Sociological Overview Open Thread: Andrew Sullivan Remains the Exemplar of Upscale Republican Activism

“Generally speaking, my point of view is the whole point of a civil rights movement is to end. You’ve achieved certain things. You’re done. Now get on with your lives. And I think it was one of the most controversial things I ever said in the gay community early on was my goal to shut the gay rights movement down because we’ve succeeded. And I think we almost have, and I want to shut it down after that. I’m not a perpetual — I’m certainly not a progressive in that sense. I believe in society adjusting to social change and moderating and modulating its social institutions, so they’re relevant to current realities.”

Shorter Sullivan: Look, I have just about everything *I* wanted in the way of ‘civil rights’ — why are the rest of You People hanging around wearing those ugly expressions?


Ran across these quotes on somebody else’s twitter feed; they’re transcriptions from a National Review Online podcast. Haven’t tried to listen to the whole thing, cuz I just got some expensive dental work done, and the inside of my mouth is all torn up already.

Bonus echt “Sully” quote:

“I helped bring a lot of readers to [Ta-Nehisi Coate’s] blog, helped him get where he is. I think he’s a beautiful writer and a very, very sharp mind. I regret deeply where he’s ended up… And I think ‘Beyond the World and Me’ was really just a terrible book in the crudeness of it, in the despair of it, in the melodrama of it. It terribly disappointed me and similarly his public position that we live in some crushing white supremacy, which I don’t believe we do, or that African Americans have almost no agency whatsoever in terms of their lives and their future or that they haven’t actually made huge strides in this country and are not actually one of its most powerful and dominant cultural, social, and even political forces. So I just don’t see it the way he does. I certainly respect him, but I find myself deeply alienated by his current politics. He didn’t used to be this doctrinaire or this so absorbed by the sort of social justice left, but there we are.”

I’m quite sure Sullivan Means Well, but he simply can’t imagine any human situation outside of his own personal experience and that of his upper-class, highly-educated, media-based, mostly white, fixedly Conservative conservative bubble.

And that, IMO, is why he’s been a darling of that bubble since he first fled England for the “best, most prosperous former British colony” back in the 1980s, and why he’s made such a nice living fronting for The Bubble ever since.

188 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Lips pursed 😒

    Sullivan is just so….UGH😡😡

  2. 2
    mike in dc says:

    Racism and misogyny are not exactly alien to the LGBT community. And last I checked, gay adoption and employment discrimination were still issues. I guess Andy doesn’t GAF about trans rights, either.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Sullivan is part of the gay set that wanted marriage because it made him different, and he just wanted to be that White male, with all his White privilege, but the pesky thing of being a homosexual got in the way. Why can’t he be from an entitled group , dammit!😠😠

  4. 4
    Raoul says:

    It’s almost too bad Sullivan doesn’t like Trump. He’d make a fantastic sadistic self-absorbed Nazi in Trumpland.
    And by fantastic, I mean a piece of shit.

  5. 5
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    A link from Sullivan’s blog was what led me here to Balloon Juice in about 2004.

    Sullivan described Cole as a “reasonable Republican” and I wanted to see what one looked like.

    Since then one of them has grown up.

  6. 6
    Mike in NC says:

    Wow. Don’t miss reading of that Sullivan crap about the fifth column liberals in 2001.

  7. 7
    burnspbesq says:

    In a world where people take Greenwald seriously, it’s hard for me to get bent out of shape over Aaaaaahhhhhhndrew.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Didn’t read Sully. Fuck him. He wasted his voice, and I have no reason to take him seriously – and he ain’t funny.

  9. 9
    Sask_Ex_Pat says:

    Sullivan is a true reactionary, in that his MO is to respond on a quite visceral level and then construct his worldview around that reaction. He hates Coates’s current work because it directly contradicts a narrative Sullivan has been building for decades; that black people are somehow inferior, society isn’t that unfair, and that the privileged are mostly deserving of their status. Different outhouse, same shit.
    NRO seems a likely home for him, until he winds up at the Federalist.

  10. 10
    Roger Moore says:

    @mike in dc:
    I think AL has it spot on: Sullivan is saying IGMFY. The gay rights movement has gotten him all the rights he cares about where he lives, so as far as he’s concerned, it’s time to declare victory and shut down. He has no sense of obligation to the people who helped him get what he wants but who need help getting what they want.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Sullivan’s greatest problem is he can NEVER be a member of the British Upper Class. Not because he’s gay; not because he’s poorly educated: because he’s Irish.

    So he compensates for all this on this side of the pond.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Well educated, well read, with a posh accent doesn’t actually indicate intelligence, smarts, and/or common sense. He’s one of the best argument against The Bell Curve.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    Andrew has always been a dick, but then I’m female, so his misogyny was obvious to me. As is his never ending “genteel” racism. He’s a token for conservatives, just like Ben Carson, so they can pretend that it’s a big tent.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Raoul: One of his aspirations for years has been to become a Kapo in Pat Robertson’s Vernichtungslager for fags.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @mike in dc: He would be like this if he was straight. He would be like this if he was asexual. He would be like this if he was an ambisexual walnut!

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: So he is the asshole that many of us have seen him as being? Just saying.

  17. 17
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: posh accents, especially British ones in the US, can cover up a lot of warts

  18. 18
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    ambisexual walnut


  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raoul: But then Stephen Miller would have to find a real job.

  20. 20
    Mike J says:

    Never understood why anybody read him. I’ve got better things to waste my time on than bigots (and yes, anybody who thought The Bell Curve was science is a bigot or, if I’m being kind, too stupid to go out in public alone.)

  21. 21
    amygdala says:

    Sully labeling anyone, especially TNC, as melodramatic is extraordinary. And not in a good way.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Best I can tell, the only thing Miller would be good at is cleaning restrooms or asking “do you want fries with that?”

  23. 23
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    with a posh accent

    It must come across differently over your way. From here he sounds decidedly estuary.

    A posh accent would be more like Stephen Fry or Hugh Laurie.

  24. 24
    Doug! says:


    Yeah, I read the excerpts and as awful as they were, they’re mostly pretty reasonable compared to Glenn. Sure, he trashed TNC in a dumb way but at least he’s not a closet white nationalist, like GG

  25. 25
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Yes, yes he is.
    He has managed to be a dick and an asshole at the same time.
    At least there is irony in this. Because there is nothing else to appreciate in any way with him.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Sully’s accent isn’t that posh. It is standard grammar school (posh option) middle class.

  27. 27
    Dmbeaster says:

    It would seem that at least Andrew is more candid about his odious views, and no longer pretends to be semi-reasonable.

    Plus what a disgusting argument about why we should cease to care about civil rights – that allegedly things have improved enough that we can now just forget about it. Powerful forces seek to undo those advances, and walking away from the fight guarantees that those gains will be undone. Kind of like Sullivan giving a platform to the Bell Curve – why, we should just stop fighting about civil rights even though we are openly discussing how blacks are racially inferior. I guess Sullivan also forgets how in 2015 those conservative darlings Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal were willing participants in a Des Moines conference hosted by Kevin Swanson who openly advocates the mass extermination of gays, and repeated that position during his keynote speech.

    No, nothing to see here. No need to be concerned.


  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Yes they can.

  29. 29
    guachi says:

    Sullivan’s blog back when it was … wherever it was… was the first blog I seriously read back in 2003 or so. I liked that he linked to all sorts of viewpoints. He even published a letter I sent to him.

    But his time has past and his narrowness of worldview is an obvious liability.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I’m pretty sure that’s from a Bloom County comic circa 1986 give or take.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    He’s the classic”Conservative with personal axes to grind”. He disagrees with his fellow conservatives just often enough to give hope he might see the light and change sides.

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: I’m tone deaf.

  33. 33
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I think you over estimate his skills. Way over.

  34. 34
    guachi says:

    Sullivan was an odd duck who had the ability to link to all sorts of viewpoints but simultaneously not really understand them.

  35. 35
    Roger Moore says:

    GG’s white nationalism is not very deep in the closet.

  36. 36
    Lyrebird says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: If I ever saw that dead-eyed person coming out of a restroom (e.g. after cleaning it) or taking my order at a fast food restaurant, I would avoid ever going there again.

    Dear heaven, please let this nation not pick up political leaders from the white nationalist scratch and dent bin ever again, either!!!

  37. 37
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Then you’d like the Aussie accent.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: I don’t trust him. At all.

  39. 39
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: #BloomCountyAfterDark featuring Steve Dallas and two small-nosed sorority girls

  40. 40
    Yarrow says:


    Sully labeling anyone, especially TNC, as melodramatic is extraordinary.

    So true. Andrew Sullivan is nothing if not overly excitable and melodramatic. Remember when Obama had lost, Lost, LOST! the 2012 election after the first debate? Oh, the rending of garments and wailing that occurred in Sullivan’s liveblog and various interviews afterwards. Obama was doomed. Doomed!

  41. 41
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: @Omnes Omnibus: but how many people in flyover land know that? Can they distinguish between Alistair Cooke and Cockney rhyming slang?

  42. 42
    Doug! says:

    @Roger Moore:

    No it’s not. I’m being generous.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: (I can only thank Sullivan for leading me to TNC at this point). The thing that probably pisses me off the most about Sullivan is AFAICT TNC would never have told him how to react, feel, think, or study the history of the English invasions and domination of the Irish people. WTH does he insist on doing it to African Americans like TNC?

    (He’s like a walking cliche that individuals who’ve suffered injustice don’t necessarily become just when they gain power).

  45. 45
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: ok, that’s one. How many more do we need for a Democratic wave election?

  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug!: No he’s an overt white supremacist.

  47. 47
    B.B.A. says:


    at least he’s not a closet white nationalist

    He’s not? Could’ve fooled me.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I think that’s far too skilled work for him.

  49. 49
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:
    He might have been that 12-15 yrs ago. But he lost/threw away whatever idyllic concept of possibility of learning better that he may have had. Lost/threw away is being too nice to him. He stomped it into the ground, then pissed on it, then poured on gasoline and set it on fire.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I don’t trust him either. He’s unwilling to admit he was wrong about anything important, which is the absolute minimum for gaining my trust.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: More. I don’t pretend that I know.

  52. 52
    amygdala says:

    @Yarrow: When he had his blog, I was always amazed at how histrionic he could be. Over time, he seemed to develop this dim awareness of how unseemly that was, and after the storm would pass, he’d sort of acknowledge, but not quite apologize, for it, as if that made it all ok.

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: All accents matter!

    I like Aussie and Kiwi accents. I lived in Scotland for three years and like most of the regional Scottish ones with a couple of exceptions. Largely because they are impossible to understand what the person is saying!

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Are you stuck at an airport again?

  55. 55
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Largely because they are impossible to understand what the person is saying!

    That isn’t an accent issue. It’s because they’re speaking Scottish rather than English.

  56. 56
    Paul W. says:

    I would never have called myself a defender of Sullivan. But his flat out dismissive and posh fuckwad attitude towards Coates (whose life he has no idea about) as “melodrama” makes me want to physically vomit. Good by Andrew, apparently I hardly knew you you piece of shit.

  57. 57
    Yarrow says:


    Over time, he seemed to develop this dim awareness of how unseemly that was, and after the storm would pass, he’d sort of acknowledge, but not quite apologize, for it, as if that made it all ok.

    Agreed. He’d sort of take a baby step back, saying, well, maybe there could possibly be some truth in some other opinion, but in general the other opinion is wrong. Then he’d take another step from there and so on until he’d kind of admitted the other people were right, which would then mean he was wrong, but he’d never say that.

    Remember when he turned his blog green during the Iranian uprising? He was practically screaming that everything would be solved if Obama would JUST WEAR A GREEN TIE!

  58. 58
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I am in my own home. It’s an unfamiliar feeling. At least I don’t have to leave again until Saturday. The arbitration in SanFran isn’t until Monday, but I’m going sailing on Sunday. Mike J, keep your phone handy in case I get into trouble.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore: Gaelic vs English? Yes?

  60. 60
    Wapiti says:

    I check Coates’ twitter feed; he was shaking his head in disbelief: Sullivan couldn’t even remember the name of the book was Between the World and Me.

  61. 61
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Can they distinguish between Alistair Cooke and Cockney rhyming slang?

    I remember Alistair Cooke, did he come across as English? I listened to Letter from America in the 80s. Until I found out who he was, I had assumed he was American.

  62. 62
    Ruckus says:

    I’m quite sure Sullivan Means Well, but he simply can’t imagine any human situation outside of his own personal experience and that of his upper-class, highly-educated, media-based, mostly white, fixedly Conservative conservative bubble.

    I’d buy that except that he’s had way too many people explain it to him over the years that his ability to mean well could possibly just be gone, I don’t think it ever existed.
    He just doesn’t care about anyone other than himself.
    He is an asshole.

  63. 63
    Mike J says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Water weighs 8 lbs/gallon. Keep it out of the boat.

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Not Scotts Gaelic; Scottish, which is the closest relative of English. It sounds enough like English to fool people into thinking they can understand it, but they can’t.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: No, these are folks from deep in the Neuk of Fife or from Auchtermuchty. Women from East Kilbride have a terrible accent. It is intelligible, but it makes one’s ears bleed!

  66. 66
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: There are two different peoples in Scotland. The Gaels in the north and the islands and the Scots in the south.

    The Scots are descendants of Saxons who pushed north into the lowlands of Scotland about the 9th Century. Their speech derives from ancient Northumbrian rather than the southern English dialects.

    Scots or Scottish English is what you normally hear from Groundskeeper Willy.

  67. 67
    efgoldman says:

    In the early days of blogging I was introduced to Sully via an op-ed he wrote in the WSJ, in support of gays in the military. He, in turn, sent me here and introduced me to Coates. When he went on hiatus, I found out I didn’t miss him – and he certainly isn’t worth paying for, especially because, with the passing of Bush43, his one note hobby horses are just tiresome.

  68. 68
    GregB says:

    Sully. What an insufferable ball-bag.

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Gaelic is both intelligible and understandable.

  70. 70
    amygdala says:

    @Yarrow: I might understand the haughty histrionics if he weren’t wrong so often, and about very consequential things, like, oh, the Iraq War. He’s completely innumerate, one of a number of reasons he doesn’t grasp that nattering about The Bell Curve as he does only exposes his ignorance. And I’ve had to laugh lately at his attempts to psychoanalyze Trump. Devoid of empathy, grandiose, entitled… hmmm….

  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: I know Alistair Cooke.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: I know the difference. I’m talking about Scottish people from specific areas speaking English with such pronounced accents that they are impossible to understand.

  73. 73
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “and you, sir, are no Alistair Cooke!”

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I am not. Nor would I want to be.

  75. 75
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Sask_Ex_Pat: Didn’t he have something to do with pushing The Bell Curve?

  76. 76
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: just like here with people from Appalachia or Boston

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Pretty much.

  78. 78
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I know Alistair Cooke.

    Send him my regards. I hope he’s feeling better. I had heard he was unwell.

  79. 79
    Lyrebird says:

    @Wapiti: Yeah I saw that mistake, thought it might be a mis-typing or something, but jeepers.

    So I just don’t see it the way he does.

    Gee. Perhaps, when one does not see things in the same manner as one’s colleague, and one’s colleague has perchance written A Book, one could try reading it with an open mind…

    I’ve only read about a third of the book before I gave it back to whoever loaned it to me, but my main takeaway was, “hmm this will be really useful for people outside of Bmore to read, especially if they are white people who have not yet read Malcolm X’s biography.” Guess I should add “white people more willing to open their eyes than Andrew Sullivan is” to that.

  80. 80
    Yarrow says:

    @amygdala: Oh, that’s rich. I did not know he has been psychoanalyzing Trump.

  81. 81
    oldgold says:

    Quite a bit twitter buzz this evening about Mueller filing indictment(s) tomorrow.

  82. 82
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Doug!: Griftwalds’s white nationalism isn’t so closeted:

    “The parade of evils caused by illegal immigration is widely known,” Greenwald wrote in 2005. The facts, to him, were indisputable: “illegal immigration wreaks havoc economically, socially, and culturally; makes a mockery of the rule of law; and is disgraceful just on basic fairness grounds alone.” Defending the nativist congressman Tom Tancredo from charges of racism, Greenwald wrote of “unmanageably endless hordes of people [who] pour over the border in numbers far too large to assimilate, and who consequently have no need, motivation or ability to assimilate.” Those hordes, Greenwald wrote, posed a threat to “middle-class suburban voters.”

    In several cases over a five-year span, Greenwald represented [pro bono] Matthew Hale, the head of the Illinois-based white-supremacist World Church of the Creator, which attracted a small core of violently inclined adherents. In one case, Greenwald defended Hale against charges that he had solicited the murder of a federal judge. Hale was eventually convicted when the federal prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, produced the FBI informant with whom Hale had arranged the killing. Greenwald’s other clients included the neo-Nazi National Alliance, who were implicated in an especially horrible crime. Two white supremacists on Long Island had picked up a pair of unsuspecting Mexican day laborers, lured them into an abandoned warehouse, and then clubbed them with a crowbar and stabbed them repeatedly. The day laborers managed to escape, and when they recovered from their injuries, they sued the National Alliance and other hate groups, alleging that they had inspired the attackers. Greenwald described the suit as a dangerous attempt to suppress free speech by making holders of “unconventional” views liable for the actions of others. His use of a euphemism like “unconventional” to describe white nationalists was troubling, but on First Amendment grounds, he had a strong case and he made it successfully.

    Who represents Nazis for 5 years for free. Especially someone as greedy as Griftwald. (link)

  83. 83
    Mike J says:

    @oldgold: If he does we’ll know in less than 12 hours.

  84. 84
    James E. Powell says:


    I remember that. Sullivan & Tweety both had epic meltdowns.

  85. 85
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Mike J: Word on street: Jared is going down.

  86. 86
    Aleta says:

    Really? Because what I noticed when I read AS (I found both the Dish and Balloon Juice from TNC’s links; then stopped reading the Dish in disgust) was that AS would provoke TNC when he needed attention and increased clicks to promote or sell himself, by saying insulting things to get a response, and then advertise it as a debate. (Maybe doing the same here?)
    I couldn’t believe he would use a genuine and intellectually honest person in such a dishonest way. What a condescending shallow self-centered prick. Excuse my language.

  87. 87
    oldster says:

    Interesting that so many of us read AS early in the Bush years.

    I can only echo what most people have said here: his profound selfishness made him unreadable in the long run. But that’s also what makes him a conservative.

    Every now and then you see a right-winger who cares about a worthwhile cause. A Republican who cares about childhood leukemia, say.

    I guarantee you, it’s because they or a family member are personally afflicted by it. And if you ask them about a disease their kid doesn’t have? “Cerebral palsy? Who cares? They should pull themselves up by their bootstraps!”

    If Sully had not been born gay, he would have been the fiercer opponent of gay rights than Roy Moore and Jerry Falwell put together. He still would have been a misogynist and racist–that’s just part of his deep selfishness and hatred of the other.

    I regret the years that I spent reading his blog. Now I know there are many other, better, wiser voices out there.

  88. 88
    Mike J says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: If Huggybear is named Louise I ain’t buyin’ it.

    If anything happens, we’l know in 12 hours.

  89. 89
    SRW1 says:

    Sullivan says he “helped him get where he is” and thinks he is a “beautiful writer,” but hates where he has ended up ideologically

    Gee, Andrew, did that black fellar overstep his assignated station?

  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: Only met him once. Part of a Bobby Jones Trust event.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: The Marshal of the Supreme Court will release the Eagles of Justice tomorrow. Maybe! If not, then on Monday! He has 3,200 sealed, secret writs of execution to oversee!

  92. 92
    efgoldman says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    just like here with people from Appalachia or Boston

    Hey! The Boston accent is wicked pissah!

  93. 93
    James E. Powell says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    What’s the word on the street with respect to a pardon?

  94. 94
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Mike J: No, not her. Multiple independent sauces.

    I know this isn’t the same, but last week there were multiple independent sauces saying Yankees had acquired Stanton, long before any of the top, well connected sportswriters. It was kind of hard to believe, but it turned out true.

    Anyways. here’s hoping.

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: At this point it’s just RUMINT.

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    “The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.”
        – Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, Commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office (1835 – 1845)

    Sullivan has always struck me as someone whose professional dream was to become Noel Coward and succeeded – halfway.

    And it ain’t the “Noel” half.

    N.B.: Purposely chose not to go with the more widely known but apocryphal quote attributed to Patent Office head Robert Holland Duell (1875 – 1977).

  97. 97
    joel hanes says:

    reading, reading about, or discussing Andrew Sullivan and/or his writings
    considered a monumental waste of time,
    and always has been

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: There is this interesting news though. Looks like Mueller’s decided to pull on the Cambridge Analytica/Brad Parscale data operation threads. Those threads are knotted around Bannon and the Mercers. As well as Firtash.

    And this part too:

  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    I agree with the assessment of Andrew Sullivan as much better-read than most but not as smart. He makes a good first impression, but stick around long enough and that wears thin. His less-flattering side shows through: the Thatcher worship, the name-dropping of his intellectual authorities, the none-too-well hidden biases and self-centredness. His prose is pretty good; but once I realised he had nothing much to say with it, I was done with him.
    Alongside chord progressions, The Girl and I have begun work on Chuck Berry style rhythm playing

  100. 100
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @James E. Powell: Nothing on that.

    I imagine what happens is Mueller calls the attorneys representing the target the day before and instructs them to surrender their client the next morning. Once that happens it can leak out.

    That said, I fully expect a Saturday Night Massacre some time in the future.

  101. 101
    efgoldman says:

    @James E. Powell:

    What’s the word on the street with respect to a pardon?

    As always, it will do what it wants in and of the moment without regard to implications or consequences.
    I expect his lawyers will have told him indictments from the state of New York, on the same or similar state charges, will follow. Not to mention the fifth amendment ramifications with Kushkie’s further testimony
    – This falls out better than I could devise. (Oberon to Puck, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 3 scene 2)

  102. 102
    NotMax says:

    So, how’s everyone doing now that we have all been Pai filtered?

  103. 103
    Sask_Ex_Pat says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: He did, and has refused to back down from his support for it on a few occasions.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Adam L Silverman: absolutely.

  106. 106
    Corner Stone says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    Multiple independent sauces.
    I know this isn’t the same, but last week there were multiple independent sauces saying Yankees had acquired Stanton,

    Sweet and Sour, Hot, BBQ, or some other independent sauce?

  107. 107
    The Lodger says:

    @Adam L Silverman: There are linguistic maps of Scotland with large areas labeled “Subtitles Required.”

  108. 108
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike J:
    That duck’s not walking enough. And the guy bears little resemblance to Chuck. I can’t believe you tried to foist an impostor off on me. Pout.

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Delicious RUMINT though!

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Caribbean jerk, mango-habanero, and tzatziki!

  111. 111
    NobodySpecial says:

    I’ve been saying for the better part of a decade that Sullivan is a pissant and not worth listening to, and getting pushback from liberals there who insisted he was really almost on the side of the angels.

  112. 112
    NotMax says:

    @The Lodger

    Terra Incomprehensa.


  113. 113
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    G always says that he had TAs from all over the world when he was in college, and the only one who was completely unintelligible was the one from Scotland.

  114. 114

    I also got here from Sully links. The Dish was a great aggregator feed.

  115. 115
    Ruckus says:

    The baseball team? Surly ain’t the dudes with wings.

  116. 116
    SFAW says:


    Sullivan couldn’t even remember the name of the book was Between the World and Me.

    Yeah, I was wondering if TNC had written a new book, and I missed it.

  117. 117
    Death Panel Truck says:


  118. 118

    @Viva BrisVegas: @Mnemosyne: @The Lodger: they just released a Scots translation of the first Harry Potter.

  119. 119
    SFAW says:


    So, how’s everyone doing now that we have all been Pai filtered?

    You should be sent to the penalty box for that one. Actually, no — that’s more of a game misconduct penalty.

    ETA: Which is to say: I wish I had thought of it first.

  120. 120
    SFAW says:


    G always says that he had TAs from all over the world when he was in college, and the only one who was completely unintelligible was the one from Scotland.

    You’ve probably seen it, but Robin Williams did a great bit about being in Scotland — the bit where he describes how golf was invented — and it was obvious he concurred.

  121. 121
    JustRuss says:

    Aside from the IGMFY (from a conservative? Shocking!!), you have to be an idiot to think anything is settled in this country. There are millions of voters who would love to roll back the last few decades of progress–MAGA says “Hi” Andrew!–any rights that have been won can be lost again.

  122. 122
    Mike J says:

    US girls take gold in 420. Nice.

  123. 123
    gene108 says:

    Just got back from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It left me with more questions than answers.

    I need to see it a few more times 😎😀😜

  124. 124
    Mary G says:

    I used to like the Dish because they had good links I didn’t see elsewhere, Andrew could really write, and published a dissent of the day. I always knew he was a horrendous misogynist, but he seems to be getting a bit senile because a lot of what he’s written for NY Mag is completely unreadable. They don’t even draw attention to his stuff anymore, it’s tucked away where you have to search his name. This TNC stuff is insufferable, and Sully is dead to me now.

  125. 125
    Vhh says:

    @Roger Moore: And he doesn’t live in Alabama.

  126. 126

    @gene108: me too! I liked it! Really drove home all the flaws with The Force Awakens.

  127. 127

    @Mary G: me tweeting at him mockingly was once the headline bit of a Dissent of the Day. Very proud.

  128. 128
    Caravelle says:

    I watched MLK’s I have a dream speech recently, and he was pretty clear about when the civil rights movement would be “done”. And those conditions clearly aren’t satisfied yet. Some of them are the same issues Black Lives Matter is about today.

  129. 129
    Mayur says:

    I would have beaten his Tory ghora ass with a lathi back in the day. Why do people allow this obnoxious fuck to have any attention in this day and age? He should have been hounded out of public life back in the Betsy McCaughey days.

  130. 130
    karl gusick says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yes, this. I miss it for the links — several offerings a day, even!

  131. 131
    mike in dc says:

    I wouldn’t say indicting Jared is the ball game, but it probably gets us to mid-game, and makes it effectively impossible to fire Mueller. It puts Russiagate on the threshold of the President’s door, with a member of his inner circle, his daughter’s husband.

  132. 132
    joel hanes says:

    @mike in dc:

    Truly we live in interesting times.

  133. 133

    @Mike J: Well you do have legal pot up there.

  134. 134
    RobNYNY says:

    @Mike J:
    His early homophobic writings for the New Republic say a lot about him. He was self-loathing from the start, in my opinion.

  135. 135
    mike in dc says:

    @joel hanes: It would be a considerable surprise if it happened this early. It wouldn’t be a surprise that it happened, though. But if it did happen, perhaps both the ramp up to fire Mueller and the early indictment would be indicative of the raising of the stakes on both sides.

  136. 136
    Calouste says:

    @mike in dc: I’m not sure Jared is next in line. I’d say some schmuck from Cambridge Analytica who cut a deal

  137. 137
    gene108 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    What are the flaws you had in “The Force Awakens”? TFA seemed to be about reassuring people the new films would not be like the prequels than anything else.

  138. 138
    Schlemazel says:

    Sully should be in an exclusive club with Newt. The stupid peoples idea of a smart persons club. I know he writes pretty but I never understood why anyone mistook him for an intellectual.

  139. 139
    JR says:

    Oddly whatever “learning” Sullivan had shown was disposed of quickly once he had to respond to – of all people – Sarah Palin.

  140. 140
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  141. 141
    Kay says:

    The US Justice Department said copies of private text messages exchanged between two former special counsel investigators were disclosed to some members of the media before they were given to Congress.
    According to a DOJ statement, those text messages “were not authorized” for release.

    Every time I start to think Mueller isn’t going anywhere – and I think this periodically just because I still don’t know anything about what happened in ’16 and it’s now almost ’18- every time I think that, I see how much they’re doing to spin and block this and I know they’re hiding something. Now, maybe they’re all hiding their various sleazy business dealings and it wasn’t coordination to get Trump elected but is now coordination to hide their sleazy business dealings but they are hiding something and it’s a threat to them or they wouldn’t enlist this corrupt army of people to hide it.

  142. 142
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Is this blog broken?

  143. 143
    debbie says:

    You’re done. Now get on with your lives.

    Jeez, what a stupid, stupid thing to say. As if those who opposed you would just shut up and go away with their tails between their legs. For all his “intellectual brilliance” and as history has shown time and time again, Sullivan ought to know that bigotry and hatred never end.

  144. 144
    debbie says:


    Morning. Have you seen any of the posts about you, lamh, and ruemara as FPers?

  145. 145
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @debbie: It’s also the central argument in Shelby County v. Holder.

  146. 146
    Matt McIrvin says:

    This suggests that Trump may be able to get away with firing Mueller:

  147. 147
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning 😃!

  148. 148
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: yeah, it’s acting funky.

  149. 149
  150. 150
    Eric says:

    I thought it said upscale Republican autism. And I said to myself, yes, he certainly is on the spectrum.

  151. 151
    Kay says:

    I never thought as highly of Sully as some people do but it was mostly based on health care- I think it’s arrogant and lazy to have such a big platform and opine on a complex issue like health care and never bother to learn anything about it.

    He also bothered me because it seems to me that (some) liberals need to be almost validated by a conservative – if a conservative agrees with them that means they are “right”. I don’t see the same dynamic on the Right. They never seek the approval of liberals.

    There’s something subservient about this with liberals, as if they can’t defend their ideas unless they can point to a high profile conservative who shares some or all of them. As if conservatives are the “real” or “default” power structure and they’re just on and at the margins, hoping to sway a few of them.

  152. 152
    Matt McIrvin says:


    I don’t see the same dynamic on the Right. They never seek the approval of liberals.

    They do, though. There was a huge amount of “even the liberal” quoting going around during the Bush era. It’s not the hardcore right, it’s the Very Serious right.

  153. 153
    James E Powell says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I’m almost certain he would get away with firing Mueller. There’s whole world of Republicans who will back him up. Democrats are powerless to do anything but complain and the press/media are conditioned to give Democratic complaints the some say & both sides treatment.

  154. 154
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: @Matt McIrvin: It’s just people seeking validation. If even your ‘enemies’ say you are correct, you must be. It’s human nature.

  155. 155
    James E Powell says:

    @Kay: @Matt McIrvin:

    Have to agree with Kay on this. I believe this is imposed on liberals by the press/media because for them Republicans are the default party, the adults, the serious people. It’s been this way since Reagan. Similar to the way Democratic presidents have to have Republicans in their cabinets. They’re judges have to be acceptable to the corporate interests. Their competence and even their loyalty on military and national security issues is always open to question.

  156. 156
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt McIrvin: @James E Powell: If by “getting away with it” you mean ensuring a DEM house and possibly even a DEM Senate (I don’t see the latter happening) in 2019 with constant nonstop investigations leading to impeachment (which I have doubts would get thru the Senate) in addition to not getting anything he wants out of the House for the final 2 years of his Oh So Failed Presidency, I agree.

  157. 157
    Jeffro says:

    @Matt McIrvin: @James E Powell: Hmmm…Republicans might let Trumpov get away with firing Mueller (although I doubt it)…but would the IC?

    Given yesterday’s WaPo article on the president*’s love for Putin, at the risk of his country’s security, even some Rs have cause for alarm. The Senate Rs seem okay with the Mueller investigation. And clearly the IC is not going to let go of this (nor should they)

    David Ignatius, speaking for the IC as usual: The Russia Facts Are Hiding In Plain Sight

    President Trump’s recent denunciations of the Russia investigation recall the famous legal advice: “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”

    Trump shouted out his defense earlier this month: “What has been shown is no collusion, no collusion!” he told reporters over the whir of his helicopter on the White House lawn. Since then, Trump’s supporters have been waging a bitter counterattack against special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, alleging bias and demanding: “Investigate the investigators.”

    But what do the facts show? There is a growing, mostly undisputed body of evidence describing contacts between Trump associates and Russia-linked operatives. Trump partisans have claimed that Mueller’s investigation is biased because some members of his staff supported Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton. But Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein disagreed Wednesday, arguing that Mueller “is running his office appropriately.”

    Hmmm…noting that Trumpov is ‘pounding the table’…where have we heard that recently? =)

    The next time Trump demands a probe of Mueller’s investigation or the FBI’s handling of Clinton emails, remember that he isn’t arguing the facts or the law about collusion with Russia. He’s pounding the table.

    I think some of the folks around Trumpov have figured out that even if Mueller gets fired, this thing isn’t going away. Perhaps more to the point: eventually, it’s all going to come out…the money-laundering, the Russia-backed loans from Deutschebank, the assistance from Russian intelligence and coordination with Wikileaks. Heck, half of that last sentence is ALREADY out there…or as Ignatius puts it, it’s in plain sight.

    (plus if any sort of tax cut package passes…or even if it doesn’t…after Virginia and Alabama, Trumpov is quite clearly nearing his sell-by date with his fellow GOP officials. They can see the writing on the wall.)

    To quote several of you: “Tick tock, motherfucker”. I don’t worry all that much about Mueller, because it’s just a matter of time now.

  158. 158
    Anne Laurie says:


    Is this blog broken?

    If you’re bitching that there was no Morning Thread — we had a late-night power outage / surge, followed by a mysterious ‘partial power’ return while we ran around trying to figure out why some equipment connected to some circuits were working & others weren’t. Finally gave up & went to bed, only to have stuff we thought had been fried by the surge turn back on — noisily. Then it took my poor abused Spousal Unit another hour to figure out why my laptop seemed to be working, reboot the router (twice), and finally find the ‘power reset’ in the new household circuit board that needed to be flipped before our Fios connection would come on.

    And my schedule / brain was already fried, due to two days of getting my teeth worked on (not only am I dental-phobic, but I had to be there during what my body considers the middle of its sleep period). So don’t expect a whole lot outta me today, capiche?

  159. 159
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    But they were defending conservatism. Supposedly. The set of rules conservatives say their beliefs demand (but don’t)- civil liberties or prudence or not wasting money. Liberals sort of happily trade away “liberalism” if they can get a conservative on board. “Sullivan likes Obama!” Except Sullivan liked Obama because Sullivan believed Obama embodied things conservatives own, like prudence or respect for process or someone who takes care of his family. I don’t think conservatives own those things. I’ve never seen that they even value them.

    They don’t get to say this. They don’t get to say every Republican President isn’t a “real” conservative when that President sucks. Whatever “conservatism” aspires to be this is what conservatism IS. Sullivans whole rap was “Obama is really a conservative because I admire Obama”. I don’t need his approval and I disagree. I don’t think conservatives are the model we all should aspire to. I don’t think they are the model, period. I reject that.

  160. 160
    rikyrah says:

    I did, and I just don’t have the time to be a Front pager. I just like hanging out in the comments.

  161. 161
    Anne Laurie says:


    There’s something subservient about this with liberals, as if they can’t defend their ideas unless they can point to a high profile conservative who shares some or all of them.

    Mostly, I think, it’s that us liberals hunger for concensus. We want to believe that everybody can be talked around to agreeing with us, if only we work long enough & earnestly enough. It’s the ‘community organizer’ syndrome that sometimes drove even President Obama’s fiercest defenders to lose patience!

    Conservatives, on the other hand, are authoritarians — they think the biggest bully gets to ram through what they want, and mostly they fall in line happily just because they’re thrilled by being part of the club.

  162. 162
    rikyrah says:

    Of course they are hiding something. It’s called treason.

  163. 163
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t need a conservative to validate SHYT.
    Don’t need it, because they stand for nothing.
    The era of Dolt45 has proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.
    They will support treason against this country, and do.

    Wipe them out….all of them.

  164. 164
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Anne Laurie: Actually no, I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about the paucity of commenters in the AM. (tho 2 turned up just before I asked but I didn’t know that until after I asked) I would never complain about FP’ers breaking their posting habits. Well, not out loud anyway. ;-)

    Sorry you’ve had such a rough night.

  165. 165
    Kay says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    There’s also something really shallow about him. I felt like he loved the young people protesting in Iran more than the people protesting in other places during the Arab Spring because they were so attractive and educated. They were a cut above those other rather ragged protesters! :)

    He’s a snob. He likes an attractive, orderly revolution led by “the best people”. I get it, too! They were visually pleasing! No one wants to post pictures of old and shabby protesters, many of whom are probably low income! :)

  166. 166
    Anne Laurie says:

    @James E Powell:

    I believe this is imposed on liberals by the press/media because for them Republicans are the default party, the adults, the serious people. It’s been this way since Reagan. Similar to the way Democratic presidents have to have Republicans in their cabinets. They’re judges have to be acceptable to the corporate interests. Their competence and even their loyalty on military and national security issues is always open to question.

    Certainly the “very serious person” / media bias in favor of Republicans has reinforced the liberal tendency to feel we need to persuade people rather than doing what’s best for the most powerful people, luzers be damned. But that’s a negative feedback loop: the more the GOP gets away with ramming through legislation — however dishonestly — the more “fairness oriented” voters (like the Blogmaster) peel away from the GOP and become Democrats. And the higher the percentage of “fairness oriented” (consensus-seeking) Democratic voters, the more the Democratic party as a whole will tend to seek compromise rather than just insisting that WE’RE RIGHT THEY’RE WRONG. (Even when, and I say this as a lifelong Dem but also a natural fighter, they’re very obviously wrong and we’re totally in the right!)

  167. 167
    kindness says:

    You know the Russia/collusion thing isn’t going well for TrumpCo when you have the Fox News folks demanding that not only the Mueller investigation be stopped but the whole thing be scrapped and thrown away.

    I’m constantly amazed with this. Yea Fox’ll rile up the rubes & the Reichtwingnutz in Congress but the nation? Yea, no. It’s too deep for even the depths the right usually wallow in.

  168. 168
    Kay says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I had to come around on this myself. It helps living in a conservative area because you’re always defending and eventually you just get tired of defending and start saying things like “except I DO believe that- this I believe” :)

    I thought Democrats would lose the Alabama senate race and while I am a bad loser so was incredibly cranky I was also completely confident that no matter how Alabama voted I wasn’t coming around. Nope. You get to “nope”, eventually.

  169. 169
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Is there an elected DEM anywhere in this country who agrees with anything the GOP is presently doing? That might have something to do with the GOP not saying “Even the liberal… agrees” just now.

  170. 170
    Anne Laurie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Fair enough. Like I said, I’m feeling frazzled!

    I think the no-late-night-comments thing is another feedback loop. When a frontpager puts up a new post much after midnight, usually it doesn’t draw as many comments. But if there’s *not* a new thread, late-night readers seem to assume they should tiptoe away without adding to the last post, as though everything possible had already been said.

    Maybe it’s just that people signing on first thing don’t wanna bother reading through more than a handful of “aging” comments…

  171. 171
    Kay says:


    I thought Sully was gross with Obama by the end, like he had helped “make” Obama so Obama owed him something. His insane response to a bad debate performance was almost parental, like Obama was his star student. OMG, fuck off, he’s not yours and he’s not a reflection on you.

    He’s doing the same thing here with TNC. He should give some thought to why he believes these individuals have some duty to “make him proud”. They don’t. They’re grown men.

  172. 172
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Kay: Woman after my own heart, Kay!

  173. 173
    eric says:

    @Kay: worse. i think sully is from the school that every successful black man stands on the gracious shoulders of white men.

  174. 174
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: though your view and contributions are vital, I would hate to have you, ruemara, or lamh get subjected to the crap ABL got put through. Or Elon for that matter.

  175. 175
    gvg says:

    Well Kay, I only see “ever the liberals/conservatives agree” line as a tactic that does work sometimes on some people. There are a lot of us who have tuned out the other side, not just out of tribalism, but also out of a need for peace and sanity. A lot of people just don’t want to be riled up all the time. I would prefer that myself but this time frame seems to me to be too critical to indulge myself. Some conservatives listen a little better if a respected other conservative says the same things I would, so it’s worth noticing and using. I suppose some of them do the same in reverse. It also doesn’t seem to be that frequent.
    I don’t read or watch enough media to get a good feel for how they are acting overall beyond noticing how rare good background explanations and detailed investigations seem to be. I put that down to loss of revenue and money seeking.

  176. 176
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Maybe it’s just that people signing on first thing don’t wanna bother reading through more than a handful of “aging” comments…

    I know that I don’t. If there is a lack of an AM open thread, I’ll usually wait for someone else to chime in on the late night thread before commenting.

  177. 177
    NotMax says:

    @Anne Lauire

    A little impromptu communing with the sandman happens, too.

  178. 178
    Ben Cisco says:

    Only took a peek to see if the POS Sullivan had gotten worse, b/c I truly believed that he had already hit bottom.
    I was wrong, he hadn’t.

  179. 179
    laura says:

    Shorter Andrew Sullivan -if I don’t see it, and it doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t exist And YOU DON’T MATTER.

  180. 180
    low-tech cyclist says:

    First I heard of Sullivan was that “decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead -and may well mount a fifth column” line, less than a week after 9/11/2001.

    And if that had been the last I’d heard of him, that would have suited me just fine.

  181. 181
    retiredeng says:

    @Anne Laurie: FIOS used to start itself after a power outage. Then we had an issue with it we had to call a technician to fix it. After the problem was fixed, the technician (apparently had to for some reason I don’t understand) added a separate external power supply. Now when we get a power outage and it comes back on, I have to reset the external for it to recover.

  182. 182
    Percysowner says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    A link from Sullivan’s blog was what led me here to Balloon Juice in about 2004.

    I’m pretty sure that’s how I got here as well. At the time Sully was loudly against torture, which made him unusual among Republican bloggers at the time. However, he soon settled into only caring about issues that affect him personally (i.e. gay marriage) and into racism and misogyny. I finally had to dump him for my own sanity. BJ stuck as John, as you say, grew up. So I have to send some thanks to Sully, but only a tiny bit.

  183. 183
    TerryC says:

    @guachi: I changed Sullivan’s mind once.

  184. 184
    J R in WV says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    When we first landed in Pascagoula, MS a dhipmate’s wife was from down east CN. The local Mississippians could not understand her English, nor could she understand theirs, I was from WV, kind of in the middle, and was able to translate for her if needed.

    I know people working in terribly technical and scientific fields who grew up on rural farms here in WV, so to me accent doesn’t mean quite the same thing it dow to some folks. I know, for example, that having a country accent doesn’t make you stupid, and sounding like you were a family admittance to St. Paul’s School in NH doesn’t make you smart, not at all. My Great-Uncle Matt was Headmaster at St Paul’s, so I have relatives who went there, don’t sound much smarter, some aren’t a bit more educated than a graduate of a public H S in Logan County. Maybe except for the Latin…

    ETA: Well I did it again, I talked clear around my point, which is that Sully’s accent doesn’t make him sound smart to me. It makes him too stupid to adjust his speech to the local norms, which I learned to do in grade school. He can’t understand any viewpoint he doesn’t share, which is a more severe indication of stupidity.

    Thank god I do not have a job that involves having to read his drek and explain it to people who actually matter!!

  185. 185
    Adria McDowell says:

    Shorter Sullivan: “Black folks, you are doing fine, and I should know, cuz I’m a white guy.”

    Shorter me: Fuck. Right. Off.

  186. 186
    Kathleen says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: He also called the victims odious.

  187. 187
    Kathleen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Bernie agrees with them that Dems are evil but woops! He’s not a Dem he just plays one when he’s grifting. Never mind.

  188. 188
    Kathleen says:

    @satby: Or Zandar. He also got raked over the coals.

Comments are closed.