert). At some point we all will be boycotting everyone else

  144. 144
    Mandalay says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Ironically, this annihilated Bush’s purely political scheme to bring Muslims into the Republican fold.

    O/T, but one of the very few positive things I saw in George Bush was his enthusiasm for defending Islam as a religion. Arguably he had forced his own hand at a political level by his warmongering in Muslim nations, but if he was faking it he had me fooled. He repeatedly pointed out that we should make a clear distinction between terrorists acting in the name of Islam and the religion of Islam. I can’t think of any other politician on the right who has done that, and plenty of them still deliberately conflate terrorism with Islam.

    Bush is still a major league asshole, and was a total disaster as a president, but I did admire him for that.

  145. 145
    Cacti says:

    @D58826:

    I don’t particularly like witchhunting/scapegoating/blacklisting from left or right so I’m not comfortable with this guy being forced to resign. On the other hand the right wingers certainly were in full burn them at the stake mode with acorn, Suisan Rice, Shirley Sherrod, Martin Bashir and a whole host of others.

    Thanks for the Broderist perspective but what a load of twaddle.

    Martin Bashir said impolite things about Sarah Palin. Susan Rice and Shirley Sherrod did nothing wrong period.

    Brendan Eich made a financial contribution to deprive an entire segment of the population equal protection under the law, and to nullify existing same-sex marriages.

    These things are not moral equivalents.

  146. 146
    Betty Cracker says:

    @D58826: I’d see your point if a rank-and-file employee were forced to resign for being a rancid bigot (who kept his bigoted activities out of the workplace), but this guy was the CEO. Part of the job description is being the face of the brand, which is one reason they claim to be worth their obscenely high salaries. Free market forces raised him high, and now free market forces have brought him low.

    Regarding #CancelColbert, that entire incident was based on a willful misunderstanding of what Colbert was doing. It was a high-profile trolling that is not analogous in the least, in my opinion. YMMV.

  147. 147
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    @D58826: you’re an imbecile.

  148. 148
    Mandalay says:

    @D58826:

    The rest of us have the right to take our business else where if we disagree with him.

    Sure we do. But he was the CEO – what about his employees? (I hope your answer isn’t that they are free to leave and find a job elsewhere.)

  149. 149
    J R in WV says:

    Anyone who thinks Sullivan is smart isn’t watching what’s going on here.

    Every time current events reach a crisis point, Sullivan is on the wrong side of history. Every time. That points to stupid, if you ask me. [Here’s a list if you don’t remember his failed positions: 9/11, Iraq, SSM, legalization of medical/recreational Marijuana, election fraud, the list is endless!]

    Like so many British writers who come here, he doesn’t understand our government’s foundations. I thought my high school civics classes were pretty forgettable, but I guess I learned more than I thought.

    Like Piers on TV, Andrew doesn’t really understand American values at all, and apparently has no plans to learn anything about us to improve his ability to write intelligently about issues that are important in America.

    I’ve not visited or sought out his writing for at least 10 or 12 years now, and haven’t missed a thing.

    People who think he’s smart but a little wrong-headed are plain old wrong, and show that they aren’t very intelligent either. He’s not just stupid, he evil as well.

  150. 150

    @Mandalay:
    It is hard to give Bush credit for anything, but I will accept the possibility he was honest in believing Islam should be respected. No one is totally evil. He did a lot of good for AIDs in Africa that had no political advantage as well.

  151. 151
    🍀 Martin says:

    USSC says that political giving is an expression of speech. It’s a blunt expression because the ‘speaker’ is delegating the message to some other party, but this is the outcome that USSC and many conservatives want. If you don’t want your donations used against you, then stop demanding that money = speech and that every person with wealth should therefore carry a louder voice. The only mechanism given to people without wealth is to do, well, what was exactly done at Mozilla. Speech met speech, and the money-based speech lost.

    The money given to Prop 8 worked – the initiative passed. I know that all too well, we spent 10x as much effort fighting it than we did trying to get Obama elected. So ‘regretting’ the donation is gets little sympathy. Actions have consequences. This was the consequence.

  152. 152
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @J R in WV: The reason Sullivan is here, and not back in Britain, is that he had no where to go there. He aspires to the upper class, but he’s got baggage he was born with (Irish, for one thing, Catholic for another) that precludes ever making it to the highest strata. He’d never get a chance to be knighted, for example. He’s no Paul McCartney, he’s no Mick Jagger, he’s no Elton John.

    So he crossed the pond to be here where as long as you’re accepted into the Village, you’re in.

    He’s a lordling wannabe who can never be. Too bad about Andy.

  153. 153
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J R in WV:

    Like Piers on TV, Andrew doesn’t really understand American values at all, and apparently has no plans to learn anything about us to improve his ability to write intelligently about issues that are important in America.

    I’ve noticed that it’s not uncommon for British writers and artists to assume that they understand American culture better than Americans do, even when it’s pretty clear that they don’t. Nick Broomfield is another one who’s absolutely convinced he “gets” America and Americans and gets it wrong almost every time.

  154. 154
    Mandalay says:

    @J R in WV:

    Like so many British writers who come here, he doesn’t understand our government’s foundations.

    Christopher Hitchens is a counterexample in that he definitely understood our government’s foundations, wholeheartedly endorsed them, and wrote books on Jefferson and Paine.

    But of course he was still disastrously (and eventually absurdly) wrong about the Iraq War, so your larger point is valid.

  155. 155
    Mandalay says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    He did a lot of good for AIDs in Africa that had no political advantage as well.

    Yes, he deserves credit for that as well. And AFAIK he hasn’t said a bad word about President Obama.

    But that’s just about everything good I can manage to say about him. I really can’t think of anything else.

  156. 156
    Ruckus says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    I’ll only quarrel with one little bitty part of your comments to day.
    Iraq didn’t turn into a fiasco, It always was one. bushco just made it far worse.

  157. 157
    lol says:

    @Mandalay:

    It’s funny because Muslims broke heavily for Bush in 2000. Another rapidly growing immigrant group with conservative/traditional beliefs that would, on paper, be receptive to Republican messaging… but since they’re not white, the GOP decided to fuck them over. And now their kids are growing up to be Democrats (with accompanying beliefs) because they know Republicans hate them for who they are and will never help them in any way.

  158. 158
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    In Hitchens’ case, I would say that he understood the foundations and theory of our government, but not how it actually works in practice, which is one of those things that’s hard to understand without being immersed in it.

  159. 159
    Mnemosyne says:

    The British guy who probably gets closest to getting American government right is Armando Iannucci, the writer/producer of Veep, but I think that’s more because careerism, backbiting, egomania, and horsetrading are pretty much universal and Veep is an Americanized version of his other political shows like In the Loop.

  160. 160
    Someguy says:

    I’m actually pretty stoked about the Eich firing. It’s about damn time people started being held to account for their beliefs. The First Amendment protects your right to say or think something. It doesn’t protect you from being fired as a consequence, or being picketed by demonstrators, or named and shamed out of a community. I hope the bastard never works again.

    You don’t like the consequences? Then don’t hold that belief. We should have a lot more of this. It’d do more to change minds than all the political vaporizing on the issue sof the day. Being on the wrong side of history shouldn’t be something you can bury in your past. You should get to feel history passing you by like a redneck pickup truck stuck on a railroad crossing. You stand in the way of what’s right, of progress, you should feel the consequences.

  161. 161
    Interrobang says:

    Charles Murray is “well-respected” only by his fellow Nazis, “scientific racists,” and garden-variety white supremacists. (And Phillippe Rushton is still dead, thank G-d.) Which would include Andrew Sullivan, incidentally, who shilled heavily for The Bell Curve, and as far as I know, still defends it. Why any of you pay any attention to him is beyond me. He’s not a liberal, he’s not an “honest conservative,” he’s just a broken clock…except he’s right less often than twice a day.

  162. 162
    TG Chicago says:

    Great post, Betty!

    Obviously you weren’t intending your list to be comprehensive, but regarding reality-inversion you could add:

    The party of “family values” wanting to change the constitution to keep some loving, committed couples from getting married.

  163. 163
    tesslibrarian says:

    @Alexandra: Thank you for that link! I went to the photographer’s site, and he has a whole book of fish, the latest animal my 18-month-old niece finds fascinating. I’ve ordered the book, and believe I’m making progress toward obtaining the title of The Best Aunt Ever. :-)

  164. 164
    drkrick says:

    @Mandalay: Hitchens didn’t get Iraq wrong because he didn’t understand Americans. He got it wrong because he saw a religiously-motivated enemy and jumped in with both feet. If he’d found as good an excuse to go to war with Baptists he’d have done the same thing.

  165. 165
    drkrick says:

    The problem with a lot of these folks is that they have an Econ 101 understanding of what the free market means. They admit it all the time when they defend their positions with “it’s basic Econ 101 that …”

    Of course, thinking you can understand something as complex as a national economy with a semester’s worth of knowledge is as crazy as putting an engineer in charge of designing a bridge during winter break of their freshman year. Typically, they don’t think things through that thoroughly.

  166. 166
    Betty Cracker says:

    @J R in WV: I think he’s very wrong at least 50% of the time if not more, but I don’t consider Sully stupid in the sense that I understand the word, i.e., incapable of abstract thought, unable to coherently frame a point or understand an argument, etc.

    In a way, he’s worse than that; he’s a self-centered prick who rejects every idea that doesn’t conform to his preexisting narrative. In other words, he’s a conservative.

  167. 167
    liberal says:

    It reminds me of a story told me by a friend. Some guy he knew was going to run as a Democratic candidate for federal representative. His boss was a right-wing a$$hole and really like the Republican incumbent, and made it clear to him that if he ran, he’d be fired. And this was before 2000.

    The idea that we should tie one hand behind our backs when dealing with these right-wing scum is laughable.

  168. 168
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: Sullivans first reactions to anything are almost always emotional, conservative, and wrong.. He then gets far too much credit from the left of center for his “thoughtful” walk-backs from asinine opinions.

  169. 169
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I agree with that 100%. And I admit I might have a soft spot for him because he front-paged one of my posts ages ago!

  170. 170
    Cervantes says:

    @Mandalay:

    Like so many British writers who come here, [Sullivan] doesn’t understand our government’s foundations.

    Christopher Hitchens is a counterexample in that he definitely understood our government’s foundations, wholeheartedly endorsed them, and wrote books on Jefferson and Paine. But of course he was still disastrously (and eventually absurdly) wrong about the Iraq War, so your larger point is valid.

    It’s complicated.

    Hitch was nothing like Sullivan. He was an old Trot, and a man of the Enlightenment for a long time married to a humane understanding. If I had to name one thing that destroyed that marriage, it would be aggressive, fundamentalist Islam, starting in the late ’80s with the atavistic ayatollahs and their stupid edict against Salman Rushdie. Within a few years, Hitch was in bed with the neo-cons — and he never really recovered.

  171. 171
    Svensker says:

    @Mandalay:

    But that’s just about everything good I can manage to say about him. I really can’t think of anything else.

    He refused to let Cheney bomb Iran.

    That was pretty big.

  172. 172
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Wasn’t Paul de Man a fascist? ;-)

    (This is me resisting!)

  173. 173
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: Let fly! I haven’t argued with anyone about deconstructionism since 1992!

  174. 174
    liberal says:

    @Cervantes:
    Yeah, that’s all well and good, but then why did he support the invasion of Iraq, FFS? He was certainly intelligent enough to know that Saddam wasn’t a fundamentalist.

  175. 175
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    If I had to name one thing that destroyed that marriage, it would be aggressive, fundamentalist Islam, starting in the late ’80s with the atavistic ayatollahs and their stupid edict against Salman Rushdie. Within a few years, Hitch was in bed with the neo-cons — and he never really recovered.

    So he climbed into bed with aggressive, fundamentalist Christianity to oppose aggressive, fundamentalist Islam?

    I suspect I see a tiny flaw in his brilliant plan there.

  176. 176

    @liberal:
    I’m going with delusions of himself as a mighty heroic war president who did what his father couldn’t do. By the end, reports suggest he had started to see none of that would happen and he’d fucked everything up.

    In contrast, Cheney is incapable of admitting or even understanding that he’s wrong. His many statements and interviews after his VPship ended suggest that he’s pissed off at the rest of us for not understanding he was always right in every way.

  177. 177
    fidelio says:

    @J R in WV: Andrew Sullivan is competent in the facile management of the written word, and has that Oxford background which is so attractive to certain Americans who aren’t capable of seeing past the clever rhetoric to really examine the content.

    He does, however, lack not merely the empathy that someone like Ta-nehisi Coates possesses, but also the capacity for introspection and self-examination, and his Romantic* inclinations towards a certain type of Authority (especially when that Authority has a good speech writer) and other desperate self-delusions therefore are too often only noticed and condemned by the irritated and cynical among his audience. Certainly it never dawns on him how he leads himself into moral swamps, which is why he staggers again and again into the same stretches of the Great Dismal without so much as remarking to himself that the scenery is awfully familiar and it might be time to stop walking and check the map.

    He’s David Broder with an Oxbridge accent, and like Hitchens, that accent makes many among the Chattering Classes in this country ignore his failings, or give him a pass because that training and the things they associate with it are either so attractive or so intimidating to them. The same thing applies to Niall Ferguson and Piers Morgan, two other GriftoBrits here to prey on the colonials’ fascination with a posh accent and a school tie.

    If certain people could overcome their ingrained Anglophilia public discourse in this country would be much improved, but their unwillingness to take on such imports without fear or favor can only drag things down. We have George F. WIll and David Broder and countless others. We don’t need to import more. Save the green cards for people who might be of real use to the country.

    *Not romantic, although if you offered him a night with Winston Churchill, cigars included, he might not be able to resist.

  178. 178
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker: Far be it from me to break your winning streak!

    Anyhow, deconstructionism is more Derrida than it is de Man; and to the extent that it is de Man, to that same extent it’s also Rorty and others — so it’s not fair, I think, to link it only to de Man — or worse, to fascism!

    And re de Man as “fascist”: it was two years during the war; he was 21ish, for crying out loud; and what he did was to write for magazines published by Nazi collaborators. Yes, he did once write some anti-Semitic bilge — but if that’s the criterion, then very nearly the whole culture was “fascist” — a position I reject because it hides far more than it pretends to reveal.

    Plus after he left those magazines, he did some work on behalf of the Resistance, even risking his life by concealing a number of Jewish people from the Germans.

    After the war, his employers were punished by the duly appointed “denazification” [*] authorities; de Man’s case was examined, too, and it was decided that he should not be charged (never mind punished).

    On those grounds, I decline to call the man a fascist.

    ———–

    [*] Re duly appointed “denazification” authorities, it amuses me to recall that Henry Kissinger was one, although not in Belgium as far as I know.

  179. 179
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @fidelio: I believe it was Niall Ferguson who noted that he became a Thatcherite in part because the all the Etonians (and the rest of their ilk) were social democrats.

  180. 180
    fidelio says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: This plus eleventy-billion. And there are people here who are impressed by his supposed “background”.

  181. 181
    Mandalay says:

    @Cervantes:

    Hitch was nothing like Sullivan.

    They certainly share this trait: they were (are?) both revolting show ponies, with a desperate desire to be the center of attention, and the need to talk endlessly about themselves. (For you Greenwald haters, he is a complete amateur compared to those two.)

    Hence, what better position for a Socialist to adopt than to leap in bed with the NeoCons, and what better position for a gay man to adopt than to defend someone who wants to deny rights to gay people?

    Logic and reason don’t enter into it. Those indefensible positions delivered Hitchens and Sullivan exactly what they crave more than anything: our attention.

  182. 182
    Senyordave says:

    @Mandalay: Well, he did look pretty good compared to the people he surrounded himself with. But it is certainly damning with faint prasie to say that he isn’t as bad as Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.

  183. 183
    fidelio says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Was it simple, bone-headed contrarianism, or was it some other slightly-considered impulse?

  184. 184
    Mandalay says:

    @Svensker:

    He refused to let Cheney bomb Iran. That was pretty big.

    It doesn’t seem quite so big if you rephrase it to state that Bush refused to let the person he had selected to be his Vice President bomb Iran.

    I suppose we could also give Bush credit for never getting caught in bed with a dead goat, but some might argue that is setting the bar pretty low.

  185. 185
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @fidelio: I haven’t the foggiest. He did say that the Thatcherites were the only interesting people at the university, so I put it down to idiocy.

  186. 186
    ellie says:

    @Mandalay: I liked his dog, Barney.

  187. 187
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: The d-con professors at my cow college were big on de Man, but this was long after scholars at posher schools had decamped for greener critical pastures. Anyhoo, I’ll only note in response that my original comment was followed by a smiley face. Context, damn it! It matters! ;-)

  188. 188
    redoubt says:

    @tybee: That it did. I’d like to see Barbara Jean’s come back to town, but anything (other than Carey Hilliard’s) would be an improvement.

  189. 189
    Cervantes says:

    @liberal:

    Yeah, that’s all well and good

    No, actually, it wasn’t — not then and still not now.

    but then why did he support the invasion of Iraq, FFS? He was certainly intelligent enough to know that Saddam wasn’t a fundamentalist.

    As I said, it started when his friends were attacked by a certain variety of Islam. By the mid-’90s he was in bed with the neo-cons. We lost him then, although not all of us noticed. After the outrage and trauma of 9/11, he began to lose himself and, while vulnerable, adopted the faith of the neo-cons as his own. Iraqi exiles made friends with him, and vice versa. It became his new marriage.

    When the witless plan to re-invade Iraq was conceived, well before 9/11, Hitch was not aware of it — but when it was born, it was evident that what it needed most was wit — and his pen was ready.

    Yes, of course, he knew very well that Saddam Hussein was no Islamist. It did not matter; just as it did not matter to so many others. The New York Times knew it — but do you recall what they published?

    So, on the one hand there was Daddy, and empire, and what Israel wanted, and maybe even bloodlust:

    Judge whether good enough hit SH @ same time — not only UBL — Hard to get a good case — Need to move swiftly — Near term target needs — go massive — sweep it all up — Things related & not.

    On the other hand there was the cruelty of 9/11, stark and undeniable.

    In short, it was a time of madness.

    People did mad things, Hitch included.

    Anyhow, I am sorry for rambling on. I’m pretty sure I have not answered your question. Better luck next time, eh?

  190. 190
    Cervantes says:

    @Mandalay: Yes, your perspective is different.

    (By the way, Christopher Hitchens died more than two years ago.)

  191. 191
    fidelio says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You know, we all do and think and say a lot of things when we’re that age because it seems like the cool thing to do. Sometimes we step back and reconsider. Sometimes we’re still running around in the bright blue eye shadow, heavy eyeliner, and beehive hairdo from the 1960s when we’re old enough to draw Social Security.

  192. 192
    Cervantes says:

    @fidelio:

    Was it simple, bone-headed contrarianism, or was it some other slightly-considered impulse?

    Ferguson? He started at Oxford in the early ’80s, with Andrew Sullivan, the latter being one of the highly interesting Thatcherites he quickly came to admire so deeply.

    What he did not like about the upper-class kids was what he dismissed as their vain self-stylings: their arguing on behalf of striking coal-miners, even unto affecting a lower-class dialect in solidarity; their criticism of their own parents; and so on. It’s true there was some hypocrisy there — but dismissing everything inconvenient in that way is always a poor hand to play and Ferguson only over-plays it.

  193. 193
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cervantes: I was reading The Nation back then (still do) and sadly watched Hitchens develop full-blown neo-conitis. Noble mind o’erthrown and all that.

  194. 194
    Gex says:

    So I guess in Sully’s estimation, true freedom lies in forcing gay people to continue to use Mozilla/Firefox even if they would rather not. And in preventing gay people from SAYING why they want to chose other products.

    Gotta love the conservative conception of freedom. Somehow, even when expressed by a gay conservative, freedom means gay people do not get to live their lives as they see fit and should shut the fuck up.

  195. 195
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker: As Montaigne put it, the thing we should fear the most is fear.

  196. 196
    Cervantes says:

    @Gex: Do you have a link to what Sullivan said? I’m curious.

    Also, this was quoted above (not from Sullivan):

    So the liberals claim another scalp. This is something new in our history, as far as I know. Until now, private citizens could hold whatever political beliefs they wanted, and support political causes as they chose.

    Supporting political causes is OK for CEOs — but when their customers do it, Hinderaker can’t even see that it’s the same thing? He can’t really be as stupid as that, one wants to say, and yet …

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