Laying The Smack Down On Andrew Sullivan Part 2

I really, honestly, truly, did not want to tear into Andrew Sullivan. He was nice enough to do an interview with me, he has linked me 2 or 3 times (I’ve linked him many times as well), and truth be told, I don’t like the idea of slamming other conservative bloggers. Not that I won’t lay into another warblogger if I really think it’s merited (examples here & here), but there are enough liberals & bigger name conservatives who deserve a kick in the behind (like Pat Buchanan, John McCain, & Jerry Falwell) to keep me busy.

That being said, Andrew Sullivan has spent so much time demonizing Republicans and Christians who don’t agree with him that over the last few months that I’m not giving him a free pass anymore…although, after ripping into Sullivan on Friday for his staggering hypocrisy on gay marriage, I wasn’t planning to target him again so soon.

However, after Sullivan finally came out with what amounts to an endorsement of John Kerry, I felt compelled to speak up again.

That’s not because Andrew is supporting Kerry…I think every conservative who has at least semi-consistently read “The Daily Dish” for the last 6 months has seen that coming…but because of the incredibly dishonest argument Sullivan makes for Kerry.

Sullivan’s “endorsement” piece is called, “The Conservative Party – Kerry’s Democrats” and yes, unbelievably, Sullivan actually goes beyond carping about where Bush has deviated from conservative principles to trying to make a case that Kerry is actually the “conservative choice”. Here’s the money paragraph at the end of the column…

“Domestically, moreover, Bush has done a huge amount to destroy the coherence of a conservative philosophy of American government; and he has been almost criminally reckless in his hubris in the conduct of the war. He and America will never live down the intelligence debacle of the missing Iraqi WMDs; and he and America will be hard put to regain the moral highground in world affairs after Abu Ghraib. The argument Kerry must make is that he can continue the substance of the war, but without Bush’s polarizing recklessness. And at home, he must reassure Americans that he is the centrist candidate – controlled neither by the foaming Michael Moore left nor the vitreolic religious right. Put all that together, and I may not find myself the only conservative moving slowly and reluctantly toward the notion that Kerry may be the right man – and the conservative choice – for a difficult and perilous time.”

First of all, set aside the fact that if you went a hundred well known “conservative” pundits deep, Sullivan would likely be regarded as the least conservative among them, which means he really lacks the credibility needed to write a column like this in the first place.

More importantly, if you read this article, you will notice that bizarrely, Andrew Sullivan, a man who is absolutely obsessed with gay marriage, barely mentions it in the piece. I find that to be quite ironic since at one point, Sullivan admitted that his lack of support for Bush was all about Bush’s support forthe Federal Marriage Amendment.

Here’s what Andrew Sullivan, who had been playing coy on his blog about whether he was going to support Bush or not up until Jonah Goldberg quite civilly called him on it in June, told “The Advocate” back in May of this year…

“But it’s time to say something very clearly: Bush’s endorsement of antigay discrimination in the U.S. Constitution itself is a deal-breaker. I can’t endorse him this fall. Like many other gay men and women who have supported him, despite serious disagreements, I feel betrayed, abused, attacked.


I will be excoriated by the same people who always denounce anyone who doesn’t toe the Democratic Party line. “What took you so long?” they sneer. Hope, engagement, principle are my answers. I do not regret trying to make conservatism safe for gays. It’s still possible to be in favor of small government, low taxes, a tough foreign policy, and to be a proud gay man. My principles haven’t changed. Nor will they anytime soon. But when a president allies himself with forces that really do want to keep gay people in jail, therapy, or the closet, it’s time to break off. The deal is broken. And no amount of rationalization can make it whole again.”

I would note that Sullivan even said something similar to me when I interviewed him back in October of 2003…

John Hawkins: I know it’s early, but how do you see the 2004 election shaping up and which candidate are you leaning towards right now?

Andrew Sullivan: It’s probably Dean vs. Bush, and I’m leaning towards Bush if Dean doesn’t get serious about national security. But if Bush endorses a constitutional amendment against equal marriage rights, I couldn’t support him and would urge anyone else who cares about civil rights to follow suit.

Sullivan can write about Kerry’s “conservatism” all he wants, but I strongly suspect his support of Kerry is largely based on the fact that Kerry is a stealth supporter of gay marriage who opposed DOMA, who opposes a Constitutional Amendment to protect marriage, and who will do everything he can to make it possible for activist judges to impose gay marriage on an unwilling country, even if JFK won’t admit it.

If Sullivan wants to endorse Kerry (although he denies that’s what he’s doing), fine, but he shouldn’t serve up an intellectually dishonest piece of drivel like his latest column and expect anyone to buy into it.

PS: One last thing. It’s time for Sully’s yearly pledge drive and I couldn’t believe that even he had the audacity to include this line in his fund raising pitch…

“The good news is that our traffic keeps going up. The bad news is that our bandwidth costs have also risen, and although I was hoping to go a full year without asking for more support, the site needs some extra cash to keep going at least until the election.

From Andrew Sullivan’s statistics tracker, here are his unique visitors over the last few months (Jan appeared to be an incomplete starting month)…

Feb: 1410869
Mar: 1250342
Apr: 1205536
May: 1233008
Jun: 1103882
Jul: 833502

Traffic is down 300,000 sets of eyeballs from Feb to Jun and it looks like July is on pace to be a new low unless Sully gets a flurry of last minute readers.

Also, I’m going to estimate Sullivan uses…oh…let’s say 125 GB of bandwidth a month. Given his traffic and the low amount of graphics that his page has, that’s probably a high guess. Just to give you an idea of how little it costs to handle that much traffic, I pay $20 a month for hosting currently and do you how much bandwidth my account comes with? 64 GB. Let’s just say that I sincerely doubt that bandwidth costs are going to put Andrew out of business…

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