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Andrew Sullivan & his Archives

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:39 pm - August 19, 2008.
Filed under: Blogging,Ex-Conservatives,Gay Marriage

I am handicapped as I work on a post on the increasingly banality and self-absorption of Andrew Sullivan’s ramblings writings on gay marriage (based, in large part, on this article).  Back when I used to read Andrew’s blog regularly (before he moved to Time and then to his current berth at the Atlantic), he had his own freestanding web-site, AndrewSullivan.com.  But, his archives from that domain name are long gone.

Odd that.  I recall reading there Andrew’s praise of blogging (or was it the internet in general) because one’s archives were easily accessible so a reader could check a blogger’s past writings to see how well his predictions held up or if he really said what he claimed he said or maybe it was something else.  Something about being accountable for what one call.  I can’t really confirm that comment or report it with much accuracy because, well, I can’t access his blogging archives.

Nor can I check his past posts on gay marriage because they’ve gone down the memory hole.  I recall him saying some pretty powerful things about marriage and social stability.  And making clear that he believed monogamy was an essential aspect of marriage, indeed, had to correct Bill Bennett for accusing him of saying otherwise.

Maybe those are just my recollections.  Maybe he didn’t say those things and I just extrapolated them from other things he had written, but I won’t know because, well, I can’t check his archives.

Perhaps, Andrew doesn’t want his new fans on the angry left to learn about some of the sensible things he once said — and the even-handed criticism he once offered of the president.

UPDATE:  One reader and one commenter alerted me to this site which allows us to access disappeared sites. But, after playing around with it for some time, found no easy way to search it. You have to go through day by day. That can be time-consuming and tiresome.

All that said, I did do some searches today which helped me find enough background information for my post and hope to get to work on that as soon as this evening.

Obama to tap Nebraska’s Hagel as Running Mate?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:20 pm - August 19, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Obama Watch

Sometime last week, i scribbled a note saying that presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama would tap Nebraska’s nominally Republican senior Senator, Chuck Hagel as his running mate.  This thought first came to me when I read that next Wednesday night’s theme at the Democratic National Convention, when the party’s vice presidential nominee speaks, will be national security.

To be sure, I’m not the first to speculate that Obama would pick Hagel.  That very article listed the Nebraska Republican along with “Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden, D-Del . . . Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island . . .  and Sam Nunn, former Georgia senator and one-time Armed Services Committee chairman.”

Given Obama’s thin record on bipartisanship, it might help burnish his self-touted credentials as a new kind of politician if he reached across the aisle for a running mate.  And while Hagel has often parted company with his party, particularly in media appearances, he remains a Republican.

Yet, my prediction notwithstanding, speculation runs rampant that Obama will tap Biden as his running mate.  While some find Biden a “smart, articulate, and is a bona fide expert on foreign policy,” as asset to the Illinois Senator lacking more depth in foreign affairs (as in so many other things), I’ve never been particularly impressed with his intelligence.  (I’ve met the man, nice guy, dim bulb.)

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee for the confirmation hearings of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, Biden did a good job of reading statements and questions prepared by his staff, but seemed out of his league when attempting to respond to points from the nominees or his fellow committee members.  He frequently shows a similar incoherence in media interviews, fine when he’s on message, repeating talking points, but rambling and self-congratulating when he has not been properly briefed on a given issue.

Those sources touting Biden (e.g., this one) are certainly far better connected to Obama and the Democrats than I, so my gut sense about Obama tapping Hagel may be just that.  Personally, I think Biden would be more of a liability to Obama than an asset while Hagel could really help the presumptive Democratic nominee.  

Only Republicans in Nebraska and those who follow politics closely are aware how often Hagel has parted company from his party.  His contrarian record is not widely known, thus the pick would help Obama (at least when he announces) look like a unifying national figure by tapping a member of the opposing part for his ticket.

Had I written this post yesterday, I might have bet on Hagel, but given what I’ve been reading this morning, I’d cancel those bets.  Still, from a Democratic perspective, having Obama tap the nominally Republican Nebraska Senator could help his floundering campaign.

Related:  The New York Times reports that Obama is Ready to Announce his Running Mate (via RealClearPolitics.)

UPDATE:  As to the Biden choice, Patrick Ruffini says bring it on (via Weekly Standard).

UP-UPDATE: Maybe I shouldn’t cancel my bets, just hedge them. I’m now wondering if the Biden story is a head fake, getting everyone buzzing about the choice so the real choice will be more newsworthy.

Let me repeat, Nebraska’s senior Senator would add more to the Democratic ticket than would his Delaware counterpart.

UP-UP-UPDATE: I’m not alone.  In the Swampland at Time, Jay Carney asks, “What About Hagel?”  (Via RealClearPolitics).