Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Politics — Rick Moran @ 2:27 pm

Andrew Sullivan was something of a pioneer at one time - a blogger who inspired a lot of people to get take up the obsession and join the conversation that was just starting to take off. He made a name for himself saying it with style, poking a sharpened stick into his targets, repeatedly drawing blood. There was a zest about his writing - witty in a Dorothy Thompson sort of way - a one man Algonquin Roundtable who could spout about any issue from nuclear deterrence to women’s hemlines.

He still has a rough kind of integrity. I say that because he feels he is being true to himself even if he can’t see what a monumental spectacle he is making of himself. And as long as a writer feels he is doing that, who are we to say he “lacks integrity?” Writing is such a personal craft, a bare naked exposition of one’s soul on paper, that only the writer, in those secret places he visits for approval or condemnation in his own mind, can say if he has remained true to the vision he keeps of himself in his imagination.

Sullivan has lost all respect on most of the right. I still find some of what he writes about conservatism compelling if only because his criticisms echo some of my own. But he has lost objectivity and can rarely summon the kind of clear thinking and hard eyed pragmatism that would allow his critiques to blossom into serious, reflective observations.

Oh Andrew. Quo Vadis, my friend?

This is only the second time in its nearly ten-year history that the Dish has gone silent. The reason now is the same as the reason then. When dealing with a delusional fantasist like Sarah Palin, it takes time to absorb and make sense of the various competing narratives that she tells about her life. There are so many fabrications and delusions in the book, mixed in with facts, that just making sense of it - and comparing it with objective reality as we know it, and the subjective reality she has previously provided - is a bewildering task. She is a deeply disturbed person which makes this work of fiction and fact all the more challenging to read. And the fact that she is now the leader of the Republican party and a potential presidential candidate, makes this process of deconstruction an important civil responsibility. We take this seriously as we always have. We want to be fair to her, and to her family, and to the innocent people she has brought into the spotlight. And we are not reporters. We are merely analysts trying to make sense of evidence already in the public domain, evidence that points in all sorts of directions, only one of which can be true.

Since the Dish has tried to be rigorous and careful in analyzing Palin’s unhinged grip on reality from the very beginning - specifically her fantastic story of her fifth pregnancy - we feel it’s vital that we grapple with this new data as fairly and as rigorously as possible. That takes time to get right. And it is so complicated we simply cannot focus on anything else.

There are only three of us.

I would first note the towering arrogance to believe anyone - even avid Sully fans - needs to read 440 words of explanation for why the Daily Dish would not be publishing anymore that day. Unless one were so totally in love with themselves to the point of being addicted to practicing self-fellatio, I would think about 2 sentences could have sufficed.

And to make this exercise in vainglorious blogger self promotion even more bizarre, Sully makes himself out to be a liar by posting an update to why he is not writing anything else on the blog for the day.

That’s right. He wrote on the blog to tell us that he was still not going to write anything on the blog.

I will leave it to my honored enemy Ace to deliver the coup de grace - with a very rusty, very dull scimitar:

Anyone else know of a blogger whose guest bloggers come in to say “Please excuse the insanity demonstrated by my host, he means well enough and he is, as far as we can tell, not a threat to himself or others”? Gotta be a first, right?

And yet here s/he is squawking about Palin’s “unhinged grip on reality” (nice wordsmithing there, by the way: Don’t you hate it when your grip becomes unhinged? I hate when my grip comes off its hinges).

And of course also engaging in extraordinarily tasteless, oblivious self-revelations about his/her twisted psychology. I have never in my life heard a man/woman rant so angrily about a woman’s vagina.

Palin’s vagina, in Andrew Sullivan’s telling, is a member of the Bavarian Illuminati. They’re all there — the Bildergsbergers, the Medicis, the Pope and the Jesuits, the Ghost of Richard Milhouse Nixon, and, of course, Sarah Palin’s genitalia.

You would just think that a professional homosexual like himself would have the good sense to refrain from unhinged-grip (whatever) pronouncements like “it’s the worst form of torture for interrogators to pretend to smear a suspect with fake menstrual blood” and “Sarah Palin’s vagina is the font of all evil in the galaxy.”

Just, like, whoa, dude. Maybe better to keep that mask on, eh? Maybe better to be a little more self-aware, and self-protective, than to keep on with this too-much-information jihad against female genitalia.

We get it. Girl parts are icky and apparently capable of well-nigh-superhuman levels of fecundity. They’re just sort of low-brow and workin’ class. Crude and boorish and devious things, these female genitals.

We get it. Please stop. Please stop.

I don’t have the vision or the desire to look into Sullivan’s heart and glean his intent in all of this. Michelle Malkin believes he is mentally unbalanced and has suffered an episode. She’s not the only one. Who knows? Reading what he wrote above and the “update” I wouldn’t discount anything at this point.

Judging from the bloggers who are writing about this episode, none of Andrew’s erstwhile friends on the left seem to be coming to his defense, or sharing in his anticipation of whatever “subjective reality” Andrew will view Sarah Palin’s book through. Reminds me a little of Cindy Sheehan who was lionized by the left for having the “moral authority” to hate Bush because he killed her son. We noted at the time that the more bizarre Sheehan’s behavior got and the farther left she lurched, her former allies tiptoed away hoping no one would notice that they were previously comparing her to Mother Teresa and Rosa Parks.

Has such a moment arrived for Sullivan? Has he gone so far off the deep end with this Trig birther nonsense that his credibility has been shot even on the left?

A shame. A crying shame, it is.


  1. Has such a moment arrived for Sullivan? Has he gone so far off the deep end with this Trig birther nonsense that his credibility has been shot even on the left?

    Maybe. But since as far as I am concerned he is only voting with the Democrats because he can’t stomach a few particular Republicans at th moment, his opinion doesn’t sway me much.

    John Cole is a much better picture of a real convert from the GOP to the Democratic fold.

    Having been the recipient of more than a couple of STFU Richard Bottoms rants in the run up to the Iraq war, long before Cole saw the light, I truly believe in the agony of his loss of faith with the Republican Party.

    Thus I take his criticisms of the Democrats with a lot more seriousness than anything Sullivan has to say.

    The recent rants about the disappointment with Obama on gay issues for one. What, John McCain and the GOP better for gays? In what universe.

    In short, it matters a damn to me what John Cole thinks. What Andrew Sullivan thinks does not, and never has.

    Comment by Richard bottoms — 11/19/2009 @ 3:13 pm

  2. No one was once second to me in their abject hatred of Andrew Sullivan, but these days I find him more sad, boring and pathetic than worthy of any emotion that demeans me.

    First, as to substance, Sullivan always was and still is a tedious single issue voter who cloaks that obnoxious fact in faux intellectualism. I felt that way when he supported Bush, I felt that way when he opposed Bush, I felt that way when he supported Obama, and will feel that way when he inevitably opposes Obama. I get it. Sullivan supports gay marriage and everything else is illusion.
    He always was a good read simply to induce bemused hatred regardless of what he claimed his ideology to be at any given moment.

    Sullivan jumped the shark with his Trig Palin crusade. Like most political bloggers, he was unable to admit the horrible mistake he made and instead turned the Palin family into his personal Moby Dick. For a while, even that was good for bemused hatred.

    But after a point I came to realize Sullivan’s fanaticism was something more than the inability to admit a mistake. Sullivan is possibly the first high profile case of an on line mental breakdown. Hence, he is simply sad. A more interesting figure might be worthy of psychoanalysis. Sullivan just merits sympathetic avoidance–which he amply receives.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 11/19/2009 @ 3:22 pm

  3. Above all else, someone who blogs for a living should strive to write about things that are interesting. Sullivan’s SPDS (Sarah Palin Derangement Syndrome) has become even more insipid than the tawdry and trivial doings of Clan Palin. I have other things to worry about than gossip from a small Alaskan town.

    Someone please let me know when Sully has something interesting to say on some other subject, because I won’t be back to The Dish until then.

    Comment by Transplanted Lawyer — 11/19/2009 @ 3:37 pm

  4. I stopped reading Sullivan in 2004. I’ve often wondered why anyone bothers with what he writes. The best way to put an end to his pathetic grip on influence is to stop referring to him, stop answering him, and stop linking to him. Most of his traffic today is likely coming from people who think he’s a fool, or worse. Just stop it!

    Comment by John Burke — 11/19/2009 @ 4:36 pm

  5. Sullivan has documented, factually, more than 33 lies stated by Palin. Lies so blatant and so obviously false that it calls into question Palin’s state of mind. There is no other explanation than that she is a pathological serial liar.

    The listing of those lies, documented factually, make Sullivan worth reading for anyone who cares about reality.

    Heh - 33 lies? My, how impressive. A serial liar? Not hardly. You may be forgiven for obviously not knowing much about politicians.


    Comment by JerryS — 11/19/2009 @ 4:37 pm

  6. The funny thing is Mr. Sullivan has blogged like mad since he posted his hiatus from sanity nuttery. The Atlantic apparently knows the man well enough to hit him where it hurts…the wallet.

    Remember, this diseased and deranged freak ran an on line glory hole just a few years back and claimed the extra bucks were needed for “bandwidth.” When confronted with this obvious lie, he claimed he misunderstood the technology at play. And then he refused to refund.


    Comment by obamathered — 11/19/2009 @ 4:43 pm

  7. It is a shame. Reminds me of Dean Esmay who was a pioneering blogger then went off the deep end with bizarre theories and obsessions.

    It’s some combination of hubris, pressure, competition, and the slow, dawning realization that they aren’t nearly as important as they think they are. Also, by the way, don’t dismiss the usual suspects: booze and drugs.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/19/2009 @ 7:15 pm

  8. No ned to be so hard on Sullivan. He is as lucid and rational as you are Moran. One only need your analysis to recognize the same line of logic and reasoning. It so sixties.

    Comment by Thomas Jackson — 11/19/2009 @ 7:20 pm

  9. thanks, rick.

    i’m not sure who’s hinges are ungripped or whatever, given my own hinges require constant maintenance. i do believe that sarah palin is one of the most vacuous and reality-challenged of the current GOP faves; but as you say, that is, in politics, often more a matter of degree than kind.

    as much as i like to read sullivan and as much as i appreciate his candor (also part of what makes me a fan of RWNH) i so wish he’d leave off the Palin saga. does she really deserve the attention? i think not.

    Comment by brooks — 11/19/2009 @ 7:49 pm

  10. Thomas Jackson Said:
    7:20 pm

    No ned to be so hard on Sullivan.

    CZ: Pun intended?

    Comment by CZ — 11/19/2009 @ 8:17 pm

  11. I think we’re starting to see an interesting category appear — libertarian conservatives who drank gallons and gallons of the Barack Obama cool-aid and are now becoming insane.

    1) Charles Johnson
    2) Andrew Sullivan

    Any more? What the hell is this all about?

    Comment by jms — 11/19/2009 @ 8:58 pm

  12. “Superbly oblivious to his own idiocy”

    Damn…..I thought that title was going to be about obama.

    As for Sullivan: I’m glad now that I’m NOT familiar with his writings.)

    Comment by SB Smith — 11/19/2009 @ 10:18 pm

  13. My last thought on this pathetic topic is that you weren’t too far off on the analogy to Cindy Sheehan. Andrew Sullivan was an ashtray heart, an all-too-willing whore who was discarded after sweet release. Your claim Sullivan ever had any intergrity, of course, is utter horseshit.

    Some typical Democratic trash party hack said after Sheehan had balled her last time: “Cindy is no longer useful.” I will find the link just to attribute the quote.

    The Obamacons have joined Sheehan in the used whore lot. Given this Administration has unraveled and failed more quickly than any other in American history, primarily because Obama was utterly unqualified, incompetent, and even as a surprise to me an incredibly ignorant buffoon, they will be the first to taste the sea. A political wave is about to sweep across this land, and the first folks to drown will be Brooks and his lot.

    Good riddance.

    Sullivan, of course, is just a blogger whose decayed body will be found among the debris. Even the Obamacons deluded themselves into the belief they stood for something.

    Sullivan was just for sale.

    Comment by obamathered — 11/19/2009 @ 10:49 pm

  14. Jesus Christ, you people have got to be shiting me. Sullivan’s premise is that Palin claimed her daughter’s baby as her own. Does any of that strike you as insane? You need to examine the possibility?

    I never thought the fever swamp could get deeper and wider, but it has. Why don’t some of you people hook up with the Truthers, the Birthers, the Fosterites, and the Triggers.

    At least make it a complete insane conspiracy theory. Palin’s daughter gave birth to a Down’s syndrom child to hide the fact that the real father killed Vince Foster, who knew the secret behind 9/11, before it happened, who hid Obama’s birth certificate.

    Comment by Allen — 11/19/2009 @ 11:21 pm

  15. Sullivan is a pretty good writer and even if his Palin OCD leeds to nothing, I’ll still read him just to get a nuanced opinion
    on most of the things he writes about. Clearly the man is driven these days by the former Ms. Alaska, and if thats what he needs to get up in the morning and write, so be it. Stranger obsessions have been observed with writers/pundits before.

    PS-Richard; Sully can’t vote on anything; he’s not a US citizen! Just sayin’…

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 11/20/2009 @ 1:02 am

  16. Allen:

    At least make it a complete insane conspiracy theory. Palin’s daughter gave birth to a Down’s syndrom child to hide the fact that the real father killed Vince Foster, who knew the secret behind 9/11, before it happened, who hid Obama’s birth certificate.

    I see you carefully avoided mentioning the role of the illuminati in all this. Which can only mean you’re in their pay.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/20/2009 @ 8:51 am

  17. I somewhat agree that Andrew has gone a bit around the bend, but part of what pointed the trail for him are these facts:

    -There are photos of Palin a month before giving birth with no obvious baby bump.

    -Palin kept her pregnancy a secret from her staff, friends, and the citizens of Alaska until she was in her 7th month. People who worked with her day-in and day-out say they had no clue she was expecting.

    -Palin’s birth story is that she was attending a conference in TX when her water broke. Instead of going immediately to a hospital, knowing that she was delivery a special needs infant, she went ahead and gave the keynote speech at the conference as planned, then boarded a plane and traveled 12 hours back to Alaska so she could give birth in Wasilla. (I believe that reiteration is also in the book….or something close to it.)

    Comment by sue — 11/20/2009 @ 3:15 pm

  18. The Thermodynamics of Politics.

    Short excerpt here:


    With a link to the main article.

    Comment by M. Simon — 11/21/2009 @ 4:22 pm

  19. Sullivan is on a long trek to seek out his own vagina.

    Comment by Neo — 11/23/2009 @ 12:02 am

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