alien & sedition.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
  Look Who's a Fifth Column Now!

Andrew Sullivan, of course, was a cheerleader for the Iraq war and an enthusiastic participant in the demagoguery that suffocated American political debate during the run-up to the invasion. But his role as perhaps the most prominent intellectual of a certain peculiar school of American conservatism (one might call it the "Interesting!" school, in the Michael Kinsley sense) makes him somebody worth reading nonetheless. If I find occasion to praise him, don't think I've forgotten or forgiven his sins.

This is one of those occasions. Sullivan, who has now turned his defender-of-national-security schtick against the real domestic threat to American interests -- the Republican party -- writes the very script Democrats should be using when they talk about the war. Responding to one of Hugh Hewitt's inane party-line iterations of the mantra that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror (and that, therefore, those who oppose the war advocate submission to Islamic terror), Sully smacks the whole conservative framework to pieces:
Is it not possible to make, you know, empirical distinctions between various threats? To see that Islamism does indeed fuel Sunni and Shia violence, but that these forces are also fundamentally at war with one another? To see a distinction between Ahmadinejad's Shiite apocalyptics and Bin Laden's Wahhabist caliphate - a distinction any halfway competent war strategy would exploit, not deny?

When you see how evidence-resistant a propagandist like Hewitt can be, you begin to realize how important it is to keep these people away from power. They are much less interested in defeating al Qaeda than they are in using al Qaeda to defeat Democrats. This is what Hewitt really cares about: the GOP. Look what damage his ilk have done to the West's security since 9/11 because of their pathological partisanship. Look at how their refusal or inability to see any nuance, complexity or variety in the many threats we face makes our defeat more likely. We just cannot afford to tolerate these Republican propagandists any longer. There is a war on. And they simply aren't serious about fighting it.
Emphasis mine. I pledge my vote to the first Democratic presidential candidate to repeat the bolded parts of Sullivan's post verbatim. And to repeat it often.

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I recently read Sullivan's "The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back". Much of the same, but more detailed. He spends a lot of time deconstructing the unsteady alliance of Christian fundamentralism and the GOP. He's returned to the kind of conservatism even liberals are nostalgic for now. Still conservative - some things I just had to "there you go again" at - but most is thoughtful and philosophical, about returning to conservative first principles. A refreshing change from the typical "Ann O'Limbity" screed.
I've been meaning to read that. One of these days I'll get ahead of the curve enough to post semi-timely book reviews here.
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"An obscure but fantastic blog." - Markus Kolic


Critical analysis of the American conservative movement from a progressive perspective. Also some stuff about the Mets.

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