Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Andrew Sullivan Goes to War

Andrew Sullivan is going to war. He is not going to war against terrorists or other alien invaders. He is taking up verbal arms against the Republican Party. Victory would not suffice his unhinged mind. He wants total and utter annihilation.

Here, forthwith, Sullivan’s flexing his hate muscles:

This is the challenge today. Not to out-last these vandals, but to vanquish them. To vanquish them to end this preposterous excuse for a political party, to expose their lack of any constructive alternatives for the challenges we face, to indelibly mark them as vandals of the very constitution they dare to celebrate, and as saboteurs of this constitutional democracy. We have a chance now to show the kind of scorching sunlight on these creatures of ideological certainty and personal hubris that they scurry back to the dark holes from which they have recently emerged and be consigned to the moral margins their rancid racism finds most congenial.

When it comes to hate-filled rhetoric Sullivan counts among the best.

To buttress his mindless passion Sullivan evokes the example of the American Civil War. He sees today’s Republicans as kin to the secessionist South and quotes Abraham Lincoln:

What is our present condition? We have just carried an election on principles fairly stated to the people. Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices. In this they are either attempting to play upon us, or they are in dead earnest. Either way, if we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government. They will repeat the experiment upon us ad libitum.

Many Republicans believe that their Congressional leadership overreached. Well and good. It happens. People overreach all the time. If the opposing party wants to find a way out of the crisis it need but offer something resembling a negotiation.

Why does it refuse to do so? Because it is thinking like Andrew Sullivan. It does not want to make a deal; it wants to destroy the opposition.

Sullivan’s rhetoric is obviously overheated, but it channels the attitude underlying the Obama/Reid approach to the problem.

It precludes negotiation. If someone treats you like the devil, not like the loyal opposition, you will not be able to negotiate… at all, about anything. If you are being denounced as a racist and a sexist and a homophobe and a demonic force you are not going to make a deal. It’s impossible.

If we get beyond Sullivan’s intemperate rant and if we have a better sense of historical analogy than he does—admittedly, not too great a challenge—we can take a look at the facts about previous government shutdowns.

Andrew Stiles wrote in National Review:

At this point in Ronald Reagan’s second term, for example, the government had already shut down six times, for a total of twelve days, as a result of failed budget negotiations between the White House, a Republican Senate, and House Democrats under the leadership of Speaker Tip O’Neill (D., Mass.) — precisely the opposite of the political dynamic that exists today.

Stiles continued:

O’Neill presided over a total of seven government shutdowns under Reagan, and five during the Jimmy Carter administration, meaning that he played a role in precisely two-thirds of all the government shutdowns since the modern budgeting process has been in place. Representative Raul Labrador (R., Idaho) pointed this out to Matthews on Meet the Press on Sunday, noting that O’Neill was never called a terrorist for shutting the government down over budget negotiations. 

In truth, the Obama administration and satraps like Andrew Sullivan have been a lot kinder toward terrorists than they are toward Republicans. As has often been pointed out, they are willing to negotiate with the ayatollahs in Iran. They are willing to negotiate with Bashar Assad through Vladimir Putin. They were positively fawning over the Muslim Brotherhood.

But they draw the line at Republicans.

It’s the wages of hate.


Anonymous said...

The issue is with what you politely excuse as "over-reaching." And try to defend not as a willful, deliberate, conscious choice, but as some sort of accident that couldn't be helped: it "just happens sometimes."

You're not taking responsibility for the actions of the Republicans. Why is that? Hedging around this seems like you're ashamed of it.

Of course, a common way to deal with unacknowledged guilt and shame in yourself is to imagine yourself a big victim of others--of Obama, of writers like Sullivan. Now you can throw a pity party for yourself instead of taking responsiblity for your "over-reaching."

You can blame Obama all you want, but in the end it is your own choice and actions on the line and you will be judged as responsible.

And for the most part, you will be judge as whining 2 year-olds throwing a tantrum because you are not getting what you want. I think that's how the majority of the public sees it.

Anonymous said...

Remember what Chiang Kai-shek said about the Mao's communists and the Japanese - the Japanese were a disease of the skin, the communists were a disease of the heart. This is how Obama and many Democrats view the Republicans. Sullivan's vile ranting is a perfect example of this. To most Republicans, the Democrats are simply wrong and ill-informed. To the Democrats, the Republicans are evil and racist. Just look at the terms used to describe Republicans this week - "terrorists", "hostage takers", "arsonists", "extremists".
After years of this under Obama, is it any wonder that Republicans want to take the fight to him?

Rather ironic given this background that the poster above calls the Republicans "childish" for exercising their democratic prerogative. To the left you just have to go along and shut up because you are stupid and racist. It is beyond pathetic and sad.

(And by the way, was it "over-reaching" when the Democrats rammed through Obamacare on a purely partisan vote after all their vote buy-offs and the Massachusetts senate election?)

Anonymous said...

Because what you're doing is childish and thuggish. You've lost in every single possible legal venue for overturning Obamacare, and instead of manning up and accepting that it is now the Law of the Land, you're throwing a big fat sissy tantrum like little spoiled babies.

And now whining and crying on top of it that you're being called names as a result of your own actions. Oh pity party for you!

K. Herman said...

Anonymous: So when slavery was the law of the land everyone should have just been "manning up and accepting that it is now the Law of the Land," as you put it?

Dennis said...

Most of us who comment consider that we have won the debate the second that pejoratives and name calling start. Pejoratives and name calling are a sign of someone who lacks the intellectual capacity and skills to present well reasoned argumentation for their positions. If one has a good argument then present it for our edification.
History is replete with laws that were changed, overturned, et al. The only good law is one which people will actually pay attention.
It might be interesting if people, especially those on the left, started asking themselves the how, when where why, et all before they dump, even most of them know it is unworkable, something on the rest of the country.
Imaging the thrill and let down when a number of people found that Obamacare was not free. Add to that the failure of government systems to work correctly. Instead of 5 million people it was more like 700 thousand. Navigators who have access to people's personal information sans the ability to stop ID theft. Add to that the people who are using the internet to fleece a number of those people and we have a disaster in the making. We all know it, but some have such a stake in it that they would rather see it go down in flames vice dealing with portability, pre-existing conditions et al.
As the little old lady in a commercial once stated, "Where's the beef?" Calling people names because they recognize that the beef is tripe instead does not solve any problems.
Normally I would not give attention to certain needy individuals, but someone needs to get them to think if possible. One can either provide that well reasoned dialogue or prove themselves incapable by pejoratives and name calling. My last word to those who have a decision to make about who and what they are now.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. You're being called names by everyone because everyone (except you) sees your "over-reaching" for what it is: a big fat tantrum.

If you don't want to be called out on it, then take responsibility for your actions.

Whoops, we shut down the government, how did that happen? Oh well, these things happen. Why are you so mad at us? You're picking on us, stop it! You're so mean wha wha wha wha...

Act infantile and you will continue to be treated as infantile.

And as for slavery: people like you would probably rather die of cancer than
get some affordable health care, just because it was created by Obama. Go for it.

the first step towards changing a law is accepting that it is a law, which you refuse to do, like little children. As anyone with an adult mentality can see, you need to man up and start winning some elections. That's the only way.

Dennis said...

Thanks for proving the point and making a decision?
One might want to check how many times Tip O'neil and the democrats shut down government before one tries to pontificate.
Since you are incapable of reasoned dialogue you are dead to me. You lose.
Pejoratives and name calling have no meaning except to those who lack the skills to do otherwise.

Sam L. said...

Anonymous forgets, or intentionally omits, that the Dems were the party of slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow, and segregation, Bull Connor, and Strom Thurman.

Anonymous Mike said...

I don't often pick read the paper version of The Washington Post but I did pick-up yesterday's edition and noticed on a single page of the op-ed section:

1) A regular columnist calling the Republicans neo-Confederates

2) A reprint of a national editorial cartoonist explicitly placing the Republicans and Tea Party as part of the Axis of Evil

When you have nationally known opinionators in a paper of national reputation placing 1 of the 2 major parties in the same box as slave-holders and mass murderers.... I mean doesn't it all seem very late 1850ish?

To quote Fred Thompson's character in Hunt for Red October:

"This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."