Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I can't stop reading Andrew Sullivan

Sullivan has been going on and on and on about why Sarah Palin had an amniocentesis, because it's so contradictory to her pro-life views (there's something like a half a percent increase in miscarriage risk). This ridiculous attack prompts Alex Massie to calmly argue WTF.* Massie's piece summarizes Sullivan's posts on the amnio "issue" and makes the essential point that pro-life people can have amniocentesis and there's nothing sinister about it.

Sullivan's response to Massie: rachet up the crazy! working assumption now is that she is a pathological liar - even about things that are objectively checkable. A pathological liar simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth about herself, even on a subject as routine as a pregnancy and infant son.
Ok, so every aspect of her private life is a valid target for criticism, including private reproductive choices. It's nutty, but not super crazy yet. Here's where it gets ridiculous:
I know this puts me out of the mainstream of acceptable Washington opinion. But let me just remind Alex that doubting the existence of Saddam's WMDs put some people out of the mainstream of acceptable Washington opinion. Would the world be a better place if those people had refused to be silenced or intimidated? Would America be a better place if reporters and bloggers resistant to the universal consensus brought all their questions to the table and refused to shut up and kow-tow to the forces of Rove and his acolyte, Schmidt?
Right. Sarah Palin's decision to have amniocentesis is the moral equivalent of the Bush administration's deceit over WMD in Iraq. It's ludicrous. Palin's private reproductive health isn't a matter of public concern, it isn't the decision to go to war, and there's nothing like the pre-war press environment right now. Palin faces a mostly skeptical press, which has no qualms about attacking McCain/Palin. It's not at all like the environment prior to the Iraq War where the mainstream pro-war consensus silenced the voices of dissent. By seizing on this inconsequential nit of an issue, Sullivan cartoonishly inflates his importance. By fighting over this non-issue, Sullivan takes on the pose of a real hero.

And that's why I can't get enough of him. I love kooks, and I love this kind of reply, "You may laugh at me, but don't you know they laughed at EINSTEIN too!" It's the cry of the true internet kook, that public disapproval is a sign of virtue. Sullivan's not crazy, it's the world that's gone mad!

There's one other weirdness in Sullivan's reply, in that he refers to Palin as a "Manchurian candidate." What does that even mean in this context? Is he insinuating that Palin's a secret agent of some foreign government? It's odd paranoia, and eerily less amusing.

Update: More of Sullivan's "I'm the lone voice of truth in the wilderness!" bullshit here.

*"She had the test - for reasons that quite properly remain as private as any woman's decision to have an abortion should - carried the child to term. Most people would not have, but in Andrew's world that raises more questions about Palin than it does about our attitudes to abortion." is how he says it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Andrew is a good laugh every day--he's gone stark raving loony. If he wasn't such a jackass, I'd feel sorry for him. He is so frigging obsessed with Sarah Palin that he is likely to drive himself into a stupor or a heart attack. The stress he is under can't be good for his immune system. Poor silly Andy.