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February 14, 2006

Comments

Robbie

I thought we agreed to never mention the crack issue in front of readers?

You've betrayed me, Mal. Betrayed! *flounce* *door slam*

Me + Pain Killers = OMFG, was that my gall bladder that just came up?!

I am once again reminded of why I'm suspicious of all doctors, hospitals, and medications. Now I have to see the shaman down on 43rd street.

Again.

Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest)

hmmm. . . and on Valentine's Day, you mention Robbie in a post in which you reference a piece I wrote. There must be some meaning in that. :-)

Malcontent

Well, I did just order an obscenely large floral arrangement, but I hope my dear Robbie will understand if it was intended for someone else.

DSH

Glenn Greenwald quote on Gay Patriot illustrates his very point. The only way those two reactionary dudes respond to anything they dislike was to label it "liberal." After the virtues of liberalism have been explained to these half-brains, they've now substituted "Leftist" for "liberal." So, they are capable of learning.

It's a classic case when someone does not have an argument to make, the person almost always turns to ad hominems. Even the most bizare Leftist blog doesn't come close to GayPatriot for the ubiquity of its ad hominems. The site drools from them, and the slobber is flood high. That's why the Greenwald quote fits GayPatriot perfectly. Of course, these dudes did not even "get" the perfect irony.

GayPatriot does not even pretend to be "conservative" any longer. How can it? The two core dudes are out-and-out apologists for GWB. And as everyone but GayPatriot knows, but they're beginning, GWB is NO conservative (social reactionary, maybe; fiscal profligate, definitely; a person out of touch with humanity, obviously; in touch with gawd, well, I'll let the mystics speculate.). But to answer all GWB's critics as "leftists" is utter nonsense. GWB is dispised by libertarians and genuine conservatives, of which Andrew Sullivan is one. And Sullivan KNOWS what the word "conservative" means.

So I ask: Is there queer envy of Sullivan? I ask only because he's brilliant, having graduated from both Oxford and Harvard, has a Ph.D, edited a national magazine, is frequently the guest on many programs, and has a keen and quick mind. True, Sullivan's conservative credentials are of the Burkean, Oakshott, and Hayekean kind, that in today's political marketplace is a kind of Goldwater Republican/Conservative. But the appellation "conservative" has been misappropriated by religious wingnuts, ever since the Moral Majority decided to take over the Republican Party. Juxtaposed to that crowd, a lot of us "conservatives" of yore are now bastions of liberalism. But again, these labels don't really signify anything very stable.

Which makes the ubiquitous use of ad hominems even more ludicrous.

Joe.My.God.

His stats don't seem all that "irrelevant".


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Jack Malebranche

I almost feel redundant in saying this, now that others have chimed in, but it was on my mind...

I don't agree with Andrew Sullivan about a lot of things (we all know how I feel about same-sex marriage), but I think he's fair and, as 'exciteable' as he can occasionally be, he's still less shrill than 99% of the gay voices out there in the media. But I really liked his commentary on the whole cartoon thing recently, better than most of what I reads elsewhere.

You guys can attack him if you like, and claim that he's irrelevant. But I would like to say this:

I'd rather see Andrew Sullivan representing me on TV than the gay ghetto-vision that you're plugging as 'something we need.' Sullivan makes homosexual men look smart, reasonable, integrated, pulled together and masculine, compared to any other well-known gay representative I can think of. And he's on TV, making the rounds, week after week. And has been, for a long time.

When the alternative seems to be hysterical leftists, drag queens and bitchy interior designers, I'd pick Andrew Sullivan to be on my team any day of the week.

Jack Malebranche

reads=read. That typo was positively backwoodsy.

Malcontent

Jack, since you're pressing on with my supposed support for "gay ghettos," just what representations on the gay channels are you talking about? For every one you might name that reinforces some perceived "negative" stereotype, I could give you five others that deal realistically, sympathetically and positively with gay issues.

Have you even been watching "MalcoVision"?

Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest)

DSH--Have you even bothered to read our blog? We are far from apologists for the president, though we do defend him frequently. And please note that I recently used to the terms crackpot and creep to describe people I didn't much care for -- and they're not, at least as far as I can tell, not on the political left.

I agree that it's fair to question the president's conservative credentials on domestic issues.

It's laughable to call the post 02/24 Andrew Sullivan a conservative. He may know what conservative means and may continue to call himself one, but his behavior these last two years has been anything but conservative. A Burkean conservative looks at circumstances and in the gay marriage debate, Andrew seems immune to consideration of circumstances in this debate. And Michael Oakeshott would certainly not approve of courts mandating gay marriage. He believed in the organic development of institutions, a notion Andrew has lost sight of in his hysteria on the marriage issue.

Joe.My.God.

Sullivan makes homosexual men look smart, reasonable, integrated, pulled together and masculine, compared to any other well-known gay representative I can think of.

But lastly and most importantly for Jack, as always, "masculine".

Craig Ranapia

*yawn* Of course, how soon we forget when any criticism of Bill Clinton - Christopher Hitchens, call you office - was proof positive you'd run off to join the Sexual McCarthyites for a pleasant evening of Zionist/corporate whoredom full of nigger-lynching, fag-bashing and goose-stepping all over the exsanginated corpses of welfare babies (in exchange for oil, natch).

Mah name is Earl, and karma's a bitch.

Still, I expect the standard politi-crit lexicon to get worked out:

I have principles; you have ideology.
I have policies; you have an agenda.
I have strongly held beliefs; you're just a wing-nut.
You're an "apoligist" because you don't share my belief that X. is Satan incarnate; but don't you dare call me a "basher".

Blah, blah, blah...


Aatom

I'm with Jack and (strangely enough) Joe.My.God on this one. The anti-Sullivan sentiment on this site has reached pretty shrill levels. You don't have to like him, but to dismiss him and lampoon him constantly shows a certain lack of nuance and basic respect to me. Jack is right, Sullivan's coverage of the cartoon capers has been top-rate and urgently necessary. He is a tireless and intelligent champion of gay rights, human rights in general, traditional conservative governance, HIV awareness, liberal western values and regrettably recently - his foot warts.

Disagree with him all you want, he welcomes respectful disagreement. But I don't see genuine disagreement most of the time here, just frustration and ad hominem lashing out. But it seems strange to not show him some form of kudos for being such a vocal groundbreaking conservative gay figure, one that paved the way for you to even write a site of this nature. The anti-Sullivan gay right always strikes me as a bit zero-sum, figuring that if they disagree with Sullivan about even one thing, that he has somehow betrayed all of conservatism somehow. So what if he pulled his support of Bush because of the potentially cataclysmic FMA, I can't think of a better reason to dislike this President, honestly. But he does support the larger War on Terror (while patiently spelling out how we're screwing it up), and while his disappointment with Bush did begin with the FMA, it would be hard to accuse him of completely inventing the weaknesses and flaws that Bush has displayed so prominently during his second term. In other words, there's plenty of valid material for him to work with if he's predisposed to slam Bush. Are you suggesting that he refuse to find fault with the man out of some sort of weird ideological loyalty?

You know I love both of you, and I don't mean to sound hostile, but i feel as if you owe him at least the same amount of respect and intellectual freedom to disagree with people as you show your commenters here every day.

Craig Ranapia

Aatom:

Being a hardline fiscal conservative (i.e. the kind of person who wouldn't win a primary for either party let alone win election these days), I don't slam Andrew Sullivan for disagreeing with President Bush on whatever. I just wish, sometimes, he'd just take a deep breath and calm down. Hey, I'm just saying if you find the Daily Kos-sacks so objectionable, it doesn't hurt to avoid their shrill, self-righteous tone of voice. We've all got things we get cranky about, and heavens knows there are times I've been fit only for sedation. But a dear old drag queen chum gave me the best advice I've ever had: "A big bitch like you shouldn't be such a pussy when the other dogs bark back." Word to live by, I think.

Malcontent

But it seems strange to not show him some form of kudos for being such a vocal groundbreaking conservative gay figureone that paved the way for you to even write a site of this nature.

I have shown him plenty of kudos in the past, but I find myself disagreeing with him more often than not. He was the first blogger to whose tip jar I contributed regularly and generously. So how long, exactly, must I continue to worship at his feet?

Are you suggesting that he refuse to find fault with the man out of some sort of weird ideological loyalty?

Good God, no. Wherever did you get that idea? But I would certainly feel better about Sullivan if he could truly give the President credit when he deserved it, and stopped inventing reasons to bash away.

And we're being ad hominem? We don't use over-wrought DailyKos-ian terms like "King George" here.

So I guess I would turn your question on you: Are you suggesting that I should refuse to find fault with Andrew out of some weird ideological loyalty?

Sullivan would be easier to tolerate if he didn't have such a martyr complex and tissue-thin skin. Which was the only reason I even mentioned him today, after several weeks of ignoring him.

Jack Malebranche

Joe, you probably won't be suprised to know that I knew you were going to make the effort to point that out when you wrote it. I honestly don't mind. Because yes, that is important to me, and I'm not going to make apologies for it because I don't think it's a bad thing. If you think it's wrong for homosexual men to be interested in exploring masculinity, not just in porn, but as a part of who they innately are as men, we simply have a difference of opinion.

Malcontent, I can only assume that we have wildly different criteria for what a positive media representation might be. I would probably differ with many homos on that, so it's really no big suprise.

Robbie

I've admired his recent work on the cartoons, however, he is never worse than when he's doing his narcissistic martyr shtick.

When he tried convincing everyone John Kerry was a conservative, he jumped the shark. That little episode was plain embarrassing to watch. Mainly because everyone knew it was over the FMA. That was a gigantic blunder where his emotions began trumping objective thought. People don't forget something like that.

I've noticed, lately, he's been pimping the Daily Kos left and right. I'm sorry, but no serious conservative is going to give that kind of weight to moonbat central. There are a lot of very thoughtful voices on the Left out there - but Daily Kos isn't generally one of them.

Yes, there is plenty to criticize the Bush administration for from a conservative point of view. Bush is never weaker in his bona fides than when discussing things like the budget and enroaching federal power.

However, when Sullivan goes on his Theocon tears - often trying to draw equivalence between the Christian right and violent radical Islam - he again betrays that the gay thing totally over-rides his logic centers.

A lot of these things add up over time. He's shrill, he sets up and bats down straw men at an alarming rate, and he has never ever had any problem standing on high and dictating who is and isn't really a conservative (again, the John Kerry incident). Just sift through his archives, especially his shots at any writer from National Review outside of Derbyshire. For years he's sat there and bitched that "they're not really conservative. I'm the real conservative."

And now he has the brass balls and temerity to be all kinds of offended when the same rhetoric he dishes out on a consistent basis is directed towards him? Faggot, please.

And when you point out his inconsistency and hypocrisy on these things, his stock answer is "Uh, well, uhm, these are just, you know, my, uh, unedited thoughts, uhm . . ."

There is no doubt Sullivan does some brilliant work at times, but he's so into himself and takes himself so deadly seriously that he has a major blindspot where his own behavior is concerned. For every single thing he accuses his opponents of, you can pull a dozen posts where he has done the exact same thing and in far more hysterical language.

Gay conservatives can frankly do better.

That's just my ideological beef with him, from a writing standpoint.

On a personal level, I thought the "Funds for Bandwidth Drive" was just about one of the most dishonest financial schemes I've seen on the internet. Everyone knows how much bandwidth costs, and his whole "We need six figures!" shtick was just . . . oh what the fuck. I can't imagine anyone defending that. But they will.

I find it ironic Mal's being taken to task in a "gay ghetto" vein in this thread when Sullivan does far more to bend his politics around his sexuality than either me or Mal would ever do.

Aatom

well, as usual you are both very good at defending yourselves. I don't always agree with Sullivan, and do wish he had been a bit more forthright during his FMA conversion days. But I continue to find him a solid political voice that at least attempts to remain true to his core values.

And I just kind of like the big lug. I've been reading him pretty much everyday for 5 years now, and I have to say that even at his worst, he's charming and interesting. I'm not telling you what to think of him, but if you are going to accuse someone of being shrill, defensive and emotional, just doublecheck to make sure you're not returning it in kind.

And Happy V-Day everyone! They can't burn ALL of the Hallmark cards!

Robbie

The thing with Sullivan is, when he's on, he's really on. But when he's off, he is one mess of a train wreck. Unfortunately, over the past two years, he's been spending an awful lot of time on a set of bloody tracks. He seems very personally likeable.

But when it comes to ideological writing and politics, he's kind of devolved a bit into an emotional college kid writing columns in the school paper. He gets very excitable, sloppy, and very, very happy to toss out ad hominems and blast anyone who doesn't see the world exactly as he does. When he gets it in return, he wails like a five year old who just skinned a knee.

And that's fine for someone like, say, me. This is just a hobby. But when it's your career, when it's what you do, what defines you, the standards should be just a notch or two higher. The expectations are greater. When he doesn't meet them, when the quality is that eroded, yeah, he's probably going to get a lot of shit from people. But, that comes with the territory.

Craig Ranapia

And I've got to say that Sullivan's latest post - salivating at the thought of what Dick Cheney could be charged with if Harry Whittington dies in the ICU instead of recovering from his heart attack wasn't "liberal" or "conservative" - just flat out creepy.

Jack Malebranche

if you are going to accuse someone of being shrill, defensive and emotional, just doublecheck to make sure you're not returning it in kind.

I would second that. Respectful disagreement seems like a more productive was to critique someone who--far more than the lefty leaders of the gay mainstream, is out there in the media trenches, really making the rest of us look good. He shouldn't be worshiped, and please do take him to task if you disagree with him. Tear apart his opinions in a substantive way and offer your own. Say he's dead wrong, and say why. Or ignore him completely if you really think he's becoming 'irrelevant.' But taking clique-ish cheap shots just seems counterproductive. He's right..."snide" basically covers the level of discussion evident here with regard to "torture.com."

Robbie

Snide is fun, though. We're not a serious ideological site, and we're really, really upfront about that. Sometimes we feel like being serious, sometimes we feel like being snide, sometimes we feel like being tongue in cheek.

I think people might be projecting a little bit here. If you look under our Sully Watch category, you'll note we really haven't discussed him very much over the past few months. I can't speak for Mal, but I'm more or less over the guy. But the reaction here makes it seem like we're on top of him every other day.

If people want to be loyal to him and overlook his faults because he's not actually a gay moonbat, that's fine. But not a moonbat isn't the same thing as thoughtful conservative. Sullivan was fine when he was the only option available. Now? Not so much. With the spread of the blogosphere, we can be a little more demanding of moderate gay thinkers. His emotionalism and sloppiness just doesn't cut it for me the way it might've a few years ago.

And if you think we have a hard on for Sullivan (and I don't think we do if you look at how often we post about him), what would you call his endless jihad against Mickey Kaus?

People are holding Mal and I to a far higher standard than they hold Sullivan, and that is exactly backward.

Jack Malebranche

If people want to be loyal to him and overlook his faults because he's not actually a gay moonbat, that's fine.

I don't think offering respect means overlooking his faults. I mean, he's an HIV+, quasi-lapsed Catholic with an untouchable hard-on for gay marriage as the ultimate salve for all homosexuals. I'm not in love with him or anything...he's just earned my respect.

He isn't the best conceiveable representative of homosexual men in my mind. I'm just waiting to see someone do it better.

And if you think we have a hard on for Sullivan (and I don't think we do if you look at how often we post about him), what would you call his endless jihad against Mickey Kaus?

It's pretty obvious that's tit for tat at this point.

Sometimes we feel like being serious, sometimes we feel like being snide, sometimes we feel like being tongue in cheek.

I get it, though it's a little MPD at times. I think that will level itself over time, though, as your voice crystallizes. I'm probably in the minority, but I could care less about all of the TV commentary and pop culture stuff. If I wanted to see homos gossip about TV, I could go...watch TV, because they are already on TV, gossiping about TV. In my mind you guys are most interesting when you are actually saying something of substance, because you have non-mainstream voices (usually) that don't seem to be deeply entrenched in one camp or another. Most gay liberal and conservative commentators, from what I've seen, are running on autopilot. They could essentially be bots. I could write their opinions for them. And that's boring.

When you step outside of that, that's when things become more interesting.

Just my opinion, however.

Downtown Lad

I'll take Sullivan any day over GayPatriot.

The same GayPatriot who blames Federal Marriage Amendments on, who else, GAYS.

The same GayPatriot who blames a gay bashing incident in a Massachusetts bar on, who else, GAYS.

GayPatriot is not conservative. He's a lapdog. He has never, not once, ever written a blog entry in support of gay rights. Ever. GayPatriotWest might have. But GayPatriot has yet to do so. That's his prerogative, but why should I respect that?

Sorry - but I prefer bloggers who actually have the guts to, you know, have some self-respect and stand up for our rights. Sullivan is the person who was spear-heading the gay marriage movement back in the 1980's. Back when GayPatriot was still in his little closet.

Sullivan is not a liberal for being disappointed in this Presidency. There's a reason that Bush's approval is now at 40%.

Dan

Sullivan might be wavering towards the center, but after the unmitigated train wreck that is the second Bush administration, who can blame him? I'm not exactly an expert on conservatism, but last I checked you guys were for the whole small government thing. Bush has exploded the size of the federal bureaucracy - a screwy prescription medication plan. a DHS that's now on it's second (third?) major reorganization, the No Child Left Behind Act, the Federal Marriage Amendment, a NSA that now feels it has carte blanche to spy on just about anybody they choose w/o any form of independent oversight - the list goes on and on. Is there anything dubya doesn't think the federal government belongs in?

And I know the economy's not quite what it once was, but the numbers under dubya make Clinton seem like a fiscal conservative. From 1.8 trillion spent/86 billion surplus to 2.3 trillion spent/412 billion deficit. The war on terrorism only accounts for a fraction of that difference. Seriously, unless people like gaypatriot wake up and realize that the (admittedly annoying) whining from people like Sullivan has a rational basis, this whole 'new republican era' thing is going to be pretty short lived.

Guess I really don't have anything to complain about after all :)

DSH

Robbie: Give GWB credit? For what? As a libertarian with a streak of communitarianism in me, I come at the asshole from different perspectives. I'll be damned if I can find ONE thing I like about the guy. Oh, sure, reducing taxes is just dandy, as long as you don't run up spending. But GWB and the Republicans have outspent LBJ and the Democrats. NOW, that's a feat. Especially, since few of us see anything for the effort. Oh, and it's not just the increase in military spending (at $1.7 bil/wk). And it's not just that 38% of ALL HIV prevention monies go through "religious charities." But let's get a grip. Prohibiting the explication of "condoms" in his war on AIDS is outright stupid. Forget the FMA. He's ready to write GLBT into persona non grata. And what about the 25-yr old twink he appointed to run NASA, who thankfully resigned last week over Intelligent Design? SNL never had a better cast or scrip, especially now that the VP shot his hunting buddy in the butt. Try as I might, I cannot ignore that GWB did everything BUT do New Orleans for five days, and his sidekick Michael Brown gives a new low to the definition of crony. And, how did HALF of all contracts in Iraq just "happen" to go unbidded to Halliburton, who is now under investigation by the SEC and GAO for malfeasance? Even the Republicans couldn't look the other way on this one. And here's the silliest thing: He's the first president to federalize education. Oh, I believe in educational standards and have no empathy for the teachers' unions, but federalizing elementary and secondary education? Talk about a Welfarists' hearts content! Few economists believe in "trickle down" economics, but NONE believe it's sound policy to give 1% of the taxpayers 50% of the reduction. Indeed, most middle class taxes actually went UP. NOW, the Republicans, after one fumble after another (e.g., $258 Billion Highway Bill that builds bridges in remote Alaska), the Theorepublicans are finding that even more dasterdly cuts in basic survival won't wash away the sins of five years of profligate spending. We'll just have more homeless panhandlers and fewer people will have access to AIDS medications, and the budget will STILL go up. Last, but hardly least, who could have contrived the arcane and unintelligible Medicare Part D, the largest adventure in NEW government spending program since LBJ, that has successfully pissed off everyone? Oh, it stimulates the pharmaceutical and insurance industries all right, but screws the beneficiary. I couldn't have imagined a more bizare governmental program if I took acid and did thought experiments in how to fuck seniors. But alas, it all boils down to incompetence. I had no problem with Afghanistan, but how did Iraq enter the picture? And why did it take the Military Chiefs of Staff THREE YEARS to design a plan after the invasion? No doubt, GWB's gawd told him he could rescue the minions from corrupt Islam, and our troops would be welcomed invaders/occupiers. Like Katrina after, GWB got that one wrong too. Meanwhile, GWB is golfing and giving speeches about social security privitization, after thousands have been killed and maimed in and around Iraq, yet NO reporter can venture more than a dozen feet from his/her hotel without being shot. It's pretty appalling that our own personnel STILL do not have body armor, but what has happened in Iraq in these past three years to excite anyone? Oh, they voted. But they won't enlist. In fact, in conflict, the Iraqis are the first to run. So is it surprising that our OWN military is depressed, alienated, and disobeying suicide missions? More effort has gone into clearing the queers from military service than has gone into a coherent war plan. The electorate makes it clear it want OUT soon, now if possible. The Commander in Chief stumbles again.

So, Robbie, WHAT has GWB done right? Have you completely lost your libertarian moorings that you actually see something the rest of us don't? Forget the illegalities and lobbyists, forget the cronyism, and concentrate instead on ONLY policy. What has this jackass actually done right? America wants an answer.

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