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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Andrew Sullivan Shows (Again) His Tin Ear

Why is Sullivan taken seriously as a political commentator of the American scene? Read his latest faux pas, describing "Baghdad Jim" McDermott:

"Here he is, marching in front of a poster that has the word "terrorist" plastered over President Bush's face. Nice to know that his kowtowing to Baghdad's tyranny is also reflected in a complete moral equivalence about the difference between Saddam and Bush. This is one face of the anti-war left. And it's depraved."

Please. First, McDermott is not making any attempt to represent the "Loyal Opposition", or the "Responsible, Anti-War Left". How could he be, with comments like this:

"This president is trying to bring to himself all the power to become an emperor — to create Empire America."


"One of the dilemmas we've had since 9/11 is that this country has been continuously terrorized by the government. Every week they announce a new threat. 'Today is a code orange.' 'Today is a code red.' "


"And what we are dealing with right now in this country is whether we are having a kind of bloodless, silent coup or not."

A coup, his detractors point out, that seems to include sizeable majorities in the House and Senate, as well as noted plotters Gephardt and Lieberman.

No, Andrew has, perhaps unsurprisingly, missed the point again. Completely.

McVarmint does not represent any sort of responsible opposition, nor do his view reflect the views of what may one day emerge as sensible opposition. This is simply his loyal attempt to bail out the Democrat party with a "double-play" - Democrat leadership, queried about McVarmint, no longer need to defend him - they can simply plead an "insanity" defense. This segues nicely to their attempt to re-focus on domestic issues, since they will then explain that folks like "Baghdad Jim" illustrate the need for expanded mental health care benefits.

Andrew, as usual , misses all of this. What, don't they have crazies in England?

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