I have two new columns up at The Federalist today, the first of which is, “When Andrew Sullivan Almost Seems Sane, You Know We’re Crazy.” The thesis is that Sullivan’s 2015 hiatus from blogging has allowed him to return as a columnist (for New York) who looks much saner in the Trump era than he actually is. While original thinkers almost inherently will have some odd beliefs, Sullivan’s history as a conspiracy theorist should not be forgotten, even if it is overlooked by an establishment that finds most conservatives “too hot to handle” on their own pages.
What got left out for space? By focusing on the conspiracies, I had to forgo a lot of the Sullivan nuttery that falls outside that category. For example, while I referred to his theory about “Christianists” trying to take over America, I skipped his corollary view that circumcision is directly akin to female genital mutilation. There was his effort to rewrite the Catechism of the Catholic Church to claim it views homosexuals as “intrinsically disordered… enemies of our own families and a threat to civilization as a whole,” when the Catechism actually describes the tendencies as disordered, adding the people involved: “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
I also skipped Sullivan’s rampant political revisionism. When he turned against the war, he desperately needed to find ways he could portray John F. Kerry as more conservative in 2004, which led him to focus on George W. Bush’s big spending (a point half-true insofar as Kerry in most every case wanted to spend more). In 2008, Sullivan gushed over Barack Obama while overlooking his proposed spending (which ballooned even further once elected).
And even now, I am scratching the surface.
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