Sully repeatedly gave vent to, and defended, the horrid and baseless speculation -- apparently originating with a DKos vermin -- that Sarah Palin's fifth child, Trig, was actually her grandchild, having been born to Palin's teenage daughter, Bristol. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)
So, in no fewer than nine blog entries, this contributor to The Atlantic Monthly pumped oxygen into one of the most bizarre and disgusting conspiracy theories ever to emerge from the fetid swamps of the Leftosphere. This prompts Ace to engage in his own theorizing:
Since we're airing "uncomfortable theories" of a medical type here which need to be explored, I doubt there is anyone on the blogosphere who hasn't wondered -- frequently -- if Sullivan is suffering from AIDS-related dementia.Yeah. I guess this suspicion has been in the back of a lot of people's minds for a while, and "the courtesy of polite silence" has generally prevented other bloggers from wondering aloud whether Sullivan's erratic moods might be related in some way to his illness.
Ugly, yes, but we're all thinking the same thing; and as we're now apparently free to speculate about such ugly things, I see no reason why Sullivan should be further shielded.
He's gone f---ing bananas, due to AIDS or steroids or other reasons, and if we're not observing a minimum level of politeness and civility anymore -- if innocent 16 year old girls are now valid targets -- I see no reason to continue extending the courtesy
of polite silence to Sullivan.
Nietzsche famously went mad due to syphilis, and while AIDS-related dementia is a less well-known phenomenon, I very well remember Sullivan's 7,000-word paean to the joys of testosterone therapy. Given that he was resorting to such exotic treatments eight years ago, heaven knows what manner of mood-altering medications he might be using now.
In light of Sullivan's indulgence of the Trig Palin conspiracy theory, however, he clearly has drifted far afield from the sober judgment he exhibited as editor of the New Republic 15 years ago. There was never a shred of credible evidence for that cheap smear -- akin to idiot rumors of a lesbian affair between Janet Reno and Hillary Clinton -- and thus no reason why any journalist should acknowledge it, except to denounce it.
Of course, I'm not a "heavy hitter" and probably not "respectable," either, and I once got an "Yggy" nomination from Sully, so I might be more sympathetic than some others on the Right. Sullivan has written at length about Oakeshott and the importance of humility in conservative thought, and therefore ought to be humble enough to admit that he was wrong in allowing himself to go wading into the DKos muck. And in making such an admission, perhaps he will have cause to reflect on exactly why he's drifted so far afield.
Having done my own share of drifting over the years, I am wary of the notion of irredeemable errors. A Christian ought to consider that when he is chastised, there is always a reason, no matter how unfair the chastisement seems at the time. And an admission of one's own faults does not justify one's enemies. God used the heathen Babylonians to chastise Israel, but this did not signify God's favor toward heathenism, neither did it ultimately exempt Babylon from judgment, nor did it mean that God had broken His promise to Israel.
Sullivan has done wrong, and ought to make amends. But I am too great a debtor to grace to suppose that he is beyond hope of redemption.
UPDATE: Great day in the morning! Sully's fairly sane, compared to some of the DKos/DUmmies whose wild conspiratorial fantasies Ace has unearthed now. It's all a plot by Karl Rove, you see . . .