Sully: Shut Up While The Shuttin’s Good

Andrew Sullivan better start considering his words far more closely (what? You thought he’d quit blogging like he said he would? With sanctimonious fingers left to wag?), as both Reynolds and Lileks took issue with our favorite short-haired pontificating Brit and took him to task today.
First, Glenn Reynolds:

ANDREW SULLIVAN writes that he didn’t mean to claim that wrapping someone in an Israeli flag was torture, even though he listed it with other things that he clearly did regard as torture, and drew no distinction. He asks me to correct the record; I wish instead that he would try writing on (and thinking about) this subject with the clarity and seriousness of which he has shown himself capable in the past. All evidence suggests, however, that I am likely to be disappointed.
UPDATE: Reader Christopher Levenick notes that in an earlier post, Andrew specificially included wrapping in an Israeli flag under the heading ANTI-ISLAMIC TORTURE. If Andrew doesn’t regard flag-wrapping as torture, then pehaps he should refrain from this sort of thing in the future. I’ve suggested in the past that Sullivan would be more persuasive in a cause with which I actually agree (I’ve long been anti-torture, after all) if he displayed more rigor and didn’t turn the volume to “11.” That remains true. I’m not interested in an inter-blog pissing match; I tend to take a blog-and-let-blog approach to these sorts of things. But I think that Andrew’s take on these issues hasn’t accomplished what he hopes to accomplish, and I don’t think that it will do so in the future if his approach remains the same.

Then, Lileks:

Prager played this speech today, and read the translation. But you really have to hear it to get the full impact, the full effect of raging Jew hatred. Standing in the kitchen, listening to this poison, hearing Gnat sing as she played a Flash game on the Disney site, I got that sick chill you feel the second day of a bad flu. I can only imagine how I’d feel if the fellow making the speech lived on the other side of town.
Now: compare with this, which Sullivan Wednesday remarked was an example of Christianism – a term I’d never heard. Sullivan said this fellow exemplifies an attitude that’s “Just like Communism. And Islamism.”
Hmm. On one hand, a fellow ranting on Palestinian state TV about the sins of the Jews, and the need to kill ‘em all; on the other, a guy who thinks Christianity will continue to gain in popularity in the third world. Compare and contrast. One guy wants to kill, and the other wants us to buy his book about a God that brings people gasping back to life in this world. Well, I’d like to see the medical reports. But still: somehow the former worries me more than the latter.

Kinder, but still: ouch. Were I Sullivan (and it should be quite obvious that I’m not), I’d be far more circumspect and less likely to go flapping my gums these days.

2 responses to “Sully: Shut Up While The Shuttin’s Good”

  1.  Avatar

    I’ve never read Sullivan’s stuff. It seems like there’s a niche industry in discrediting him though.
    How the heck did he gain any prominence from which to now be knocked down?

  2. Doug Avatar

    He gained prominence as an outspoken gay conservative. Many of his political views used to be quite conservative, but recently he’s turned to an emotional interpretation of the gay marriage debate (read: he’s taking the whole thing personally) and has largely transformed himself into a “once was” of the blogosphere.
    It’s been sad, actually, to watch his slow-motion collapse. Every once in a while, I see flashes of the old Andrew shine through, but he’s gone over the edge on many issues, particularly pertaining to the Catholic church (he’s ostensibly Catholic).
    It’s kind of weird watching him trace an arc that largely opposes that of his fellow Brit-come-Stateside, Christopher Hitchens. While Hitch still maintains a goodly bit of his old Lefty/Socialist leanings, he seems to get more and more solid on the War on Terrorism on a daily basis, while Sully gets squishier and squishier, all in the name of decrying the supposed “Theocrats” of the Bush administration.