Friday, June 12, 2009

Andrew Sullivan is a 'conservative'
in what sense of the word?

Sully accuses Glenn Reynolds of "partisan shenanigans":
[T]he huge deficits projected in the future have virtually nothing to do with Obama's proposals on healthcare or energy. They are a function of inherited entitlement spending, the legacy of two open-ended wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the revenue lost from the current depression (and the last). All of this was inherited by Obama . . .
Except that it wasn't. And Sully's argument is so astonishingly counterfactual that one scarcely knows where to begin debunking it.

First, huge deficits are not merely "projected in the future," they are already upon us. This year, the federal government will borrow 46 cents for every dollar it spends. Predictably -- well, I predicted it, anyway -- the bond market is getting jittery and inflation looms.

Second, the list of causes to which Sully attributes these deficits does not include either (a) the February 2008 stimulus, (b) the April 2008 stimulus, (c) the October 2008 TARP bailout, or (d) the $787 billion stimulus that Obama signed on Feb. 17 of this year.

Obama was not present for the February and April 2008 stimulus votes, but he certainly did not oppose those measures. He voted "yes" on the October 2008 TARP, and I clearly remember the Feb. 8 speech this year in which Obama demanded that the Senate pass the stimulus bill that had not gotten a single GOP vote in the House.

One can only estimate what these Obama-backed measures have added to the deficit. Whatever the total amount, it is not zero and therefore it is false to say that the deficit was entirely "inherited" by Obama.

Is Sullivan for or against massive deficits? If he opposes deficits, where are his criticisms of the neo-Keynesian schemes that have been successively implemented over the past 16 months? If blaming Obama for the deficits is "partisan shenanigans," then what shall we call Sullivan's attempt to exculpate Obama for the soaring deficits?

Moreover, is there any criticism of Obama that Sullivan considers legitimate? Or rather, is he now as worshipfully awestruck of Obama as he was of Bush 2001-03?

Eventually, Sully will be even more disappointed in his new hero than he was in his old hero. A year from now, after the sucker's rally ends, after the bottom falls out, interest rates and inflation skyrocket, and unemployment is somewhere north of 12 percent, Sully will be tut-tutting and will have forgotten his slams on "Insta-hack," Some of us, however, will be ready to remind him.


  1. Question: Andrew Sullivan is a "conservative" in what sense of the word?

    Answer: The British sense. Duh. Dude's a Tory.

    That said, Stacy, you must give him points for supporting the flat tax.


  2. "Eventually" could come fairly soon -- he's already miffed about Obama not picking a fight over don't ask, don't tell, and today's news that Obama's DOJ is going to support the Defense of Marriage Act must be positively heartbreaking. It depends on how long before his pride will allow him to turn on the guy he boosted.

  3. Sullivan is a man desperately searching of what it means to be a man. He vacillates between total adoration and total repulsion of whomever happens to appear manly. It's sad, really, to watch such a talented writer flail so wildly with his inner demons.

  4. The one question that I keep asking and have yet to hear answered:

    Why in God's name do you know what Sullivan said? Why do you read him?

    OK. Two questions.

  5. Here is my Blog post telling the GOP why Andrew Sullivan does not speak for Conservatives (the next Encyclicals gives you a reach around -- why meghan McCain does not speak for us): -- Andrew Sullivan -- Not a Conservative! -- Meghan McCain -- Not a Conservative!

  6. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

  7. And JSF cleverly disguises the answer to The Stacinator's question:

    Excitable Andi is a "conservative" in the same sense that Meghan McCain is a "Republican spokeswoman". Which is to say, it's the position each has appointed to themselves, despite all evidence to the contrary.

  8. Hard to imagine that Excitable Andy is still pimping his book at this point.