As I work on a piece on gay marriage in anticipation of Thurday’s California Supreme Court hearing, I’m struck by the contrast between Andrew Sullivan’s 1989 essay, “Here Comes the Groom: a Conservative Case for Gay Marriage” and his 2008 Atlantic piece, “Big Fat Straight (sic) Wedding.” In the first piece, he makes a fresh and conservative case for state recognition of same-sex marriage. In the second, he offers little more than a plaintive liberal whine for state validation of his relationship.
Witnessing the degeneration of Andrew’s argument, I wondered if he was suffering from a kind of Stockholm Syndrome.
When I consider the criticism (often ad hominem) we’ve received since setting up this blog and compare it to the insults and attacks Andrew has suffered over the years, it’s like comparing the taunts of a schoolyard bully to the might of a world-class military.
Yeah, we’ve taken our knocks, but in the great scheme of things, they’ve been relatively benign. Andrew, by contrast, has been assaulted in public bars, had his personal life made public and until 2004 (and even since), endured a level of vitriol from the gay left that had previously been reserved only for elected Republicans and charismatic preachers.
And now, he mimics the arguments of those who once vilified him, while rushing to adore their anointed one.
Isn’t that kind of like Stockholm Syndrome when a hostage shows signs of sympathy, loyalty even, to his captors?