Via Megan McArdle, I learn of another self-important utterance from Andrew Sullivan. Where I once had read his blog on a regular basis, now I only learn of his thoughts when I chance across them in posts by conservative and, as in the current case, libertarian bloggers. This time, Andrew misrepresents both conservatives and the reasons the “conservative coalition” no longer embraces him:
Unlike many of these tea-partiers and their supporters, I actually took on the Bush administration’s big government tendencies, fiscal recklessness and massive expansion of executive power at the time (and was largely cast out of the conservative coalition as a result). I opposed the Medicare prescription drug benefit as unaffordable – and no one can argue that what looks like the current healthcare reform would cripple future finances as profoundly as that Bush entitlement.
I’ll leave it to McArdle for a much defter analysis of legislation than I could ever offer of Andrew’s last point. (Read her post; it’s quite good.) Like her, indeed, like many conservatives, I opposed the prescription drug benefit.
But, Andrew is wrong to suggest he was “cast out” of the conservative coalition for standing up to Bush’s “fiscal recklessness.” Only in his own imagination (and that of a number of left-wingers) were all conservatives complicit in and supportive of Bush’s domestic spending spree.
Indeed, in a matter of 30 minutes in April, I came up with a list of ten posts (9 from 2006 alone) where we criticized the GOP on spending in Bush Era. And we were far from alone. Bloggers like Stephen Green, R.S. McCain, Dan Riehl and Glenn Reynolds (to name the four whose names come most readily to mind) took Bush to task in the same manner Andrew once did. Not to mention the editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal.
I’m sure our readers with little thought and a few quick keystrokes can come up with even more.
While still claiming to “adhere to most of the principles of the small government right,” Sullivan has backed most of the policies of the big government left (put forward by the Obama Democrats). In backing those policies (and a certain 2004 presidential candidate espousing similar expansions in the federal government), it wasn’t the right which cast Andrew out, but Andrew who abandoned conservatives while continuing to pay lip service to our ideas.
Not just that, as Ronald Radosh puts it, in a piece speculating about the price for Andrew’s support of the Administration, “regularly blasts conservatives“. How can Sullivan claim the conservatives cast him out when he regularly repudiates their policies (signing on to liberal ones) and blasts their leaders.
FROM THE COMMENTS: SoCalRobert says something which makes a lot of sense, “Sully wasn’t cast out of the vast right wing conspiracy; he packed up and left. He’s upset that no one asked him to stay.”