People I’m Sick Of: Part III — Andrew Sullivan

I don’t even have to ask if you’re sick of Andrew Sullivan. Who isn’t? Here he is reminding Condi Rice of her past opposition to open-ended interventionism, but what I want to know is: who is Sullivan to dredge up someone’s old writings and point to their present-day inversion? The grand old man of inversion has stood his old opinion about the war on its head, and, somehow, we’re not supposed to notice it.

At the height of the war hysteria, Sullivan set himelf up as a self-appointed literary censor, who detected treason between the lines of this poem, and, when corrected as to the author’s clear intent, refused to back down. Here is someone who called for dropping a nuclear bomb or two on Iraq because he knew — he just knew! — that Iraq was behind the anthrax attacks.

Today, Sullivan bemoans Iraq’s tragic fate, as if he and his fellow war-hawks had nothing to do with it. Yesterday he smeared anyone who questioned the war — or the larger neocon project of forcibily “democratizing” the Middle East — as part of a “fifth column.” Today, he gets up on his high horse and berates the Secretary of State for once writing that when it comes to military intervention, we must know “how and when to get out.” Correct me if I”m wrong, but wasn’t Sullivan’s one of the loudest voices in favor of us getting in there to begin with?

What I want to know is this: Sullivan is supposed to be an a serious Catholic, right? So what kind of penance has he done? He should at least refrain from citing the past inconsistencies of the very public officials he egged on as they led us over a precipice.

Richard Goldstein, writing in the Village Voice about a talk Sullivan gave in the summer of 2001, succinctly summarized the key to his success: “He has always depended on the amnesia of his audience to cover his tracks.”

At this point, his readership must have dwindled down to only the very seriously impaired. Odds are that’s why Time magazine dumped him and his increasingly tiresome blog on The Atlantic — they’re sick of him, too….

[For the first in the “People I’m Sick Of” blog-series, go here: for the second, go here.]