Odd comparison. I mean, the two men sure did have a different reelection strategy.
Obama ’08: (more…)
Odd comparison. I mean, the two men sure did have a different reelection strategy.
Obama ’08: (more…)
Every now and again, you meet a gay ex-Republican who tells you that he left the GOP because of the party’s intolerance.
Events this past week, however, have made it increasingly apparent that such folks left not because of the GOP’s supposed intolerance, but because of that they experienced in the gay community. They were simply tired of being ostracized — and otherwise marginalized — for their political views.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Redneck Fag answers the title question in the affirmative: ”It happened to me when I was living in San Francisco during the Reagan years but it didn’t last long. I soon saw the problem: wanting to conform and be popular . . . .”
That does seem to be the problem.
Since we are perhaps the leading gay conservative blog, I supposed we’re supposed to chime in on the latest Newsweek cover story, given its gay theme and that is written by a prominent gay ex-conservative (still billed by some as a conservative).
I hate to disappoint our readers. I have no intention of reading the cover story. There are only so many hours in the day. And, well, when it comes to Obama, Andrew Sullivan has become remarkably predictable.
Andrew once offered a fresh and unique insight into gay culture and American politics. Now he just offers the party line.
Indeed, so goofy is he for Obama that he accords him an honor he once bestowed upon Abraham Lincoln. In October 2010, he held that Abraham Lincoln was gay. And since Lincoln served roughly a century before Obama was born, that would make Obama the second gay president.
To call Obama a “gay president” is to ignore the first two years of his administration when he dragged his feet on repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) and neglected to push Congress to act on DOMA repeal or civil union recognition. A gay president would have made those issues a priority and would not have needed energetic left-of-center bloggers to spur him on. Eventually, he did do the right thing on DADT — but only after considerable pressure from those bloggers. He didn’t do much, if anything, to advance federal recognition of same-sex unions.
With that in mind, I have little interest in reading a piece by Andrew on Obama. He sees the president not as he is, but as he would like the Democrat to be.
And reading Andrew Sullivan today is like returning to a beloved restaurant only to learn that they have taken all your favorite dishes off the menu and replaced them with the fare served at a chain restaurant, say Arby’s.
Had a reader not alerted me to Andrew Sullivan’s post excerpting my first post on Richard Grenell’s resignation, I might not have seen the link. In his post, Andrew quotes me generously and acknowledged the challenges gay conservatives face:
I’ve only ever been a gay conservative (never a Republican), and back in the 1990s, it was brutal living in the gay world and challenging liberal assumptions. I cannot imagine the social isolation of Grenell in Los Angeles today, doing what he did.
Yes, it is brutal living in the gay world and challenging liberal assumptions, but a lot less so today, in large part due to Andrew’s own pioneering iconoclasm and his courage in standing up in the 1990s and into the 2000s to the gay bullies, continuing to speak out even as they vilified him. We follow in his footsteps on the path he helped clear.
That said, Andrew goes to offer in trying to blame the whole mess on Republicans by the parting shot he offers at the end: ”I mean: what do Republicans call a gay man with neoconservative passion, a committed relationship and personal courage?” The response he offers is not a pretty one.
Given that the Romney campaign expressed regret at Grenell’s departure and given the evidence that top aides to the former Massachusetts governor asked Grenell to change his mind and remain on the campaign — even enlisting conservative leaders in that effort — it seems that Republicans didn’t smear this supremely qualified foreign policy spokesman as Andrew suggests. Quite to the contrary. In making such an effort to keep him on the campaign, they showed how much they valued his experience and particular skill-set.
Instead of smearing an entire political party, Andrew should instead direct his fire at the handful of social conservatives who raised a ruckus at the appointment. The Romney campaign may have handled this matter in a clumsy fashion, but they didn’t demonstrate any animus against a qualified individual because of his sexuality.
Andrew recalls the brutality of those who dared challenge the liberal orthodoxy. He should not become like them and define an entire political party by its most extreme elements.
It would happen on a day I’m going through the most tedious part of dissertation writing — doing the final edits (including drafting the “Works Cited” page) of a chapter — while having to do a pile of laundry, that all this news breaks relevant to our blog.
First, the loopy editor of World Net Daily goes on a gay-themed radio shows to “blast Ann Coulter for speaking to gay conservatives“:
Farah appeared on two radio shows that are hosted by gay talk show personalities this week to blast Ann Coulter for headlining an upcoming party sponsored by GOProud, an organization that represents gay conservatives. Farah dropped Coulter from a speaking engagement at WND’s annual conference in September because of her involvement with GOProud. Coulter retorted last week by calling Farah a “swine” and a “publicity whore.”
In response, Farah appeared on The Steve Yuhas Show Sunday and then gave an interview to host Michelangelo Signorile on Sirius’ gay themed channel, “OutQ” the next day. Farah told Signorile that he was fed up with the conservative movement, and criticized conservatives for embracing members of the gay community who share beliefs on issues like taxes, health care and the role of government.
That’s a doozy, talking to gay talk show hosts to chastise Coulter for talking to gay conservatives — while faulting the conservative movement for reaching out to their gay confrères.
The supposed right-wing publisher told the left-wing talk show host that since conservatism is always losing ground, “That’s why I don’t consider myself a conservative.”
And this also got me wondering: Signorile has this loony-tune right-winger on his show, but does he ever invite gay conservatives on? I mean, don’t you think he’d want to get the gay conservative perspective on this issue instead of trotting out a right-winger who’s a little extreme for most mainstream conservatives?
. . . formerly-conservative gay blogger Andrew Sullivan – never one to miss a chance to hammer the alleged intolerance of American conservatives – finally weighed in. Sullivan was completely silent about Sorba on Friday. And Saturday. But two days later, when he found a new angle, Sullivan couldn’t help himself. The story was too juicy for even him to ignore and he joined the blogosphere left-wing media bandwagon since he knew the way the winds were blowing. Nevertheless, Sullivan labeled Sorba “a glimpse into the future of Republicanism.”
Once again, to Andrew, I ask, “Show me the evidence.” How did he reach this conclusion? Attended any meetings of Republicans lately? Walked any precincts for Republican candidates? Interviewed Republican candidates?
Perhaps, instead of lambasting the GOP for its supposed intolerance of gay people, he should step back and realize his part in getting us to the tipping point. No matter how obsessed he has become today with Sarah Palin’s womb and an imaginary Republican Party, his courage–and his outspokenness–in the 1990s made it easier for guys like Bruce and me to come out in Republican and conservative circles in the mid-1990s and today.
Andrew Sullivan was the first gay openly man to publicly challenge the left-wing gay orthodoxy from a very prominent platform. He set an example; when we debated coming out as gay to our fellow conservatives or as conservative to our fellow gays, we knew we were not alone. As the pioneer (to to speak), Sullivan took a lot of flak reserved for such individuals. By the time we came out, a gay conservative was no long such a novel thing; fewer defenders of the orthodoxy reacted as vehemently as they did when Andrew first challenged their statist shibboleths. (more…)
For as long as I’ve been blogging, longer even, for as long as I’ve been open about being a gay Republican, I’ve had left-wingers lecture me on how the GOP is controlled by religious zealots eager to do away with our freedom and create what some might call a “Christianist” state. When I tell such folk that I’ve been involved not just in the GOP as an openly gay man, but have also participated in various conservative organizations, they seem little interested in my experiences, as if they just didn’t happen or are aberrations.
More often than not, these self-assured individuals so convinced about the real nature of the Republican Party and American conservatism have never met more than a handful of Republicans nor even attended a meeting of a Republican committee or auxiliary. Such individuals are thus not qualified to talk about the GOP, much less address whether or not there is a place for gay people in the party.
With a prejudiced view of the GOP just like that of those individuals, Andrew Sullivan demonstrated his competence to serve on the Cato Institute panel addressing that very topic. According to my friend Rick Sincere who attended the panel, the Obama-enamored blogger lambastedd the GOP:
Sullivan went on to criticize the Republican party for accelerating its “campaign of fear” against gay people and said the GOP “is no longer a political party; it is a religious party [whose members] owe absolute obedience to the President.” The Republican Party’s “soul has been corrupted,” Sullivan said solemnly.
Maybe he needs to say this to secure his place on the left, but this description has little resemblance to the party with which I’m familiar and in which I’ve participated (not to mention countless other openly gay men and lesbians). Someone should have asked him where he derived his information. Had he walked precincts with Republican volunteers, participated in GOP committee meetings, spoken to gatherings of Republican clubs? Or had he read about it on left-wing blogs?
Andrew Sullivan was talking about a Republican Party which exists entirely in his imagination.
And while Andrew talked the conservative talk, opposing hate crimes laws, calling himself a Thatcherite, he refused to address his support for Obama’s program. (more…)
The Cato Institute has long been my favorite Washington D.C.-based think tank. I don’t always agree with them on foreign policy, but do appreciate their commitment to freedom and their promotion of policies which seek to reduce the influence of the government in our lives. When possible, I support their efforts, having given more to them than to any other policy organization in our nation’s capital. And I appreciate the respect they show their donors.
Thus, I was disappointed to read that an event they are sponsoring, Is There a Place for Gay People in Conservatism and Conservative Politics?, does not include a single gay American conservative. Given that the lead panelist, Nick Herbert, who, we know from his very title, (MP [Member of Parliament], Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Conservative Party, United Kingdom) has experience working with a right-of-center party across the pond, you’ve got to wonder why they didn’t include someone who has had similar experience over here.
Instead, they’ve got someone who has spent the last six years (well, it will be six years a week from today) badmouthing the GOP. Yes, that would be Andrew Sullivan. Given that they’re holding this policy forum on the eve of CPAC that GOProud (which bills itself as representing “gay conservatives and their allies“) is sponsoring and where my co-blogger is speaking, they could easily find someone working within the conservative movement, someone who would have a less jaundiced view of American conservatives in general and the GOP in particular.
Now, this one panel won’t dampen my overall enthusiasm for Cato and their work, but it does call into question their judgment. It’s as if they were caught in a time warp and were looking at an early 1990s roster of out gay conservatives. That list has grown considerably since then. And despite his claims, Andrew Sullivan’s name is no longer on it.
Sometime late last summer shortly after John McCain announced he had tapped Sarah Palin as his running mate, a reader e-mailed me a comment from Andrew Sullivan where that former conservative had kind things to say about the then-Alaska Governor. ”Even Sullivan likes her!” ran the e-mail.*
Soon thereafter not only would he drink the Democratic Kool-aid on Palin, but would become one of the most outspoken critics of this charismatic Republican woman, pushing strange theories about her youngest child. Yesterday, Ann Althouse, wondered if Andrew “with the same intensity and standards” that he’s “aimed at Palin” would go “through the things Barack Obama has said and written”.
And I wondered if he had gone after Palin with such intensity to make up for the kind things he had once said about that accomplished woman. He didn’t want it to appear that he was at odds with his post 02/24/04 friends on their villain du jour (well more like villain de la décennie).
You know, what they say about the zeal of a convert.
I no longer pay attention to anything Andrew Sullivan does or says unless it is linked on a right-of-center blog. And given that one of his latest narrow-minded rants appears on this very blog, I feel it somehow incumbent upon myself to address it.
Based on ad put up by Protect Marriage Washington, the one-time serious advocate of gay marriage has concluded that “the GOP believes in no rights for gay couples whatsoever.” Talk about painting with a broad brush. With prominent left-wing bloggers like Sullivan spreading misinformation like this, no wonder we regularly receive comments from unhappy left-of-center gay activists incredulous that a gay person could support the GOP.
Yup, there are Republicans who don’t want the state to recognize same-sex unions even if they’re not called marriage, but many elected Republicans have voted (or spoken out) in favor of civil unions (including the immediate past GOP Governor of Utah). (Not to mention the fact that a certain Republican Governor of Connecticut signed civil unions into law in her state.) Last summer, a poll showed 43 percent of delegates to last year’s Republican National Convention supported civil unions. Maybe Sullivan should check his facts before launching into broadsides against the GOP.
Seems Sullivan would rather attack the GOP than consider the party’s increasing openness to gay people.
Given his ignorant broadsides, it’s amazing he still, with an apparent straight face, claims to be a conservative.
(As just another example of Andrew’s admiration for Obama and (deliberate) ignorance of his predecessor’s accomplishments. While he commends* the Democrat for appointing openly gay ambassadors, he ignores (as does the article he links) that Sullivan’s great antagonist, George W. Bush, way back in 2001, appointed an openly gay man, Michael Guest, to serve as Ambassador to Romania.)
While Andrew Sullivan, despite his lurch to the left these past five years, remains a gifted writer, he, more often than not uses his verbal and literary gifts to conceal an increasingly incoherent political philosophy.** He claims to be a “small government” conservative, but has been almost unstinting in his praise of a big-government liberal Administration. And while he regularly blasts conservatives, often in quite impolitic language, he lectures the right on the “civil and civilized way” to oppose Obamacare (while ignoring those conservatives and Republicans who have done just that).
Like many of his fellow travelers on the left, Andrew describes the right not in its manifold manifestations, but by its most extreme elements. And if there’s an aspect of or individual on the right he doesn’t particularly like, well, he dresses it or her up as a extremist to suit his fancy — and so he can make his point, even if it’s more imagination- than reality-based.*
He calls himself a conservative and yet on nearly every significant issue facing the country these past five years, six months and twenty-seven days, he has sided with the leading left-wingers of our day, often repeating their hysterical accusations and imitating their breathless tone. And one of those accusations is that many of their ideological adversaries on the internets silently acquiesced in the big-spending domestic policies of then-President George W. Bush.
At the same time, he congratulates himself as being the lone conservative voice for fiscal sanity in those dark days of the Bush-Administration. And as a reader of his blog in 2003 and 2004, I can attest to his regular criticism of the then-President, often in the most civil of terms, for his budgetary imprudence. Yet, he was far from alone.
Indeed, such criticism was rampant on right-of-center blogs throughout Bush’s second term, with most conservative bloggers agreeing that Republicans lost Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008 because the GOP, when in power, had failed to restrain domestic spending. (more…)
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. (more…)
I suppose it’s because I’m a gay conservative blogger and because Andrew Sullivan is a gay blogger who claims to be conservative that people expect me to blog on his latest indiscretion. I see that my co-blogger has already tapped into the topic.
I do understand that most bloggers who have addressed this have focused on the special treatment Sullivan received. Indeed, by juxtaposing the left-wing blogger’s remark on different standards of justice and the news item on the dismissal of the charges, my co-blogger shows that ex-conservative’s hypocrisy. Others have weighed in in a similar vein; blogger Dan Riehl (and others) points out that a federal “judge believes the dismissal raises equal protection issues.”
I confess that I can’t really get worked up over the issue. Maybe had he been peddling pot to teenagers or toking in front of an old folks’ home might there be an issue, but, well, since I believe marijuana should be decriminalized, I don’t have a problem with an angry blogger carrying around a bag of Mary Jane. Heck, it might even calm this easily excitable blogger.
It’s a freedom issue. Yeah, it does show Sullivan’s hypocrisy, but, well, since I don’t think people should be prosecuted for possessing or smoking weed, it follows that I don’t have a problem if a left-winger gets off for possessing the stuff in the public.
There are many issues for which one can—and should–fault Andrew Sullivan. This isn’t one of them. (more…)
While Andrew Sullivan has earned praise for covering the Iranian uprising, that easily excitable blogger just can’t seem to resist getting in his digs at his favorite bête noires, the sinister Karl Rove and the dishonest Sarah Palin. After all, he doesn’t want to risk losing his newly acquired liberal bona fides.
On Sunday, blogger R.S.McCain (via Glenn) pointed out that Sullivan compared the Iranian President to those two Republicans:
Really, Sully? I mean, really? WTF goes through someone’s mind when they dream up an idiotic comparison between (a) Karl Rove, a Republican political strategist, and (b) Mahmoud Ahmadinejed, a Jew-hating genocidal maniac?
You might as well compare Rove to Charles Manson or Pol Pot. Please note that Sullivan’s comparison involves no hypotheticals. It does not appear to be any sort of parodic humor, except unintentionally. He evidently means to suggest in all seriousness that Ahmadinejad and Rove are similar in some meaningful way.
Even as Sullivan was criticizing an enemy of America, of freedom, a man who harbors a particular animus against gay people, he had to get in a few hits on two of his favorite punching bags, two people who, despite their flaws, have never led regimes which execute gay people or who have even advocated our elimination. The worst they did was to argue against state recognition of same-sex marriage.
Perhaps, Andrew “needed” to make those digs. As he was joining conservative (& libertarian) bloggers in covering the rallies in Iran, he needed to reassure his new (well, not so new any more) left-wing audience that he hadn’t returned to his “roots” on the right. Just because he’s agreeing with conservatives on this one, he’s telling us with his potshots at Palin and Rove, that he has hasn’t (re)joined the neo-con cabal.
It’s too bad Sullivan can’t denounce an anti-American regime without also badmouthing American conservatives. And he still styles himself a conservative. Pathetic.
You can measure a politician’s principles by his willingness to do something which he believes to be the right thing, but which carries a political cost.
Before he was ever elected President, Ronald Reagan did just such a thing, showing political courage in standing up against anti-gay bigotry. In 1978, he came out publicly against the Golden State’s Briggs Initiative which would have banned gay people from teaching in public schools. At the time, that pernicious proposition led in the polls. Not just that, the Gipper was gearing up to run for the Republican nomination for President in 1980. Opposing that initiative would have hurt him among social conservatives, then beginning to migrate to the GOP.
And yet gay people prefer Bill Clinton to the Gipper, even though when that Democrat had the choice between keeping a promise he made to us during his successful campaign for the White House (repealing the ban on gays in the military), he cut and run because of the political cost. Unlike Ronald Reagan, when it came to gay people, Bill Clinton showed no political courage.
And now where does the current President stand? As Andrew Sullivan, dewy-eyed for the Democrat during the campaign and well into the first hundred days of his Administration, is now beginning to wake up and smell the coffee. He’s figured out who the rubes are. And it ain’t the true gay conservatives who backed John McCain.
The left-leaning blogger laments:
But I have a sickeningly familiar feeling in my stomach, and the feeling deepens with every interaction with the Obama team on these issues. They want them to go away. They want us to go away. (more…)
The left-wing network features more than just gay marriage opponents. They’re also help pevent one of the most prominent anti-Semites in America from fading into a much deserved oblivion. ”Pat Buchanan, one of America’s leading conservative voices (sic), is a political analyst and regular contributor on MSNBC.”
Does MSNBC just keep him on because they believe he’s a conservative and they so want to tar conservatism in general by his narrow-minded mean-spirited rantings?
No serious conservative considers Buchanan a part of our movement any longer. He left the GOP to run for President on the Reform Party ticket and supports an economic (and foreign) policy totally at odds with anything the Gipper ever championed.
Plus, as the GOP and consrvatives in general have become more pro-Israel, he has become increasingly antagonistic to the Jewish State.
In the days leading up to (or just after) his “Road to Damascus” moment on February 24, 2004, Andrew Sullivan described himself as doubly disenchanted with the GOP. It was not just the then-President’s social conservatism (e. g., support of the Federal Marriage Amendment), Andrew also lambasted Republicans Republicans for failing to hold the line on domestic spending.
Given his then-opposition to ever increasing levels of federal spending, you’d think Andrew would welcome a movement protesting the spending policies of Bush’s successor. I mean, it seems Obama is playing poker with the former president using our tax dollars as chips, “I’ll see your spending and raise you 10 trillion.”
Now, Andrew, recalling his past principles, tries to cover for himself while faulting the rallies (which is what all the “cool” left-wing bloggers are doing these days):
As a fiscal conservative who actually believed in those principles when the Republicans were in power, I guess I should be happy at this phenomenon. And I would be if it had any intellectual honesty, any positive proposals, and any recognizable point. What it looks like to me is some kind of amorphous, generalized rage on the part of those who were used to running the country and now don’t feel part of the culture at all. But the only word for that is: tantrum.
(H/t: Legal Insurrection.)
Um, Andrew, trying to figure out that first sentence there because it may be key to defining those who faulted Bush for his spending, yet now fault those criticizing Obama for his. So, you believed in fiscal conservatism when Republicans were in power? But, now that they’re out of power, you’ve changed your mind?
There was a time when Andrew Sullivan could make a serious argument for state recognition of same-sex marriages. Now when he talks about the subject, he can’t seem to see beyond the “legal rights” issue, as if without state sanction, his marriage wouldn’t mean anything.
And now, he sees a straight blogress’s upcoming marriage as an object of ridicule. Yesterday, he linked a left-wing blog mocking Ann Althouse’s impending nuptials to someone who comments to her blog. In so doing, he showed his confusion about what marriage is, something he once understood pretty well. After that diva called him on his “disrespectful” post, he fired back, ignoring her criticism and focusing on his own views, “I’m all in favor of the right of straight bloggers to marry their straight commenters. It’s a civil right.”
Is that all it is, Andrew, a civil right? Interesting that that’s how he would choose to address the controversy, reducing it to a right.
Althouse never one to mince words (hence her diva status) called Andrew on missing the point:
This isn’t about legal rights. This is about how individuals treat each other, and I want to know why you disrespected me. Explain why you linked to Pandagon’s scurrilous OMFG, which, as you know, means “Oh, my fucking God.” Is that the way you mean to speak to me? Is that the way you talk about God?
In Andrew’s eagerness to link a left-wing blogger to attack a more moderate one (who happened to have endorsed the same presidential candidate he did), he shows once again that he has long since left the conservative fold, even as he calls himself conservative.
What conservative would link a left-wing blogger to mock the impending nuptials of a centrist blogress?
For the better part* of Andrew Sullivan’s career, he was something of an iconoclast. While he identified himself as a conservative (he still does), he was really more of a conservative by default. He got his start in American journalism, writing for The New Republic, the flagship magazine of serious liberal thought, but he was anything but an American liberal. Nor did he fit within the mainstream of conservative thought, yet in his heyday (from about 1989 to 2004), he was philosophically closer to contemporary conservatism than he was to Anglo-American liberalism.
What distinguished him more than anything was that he was the first (or at least the most prominent) gay public intellectual to write about gay issues in a way that challenged the gay orthodoxy. And for that he earned the scorn of those with whom he liked to socialize.
An intellectual by day, Andrew enjoyed (and I presume still enjoys) frequenting gay haunts at night. He summers in Provincetown, long a retreat for East Coast gays, nearly all of whom (the outspoken ones at least) hold left-of-center political views. And while Andrew, like all of us (or most of us at least), didn’t push his political ideas during every hour of the day, many of his ideological adversaries were determined to define him by his departures from said gay orthodoxy.
Instead of finding his off-time as a respite from the rigors of his working life, his angry adversaries used it to remind him of his unorthodox opinions. They insulted him in bars, threw drinks in his face and, if one account is to believed, even spit on him. Other gay writers and activists were no kinder, regularly ridiculing him as a traitor to the cause. One such individual made Andrew’s private life a source for public censure.
Such nastiness takes its toll even on the hardiest of human beings. And Andrew is, if anything, human, very human.
That’s one reason I think he has, in recent years, gone so far to the left, more out of a sense of fatigue at being the outcast among his peers than anything else.