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https://youtu.be/zpf3zNTCHH0

A few people seem to think that Andrew Sullivan deserves some sort of credit for endorsing and voting for Hillary Clinton in the coming presidential election (only 325 bamillion days to go).

This – and I say this as someone who thinks the man is a complete  ass – is incredibly unfair to Andrew Sullivan.

This is the equivalent of saying Sullivan did a great job looking both ways before he crossed a busy street. Or: Let’s give Sullivan a pat on the back because he decided to shave with a razor instead of a Ginsu knife. Or even: I was impressed by Sullivan’s decision to climb a tree when a pack of ravenous hyenas was chasing him. What the hell else would he do?

Nov. 8 will be the first time Sullivan votes in the U.S. and one may almost imagine that the universe conspired to make sure the process of selecting a candidate was as easy as possible. Does anyone think there was any sort of prolonged decision-making process? Let’s review his – and the rest of America’s – choices:

H.R. Clinton/Kaine

Tantrumville Stein or Contradiction Heights Johnson (or is that the other way around?)

TrumPence

Does this look like a head-scratcher? I don’t think he’s anywhere near as clever as he believes himself to be, but even I don’t think he’s as dim as all that.

Even under normal circumstances, I’ve never seen the point of praising or (odder still) thanking people (usually white and male) who decide to vote D instead of R. Thanks for not voting for oppression in all it’s forms! Whatever next? You didn’t kick that puppy into a storm drain, bravo!

No, that would be ridiculous in a normal year and  this year isn’t normal. Inevitable, certainly. For as long as I can remember the only question has been how long the GOP could keep the plates spinning before something Trump-like stomped out of the wings and got a standing ovation for telling jokes about the coloreds.

This year, anyone who says that after intense internal debate, they decided they would vote for Clinton (or against Trump) is either too stupid for a mother’s tears and should be left alone; winding you up and should be ignored; or some species of selfish jackass who may be ignored or told to go nap on I-95, depending on personal preference.

Praised? No. Thanked? Ha ha ha. No.

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  • pzerzan

    The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations…

    • dp

      I am reminded of the remarks of Mr. Rock of Brooklyn.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkxB15nXRvM

    • No Longer Middle Aged Man

      Actually this reminds more of McMegan: write something dumb, get called on it, and then double down.

  • twbb

    “I’ve never seen the point of praising or (odder still) thanking people (usually white and male) who decide to vote D instead of R.”

    It’s an empirical question. Does praising them get more people to vote D instead of R? Then keep praising them. Does it not? Then don’t. But the fundamental morality of praising them is irrelevant right now, because Donald J. Trump.

    • rea

      For crying out loud, the justices Trump says that he’d appoint would overrule Lawrence, not to mention gay marriage. Andy had better support Hillary, if he wants to have legal sex every again. Is that not enough incentive?

      • twbb

        Of course it should be. I’m not saying they DESERVE praise. I’m saying if giving them undeserved praise gets more votes for Hillary, then praise them. You can roll your eyes at them when they’re not looking.

        • McAllen

          People making fun of Sullivan on LGM isn’t going to make him vote for Trump, and even if it somehow does his vote isn’t going to be the difference between victory and defeat.

          • twbb

            I was addressing the “I don’t see the point of praising” part, not Sullivan specifically.

            The way I see it, people on the fence who recognize Trump is a disaster but are throwing a tantrum about Hillary are acting like children, and should be treated like children. If that means that, metaphorically speaking, you put their terrible drawing on the fridge and tell them how great they are, then it doesn’t bother me.

            • This all seems very hypothetical. First we have to assume there are significant numbers of fence sitting tantrum throwers who can be persuaded. Then there’s the matter of how to tell them that their drawing is on the fridge, in order to get to the point where they can then be thanked for the lovely drawing of the goat, er I mean kitty, I meant kitty, sweetie!

              (Again, I have problems with the idea of viewing these people as infantile/stupid and none of it applies to Sullivan. He never threw a tantrum about supporting Trump and no one had to persuade him.)

              • Derelict

                Most of the fence-sitting tantrum throwers I know are just trying to figure how to vote for Trump without looking ridiculous. These are people who understand that Trump is a racist halfwit that has no idea on how to run anything more complex than his own mouth, and whose policy and personnel preferences will likely be disastrous for both the US and the world.

                But they hate Hillary with the intensity of a thousand suns, and besides, they’ve always voted Republican. So . . .

              • Origami Isopod

                the lovely drawing of the goat

                Mickey Kaus is among their number? Are you sure you want to look at that drawing every time you get the milk out of the fridge?

                • Look, it’s a simple drawing of a man pushing a goat over a fence. I don’t see what all the fuss is – OMG!

          • djw

            People making fun of Sullivan on LGM isn’t going to make him vote for Trump

            Yeah, this. The phenomenon of treating all political conversation as if it’s all strategic seems to happen every presidential election, but it doesn’t make any sense.

            • Scott Lemieux

              IIRC, the thread that caused JfL’s LGMxit involved him arguing that LGM posts have a material effect on national elections.

              • tsam

                JfL (among others) corrected me when I was having a sad because I thought criticizing Clinton on LGM was helping the republicans. It’s weird that he bailed over that.

                ETA. I miss Joe, even if he could sometimes be snarly.

      • efgoldman

        Andy had better support Hillary, if he wants to have legal sex every again. Is that not enough incentive?

        But, see, that’s the point Shak is making (and I made in the last thread): Sully only takes a political, moral, or legal position when not doing so could effect him personally (with the notable exception of W regime torture.) He’s still a racist; he’s still a misogynist (except for Maggie Thatcher, who I’m guessing represents the ultimate mother figure to him); he still hates the Clintons, especially HRC, on whom he will turn no later than a week after the inauguration.

    • Nobdy

      This. Praising Sullivan isn’t really about him, it, like Tim Kaine’s selection, is about reaching out to white men and telling them they are welcome as part of the coalition and their concerns will be listened to.

      Should this be necessary? Of course not. There is never a risk that white men’s concerns will not be paramount, and Hillary Clinton is far from a radical. As has been pointed out repeatedly she is entirely coalition focused and isn’t a threat to the establishment.

      But for some (bad) reason a large part of our society disagrees and is willing to vote for Donald Trump, the scariest candidate I’ve seen in my life (if you include chance of winning) and everything possible has to be done to combat that.

      If being solicitous of white men is necessary to Trump then it’s a pretty small price to pay.

      I would have a totally different position if Trump weren’t already close to a 50% chance to win according to 538, and if Russian hackers didn’t seem intent on helping him close that gap and get into office. If that were the case I would agree that Andrew Sullivan deserves no credit for choosing a moderate who agrees with him on most things over an agent of armageddon.

      The best case scenario of a Donald Trump win is an economic apocalypse and deep recession that will hurt many. The worst case scenario is actual nuclear war.

      This is not a normal election. All allies are needed and if a little flattery might bring more on board then it is a tiny price.

      • Every single election we’re told that white men need their feelings coddled in order to get them to do the right thing. OR ELSE. This is
        Insulting to white men.
        Demeaning to people who aren’t white men.
        Used maintain the dominant status of a group that already has a disproportionate amount of political power.
        Tedious AF.

        • Nobdy

          I agree with all of this. Which is why if this election were not close (or if it were proven ineffective) I would say “fuck ’em.”

          But if it DOES help, then it’s worth doing because almost everything that doesn’t directly hurt people is worth doing in an election this momentous. Being unwilling to follow a strategy for the reasons you cite would not be worth it IF IT WERE AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY.

          That’s why it’s an empirical question. Does it help?

          For what it’s worth I think the answer is probably not.

          • (((Hogan)))

            If we’re going “one wobbly white man at a time,” I wouldn’t launch my strategy with Sullivan, who is utterly unknown and probably distasteful to most of those wobbly white men.

            • tsam

              Right-and even though Sullivan doesn’t quite fit neatly into the standard issue clueless or actively hostile or both template, he sure does a good job of acting like one of them. A gay person to should fucking know better, especially since there are plenty of white guys who are perfectly capable of empathy for the oppressed.

          • Eh … No?

            As I said, this is the year it is easy to decide who to vote for. And so, using the language of urgency and danger to convince liberals/Democrats that a group of fence perching white men must be appeased is particularly odd. Who the hell are these palookas that they haven’t noticed (or don’t care about) the looming disaster, and is it worthwhile to try to coax them out of its way, rather than directing our energies to running for our lives?

            (No.)

            • Nobdy

              I literally do not know what you are saying here.

              A disaster is coming. It will harm everyone if it happens (and in fact non white men will suffer the most). We must do whatever we can to stop it.

              If your argument is that we must not coddle the white men out of principle even if it makes the disaster more likely then it is an immoral argument.

              If your argument is that coddling white men is not an effective way to prevent the disaster and other ways are more effective then it is an empirical argument, which is what I initially agreed with.

              Those are the two possibilities as far as I can see.

              I have already said that I don’t think coddling white men is effective or efficient so if that is your argument then we aren’t even disagreeing.

              But the fact that the choice is easy doesn’t mean that approximately half the country currently plans to choose the disaster, and that we should employ whatever means are necessary to change their minds, even if it means unreasonably coddling them.

              What I agreed with was not that they should be coddled but rather whether they should be coddled is an empirical question.

              • And what’s the answer?

                • Nobdy

                  I have repeatedly said that I think it’s probably a waste of time.

                  This probably wasn’t clear from my first comment but I said it a number of times after that.

                  My point is that if someone can show that it is effective or that there is an effective way to do it then it should be done. It is an empirical question.

                • Drexciya

                  The answer is that the permanent political subordination of minorities is a moral price to pay for decreasing the likelihood of Trump. The disaster that happens by leaving white supremacist patriarchy unchallenged and intact happens to people who don’t matter and whose deferred empowerment can be safely ignored, because that is, afterall, the status quo. We lived it with this long, we can do it for another x amount of years. That’s not true of white men, so “disaster” is something that applies to one and not to the other.

                  If that means conceding white supremacy, bending to it and elevating it with the wrapping of tactical benevolence, so be it. This is not about correcting systematically oppressive treatment and their apparent results, this is about making sure that in the forever war between Good Whites and Bad Whites, that good whites get cookies.

                • One thing I never see addressed (and as I’ve said, Doomspeak is not unique to this election) is how exactly one approaches and wins over the allegedly significant numbers of persuadable yet undecided and apparently sensitive white/male voters without (and this is important) showing disrespect to the members of the Democratic party who aren’t white hetero men. Especially the base.

                  It’s almost as though that’s not the point of the exercise.

                • Nobdy

                  That is absurd. Trump is an existential threat to many oppressed groups. He has threatened to deport people, ban them from the country, and continuously uses racist rhetoric.

                  The idea that minorities will not be terribly affected by this election is silly. It is purity politics.

                  You make the coalitions you need to win even if they are distasteful. That isn’t white spuremacy, it is politics.

                  There are of course lines that should not be crossed but coddling some backwards assholes isn’t one of those lines in this election.

                  The effects of 4 more Scalias on vulnerable populations is all the proof necessary.

                • It’s weird, I keep saying that the language of fear is demeaning to non-white people and tedious and your response is to say the same thing with slightly different words.

                • Drexciya

                  At no point did I say or suggest that minorities would be unaffected (or existentially unaffected) by Trump. But you’ll forgive me for being amused by the irony of proposing that we coddle and promote the groups that are most likely to vote for Trump in a good-natured affirmation of the very dynamics and unearned promotion/power that brought Trump into existence. I just find it funny that the answer some Democrats have to Trump is manipulating and choosing not to challenge the very same racism that motivates his democratic support.

                  The response you propose isn’t a rejection of Trumpism, it’s just pretending that using it to our own ends is defensible as long as it works while giving white people (even ones that aren’t loyal to the party) generally exclusive say over where the line is/should be. That the question of “at whose expense” is both disposable and irrelevant for your argument is rather revealing of the status quo that liberalism is entirely fine with maintaining. One party brings us white leaders, attentive to white concerns and white alienation for white men, in lieu of promoting considerably more loyal and substantial groups and the other party does the same, but for good.

                  You can dress it up as much as you want to, but that’s what’s under discussion here and Trump isn’t a large enough distraction to make the underlying case less objectionable. “Racism/White Supremacy for Trump” isn’t an especially appealing slogan to me and it cements the specious assumption that the problem with Trump is adequately reducible to Trump himself.

                • twbb

                  “The answer is that the permanent political subordination of minorities is a moral price to pay for decreasing the likelihood of Trump.”

                  The next 3 months is permanent now?

                • Origami Isopod

                  So when does it stop, twbb? Because there is always some kind of crisis, or “crisis,” in which the fee-fees of straight white men are considered paramount.

                • twbb

                  “So when does it stop, twbb?”

                  In three months.

                  “Because there is always some kind of crisis, or “crisis,” in which the fee-fees of straight white men are considered paramount.”

                  There wasn’t in 2008 or 2012, when the GOP candidates would have been bad but not permanently bad. I refuse to accept your implicit argument that Trump isn’t an existential threat to this country in a way that no other presidential candidate was.

                • Origami Isopod

                  The point has sailed over your head.

                • twbb

                  No, it hasn’t. I just disagree with you.

                • Nobdy, okay, I agree with Drexciya and Shakezula and Origami Isopod, but for the sake of argument, where would you stop? How much coddling is too much? Nobody is saying white men should be driven out of the Democratic Party, or the left. But do they have to be allowed to think they’re leading it, for the sake of somehow defeating people who want to lead over minorities openly? At what point is enough enough?

                  And Sullivan is just some guy who’s got himself a platform and announced he’s going to defend white guys. He has a couple of personal interests that align temporarily with the left side of the aisle. He speaks only for people like him. He throws a bone to the left or to libertarians once in a while so it looks like he’s just powerful, not partisan. None of this means people on or leaning to the left should regard him as a voice for our side. There is no benefit to letting him play that game with our collusion.

                • DocAmazing

                  In his home in R’dnek, Mudcat Saunders lies dreaming.

                • tsam

                  I think there’s an important nuance to this argument that’s being missed. Guys like Erickson and Sullivan aren’t supporting Clinton or anything she or the Democratic voters stand for. This is all because Trump is an embarrassment to the white supremacist constituency because he acts like their rank and file members, rather than the more polished bullshit artists that hide all that shit under a facade of civility and misappropriated concepts like freedom and states’ rights and the like. If you were able to look over their shoulders in the voting booths, you’d likely find that all this indignation is merely setting up a situation in which they get to someday say they weren’t responsible for the rise of Trump–they have all these writings to use as evidence. Luckily for them, their fans aren’t capable of connecting their bigoted rhetoric to setting the stage for Trump.

        • DrDick

          Speaking as an old white man, emphatically yes to everything you said.

        • Derelict

          Worse, even after the feelings of White men have been coddled and pandered to, they STILL vote GOP.

      • efgoldman

        Praising Sullivan isn’t really about him, it, like Tim Kaine’s selection, is about reaching out to white men

        Don’t think so. The white men that are allegedly being persuaded will look at the gay-married Sully and go yick. Sorry, but like it or not, in the real world, those white men would just as soon immisserate Andrew and his ilk.

      • TM1

        As I said on the other thread there’s been a pretty consistent 30-40% of white men voting for Dems since 1988 (adjust the percentages as need for Perot in ’92). It’s a minority but its reliable. You don’t have to worry about losing that to Trump, and no amount of pandering is going to get the WM over 40%.

        • twbb

          Let’s be honest, a sizeable percentage of LGM posters are left-wing white men, so it’s not like it’s some mythical unicorn demographic.

          • a sizeable percentage of LGM posters are left-wing white men, so it’s not like it’s some mythical unicorn demographic.

            Mythical, no. Sparse on the ground, even including all the lurkers who support LGM in e-mail? Very probably (though we’d all wish it were otherwise).

            • TM1

              It’s not as sparse as people think. Remember there are a lot of white men in this country so even if only 35% consistently vote D that’s a whole lot of people in terms of raw numbers.

      • TM1

        BTW, Tim Kaine’s base in Virginia electoral politics has been African-Americans, not white males. Notice what he emphasized in his first speech–housing non-discrimination and school integration. He was also the first statewide elected official outside of Illinois to endorse Obama in the ’08 primary, when it wasn’t at all clear that Obama was going to win.

        Don’t confuse him with Mark Warner who actually did do a lot of WM pandering.

  • N__B

    I’ve never seen the point of praising or (odder still) thanking people (usually white and male) who decide to vote D instead of R.


    You're not thanking us for voting D. You're thanking us because we're us. It's our due.

    • If a polar bear showed up at the polls I’d thank it.

      From a safe distance.

      • I don’t have to out-poll the bear, I just have to out-poll you.

        • Ah. Last-past-the-post. I’m more of a fan of Disapproval Voting myself; it gives better results than Instant Run-Faster Voting.

  • AMK

    For as long as I can remember, the only question has been how long the GOP could keep the plates spinning before something Trump-like stomped out of the wings and got a standing ovation for telling jokes about the coloreds

    Exactly. The most extraordinary thing this cycle is how many rank-and-filers (even among independents and dems) are genuinely surprised by this, and how many Beltway professional GOPers think they can pretend to be surprised by this. If you spend 30 years working the mob into an angry racist lather to run your supply-side scheme, you must know that eventually a real (or just a more committed, or less rhetorically constrained) racist will ultimately come along and put on a better show than you. That I haven’t heard JFK’s “those who think they can ride the tiger will end up inside” quote more this cycle is depressing, because that is exactly what is going on.

    • rea

      And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
      Slouches towards Cleveland to be born?

    • Loofah

      exactly

    • efgoldman

      The most extraordinary thing this cycle is how many rank-and-filers (even among independents and dems) are genuinely surprised by this, and how many Beltway professional GOPers think they can pretend to be surprised by this.

      And the next-most-extraordinary thing is how the Village press is (or pretends to be) surprised, and how much and how quickly they have normalized Combover Caligula and the election for the sake of horse race “journalism”.

      • The NYT has an article up about the record setting number of comments it got for its article about tRump’s Russian hacker comment.

        This bodes well for the state of political reporting in the U.S.

        • efgoldman

          The NYT has an article up about the record setting number of comments it got for its article about tRump’s Russian hacker comment.

          Most (clearly not all, from a selection of the comments) NYT readers wouldn’t vote for Combover Caligula anyway, and most of Hair Fuehrer’s voters don’t read the NYT.

          • Right, but I assume all of those comments represent a fraction of total page hits, so Lot$ of Trump $tories from all outlet$ are in our future. I don’t think this is automatically a bad thing provided it doesn’t shove Clinton to page A12, but watching the press’ dependence on sensationalism increase is not going to be any fun.

        • the record setting number of comments it got for its article about tRump’s Russian hacker comment.

          How many of them are from new accounts spawned for the occasion? Sock-puppets don’t read ads so the NYT has little incentive to organise its reporting priorities so as to maximise their page-hits.

  • If Sully has pretended that he had some sort of internal struggle over this that’s obviously disingenuous. He was always a big Obama booster — if he could choose Obama over Romney, which he did, this shouldn’t be a major head scratcher for him.

    • AMK

      Yeah I read his dish blog fairly regularly in its final few years, and if anything it became more solidly Democratic as time passed. Was he an idiot in the first Bush term? Sure. But I don’t think equating him with, say, the David Brookses or Ross Douthats of the world today makes sense.

      Then again, he did write that absolute garbage TNR novella about “too much democracy” a few weeks ago, so maybe he has reverted to his original form. Or (more likely) he decided there was more money attention “debate” to be had playing to a different audience as a conflicted conservative pseudo-intellectual than by being just another liberal who points out Trump is fascist.

      • twbb

        Wasn’t he originally a Republican? I haven’t paid attention to him since like early 2000 but I thought he solidly to the right until GWB came out against gay marriage.

        • CrunchyFrog

          Sullivan is a very smart, well-spoken, and -written, well educated, British-born log cabin Republican who is fun to read when he’s right and infuriating when he’s wrong. His worst offense by far is his belief in racial/racist pseudo-science, and he gave a big platform for it when he was editor of the New Republic in the first half of the 1990s. His second biggest offense was his open enthusiasm for the Iraq War and Bush in particular, which was just an extension of his joining the herd on the Goring of Gore. Yet, he completely came around and became a huge Obama supporter for 2008. He has always generated a very large audience for his writings. He’s very productive with his writing, and gets a lot of good email back that he shares, and isn’t afraid to put effort into research.

          Like most white, well-to-do log cabin Republicans he’s strong on those issues that personally impact him but weak – and often offensively bad – on issues that don’t impact him. In addition, because he personally runs around in Republican circles in liberal cities where many of his fellow GOPers are also gay – if not always that openly – he way underestimates the seriousness of the threat that the GOP base voters bring to LGBT rights.

          • You assert that (1) Sullivan is very smart, (2) he holds (and acts on, in the capacity of editor of an influential magazine!) a belief in racial/racist pseudo-science, (3) he “isn’t afraid to put effort into research.”

            These three assertions cannot simultaneously be true: a smart person who has put any effort at all into relevant research cannot believe in racial/racist pseudoscience.

            • CrunchyFrog

              Smart does not imply correct. Smart implies a certain level of intelligence – typically excellent memory, excellent grasp of logic in the abstract, and often excellent communication skills. However, a lot of people with these abilities are nevertheless blinded by biases and mental disorders and believe things that are flat out wrong. William F(b)uckley, for example, was as evil as the day his long in terms of his beliefs, but he was also extremely smart.

              • Origami Isopod

                Agreed. Intelligence is a tool, not a good in and of itself. And we are not a rational species; we are a rationalizing species. If you are evil, high intelligence lets you create all sorts of rationales for your evil.

              • Matt McIrvin

                And if you’re a smart person who wants to believe in racist pseudoscience, there are a lot of papers and monographs and lectures out there that you can find to justify your belief.

                The people who insist that ineradicable racial IQ differences drive the varying fortunes of people in society have actually gotten really good, with decades of practice, at claiming the mantle of science and insisting that their opponents are anti-scientific denialists caught in a politically motivated sentimental fantasy, the “creationists of the left”. Meanwhile, the scientific counterarguments to modern scientific racism are irritatingly technical. So a lot of white guys who pride themselves on their fearless rationalism fall for it.

                • In reply to all three of you: I was maintaining that in the case at hand, of “racial/racist pseudo-science”, someone who is “smart” as CF has (tentatively) defined the term—has an “excellent memory, excellent grasp of logic in the abstract, and often excellent communication skills” (where I interpret the last as including reading and listening critically, not only writing or talking)—and who not only “isn’t afraid to put effort into research”, but actually has put serious effort into relevant research, cannot believe in that pseudoscience. I continue to maintain that! But I may be putting more weight than any of you is willing to do on the word “serious” (which I interjected where CF didn’t have such a qualifier). Matt, I don’t think that allowing oneself to be dissuaded from parts of what one turns up in one’s “research” (into the literature of a subject in which one has no claim to be an expert oneself) because those parts are “irritatingly technical” is consistent with the “seriousness” (again, my word) of that research, for one who actually has “excellent memory, excellent grasp of logic in the abstract, and often excellent communication skills”.

            • Derelict

              Now, now: Sully put an awful lot of research into the maternity of one of the Palin offspring.

          • djw

            His second biggest offense was his open enthusiasm for the Iraq War and Bush in particular, which was just an extension of his joining the herd on the Goring of Gore.

            “Open enthusiasm” fails to grasp the full scope of his awfulness here, given his remark that Americans who opposed the war were traitors.

            • CrunchyFrog

              Yeah, if anything my comment was understated. He was the author of the infamous “objectively pro-Saddam” statement. To his credit he has been openly embarrassed in print several times about having written that originally.

          • Sullivan isn’t a normal Republican because he was educated in England and he has a Ph.D. in a subject that is really only given lip service by most American conservatives. I really don’t say this because he’s gay, or Catholic, or Irish. I say this because I don’t think he could have been who he is if he were a gay American, or an Irish American of his class, etc. A conservatism built on the experience of being a well-off Irish Catholic in England, or a gay man in England, has dubious relevance in the US, and it’s actually strange that Sullivan doesn’t know this.

          • efgoldman

            Sullivan is a very smart, well-spoken, and -written, well educated, British-born log cabin Republican

            But before that he was a 1000% Thatcherite Tory. He loves and reveres her, the way Americans love Lincoln or FDR, maybe more so. That very much colours all of his opinions and writings.

          • Barry_D

            No, he’s not very smart – he’s like Buckley or Will – articulate, and knows some big words.

            As for well-written, same thing.

            • Origami Isopod

              As was said upthread, smart doesn’t equal correct, nor does it equal good.

          • Snuff curry

            His worst offense by far is his belief in racial/racist pseudo-science, and he gave a big platform for it when he was editor of the New Republic in the first half of the 1990s.

            That’s for you to say and other people to agree with blindly, I guess. Taken a look below to see what Drex has posted?

            • Origami Isopod

              CF posted his comment 3 hours before Drex posted his. And if one does not read Sullivan regularly these days, one can remain happily unaware of whatever bullshit he’s shoveling. I certainly was.

              Also, it’s arguable that Sullivan, having had far more influence back in the day than he does now, did far more harm with his Bell Curve promotion than he is doing with his denial of police racism. TBH I think these two arguments are comparable evils which feed off one another.

              • Snuff curry

                I’m asking if he has since read what Drex posted.

  • Cheerful

    praise him? of course not. Thank him? Not really necessary as you point out. Give him some sort of credit? why not – just as I give everyone who votes for Clinton some sort of credit.

    But spent two long posts attacking him at this point just because a guy you disdain for various reasons takes this moment to note that he’s going to vote for Clinton? Why? As Aimai i think noted in an earlier thread, he’s probably not worth it.

    Sullivan has done and said some good things and done and said many bad things. I get why people here mostly hate him. But why spend so much time jumping on his head at a point when he’s doing something we actually want to happen – adding another voice to people supporting Clinton this fall?

    • The last post was going after Sullivan. This post is clearly going after people who think he – or anyone else who votes for Clinton – deserves any sort of acknowledgement. However, I am assuming you are aware of the difference, because to assume you’re genuinely confused would be an unnecessary insult to your intelligence.

      • Cheerful

        I confess to not seeing clearly the difference between going after someone and going after anybody who says a nice thing about someone or or even just acknowledges when they do a good thing, or even just thinks it’s ok to let their doing a good thing pass on by without attack.

        However,you are an excellent thinker. I have always admired your posts as they always combine verve and intelligence. And so my genuine confusion is in fact a testament to my lack of intelligence in this matter and I defer to yours.

    • (((Hogan)))

      a guy you disdain for various reasons takes this moment to note that he’s going to vote for Clinton

      He took a lot more than a moment and said a lot more than that.

  • Loofah

    Andrew Sullivan has no right to any position of respect in our national discourse. When the chips were down and the authoritarian war criminals were on a rampage, instituting a torture policy and stampeding us into a war that disgraced our country and got about a million Iraqis killed, Andrew Sullivan took that moment to attack those of us who were smarter than he was when it came to seeing the truth about the Iraq War and attempted to whip up hysteria against us as traitors.

    At that moment, Sullivan stepped across the line of decency. Sadly for Sullivan, that was an indelibly defining moment. He should be forever shunned in public discussion. We don’t need his opinions. They are still very misguided.

    I’m glad he is somewhat less deluded than he was before. 1 half-hearted cheer for illiberal Andrew who was pathetically incapable of listening to and responding to rational discourse. I’ll never trust him.

    • LosGatosCA

      Yes, profoundly wrong, prejudiced, and petty people finally waking up to common sense and decent behavior is no great journey of self-discovery.

      Most people I know made that transition during their college years or shortly thereafter.

      ETA: Perhaps Chris Rock can give him a cookie.

  • MedicineMan

    I’m frequently annoyed by Andrew Sullivan, who a good 65% of the time is a colossal twit, so I’m not inherently inclined to defend him, but I’m not sure I agree with the framing of this post, Shakezula. From the previous thread, I recall the main objection people had was against rounding Sullivan’s sins up to mortal ones, especially under the present circumstances.

    It may well be the bigotry of low expectations, as you suggest, but I’m still glad that some people on the Right have greater principles than shaking pom-poms for Team R.

    • McAllen

      From the previous thread, I recall the main objection people had was against rounding Sullivan’s sins up to mortal ones, especially under the present circumstances.

      What does this mean?

      • MedicineMan

        You know what, I actually think I’m wrong on that point, McAllen.

        I remember thinking that people comparing Sullivan to Milo Y or a likening him to a serial abuser were being hyperbolic, but looking at that thread now I can see that there is no single “main objection” as I suggest. The critique of Andrew is quite varied and detailed. I withdraw that point.

  • LosGatosCA

    Good news

    ETA: the detailed breakdown is encouraging, too.

  • McAllen

    You know who actually does deserve praise for voting for Clinton? POC voters. Thanks you for, once again, saving the nation from itself.

    • scott_theotherone

      Damn skippy.

    • lizzie

      Yes! I’ve been thinking about this a lot, watching the conventions. I’m so grateful, and I can’t even imagine how galling it must be to have to save dumb white people over and over again while being condescended to and treated like crap or worse. And then to have to watch somebody like Andrew Sullivan get praise for being able to find his butt with his own two hands.

      On another topic, I love made-up numbers, like kajillion. “Bamillion” made my day.

    • Origami Isopod

      This, 100%.

    • Snuff curry

      Seriously.

      Oh, white men of a certain age and class who would normally not shirk from allying themselves to a democrat suddenly caught a convenient case of cooties-contracted cold feet and need prodding and coddling and lots of reinforcements of cookies? No. We’ll be fine. Poor man’s Hitchens (himself a poor man’s more volatile Buckley) can take a long walk.

  • Denverite

    Even under normal circumstances, I’ve never seen the point of praising or (odder still) thanking people (usually white and male) who decide to vote D instead of R. Thanks for not voting for oppression in all it’s forms! Whatever next? You didn’t kick that puppy into a storm drain, bravo!

    I guess I don’t agree with this, at least not across the board. There is a particular cohort of people who I interact with a lot — early 60s white people who have voted Republican their whole life (parents, boss, etc.). For them, voting Democratic is a Big Deal. If encouraging them for doing so means they are more likely to on a going forward basis, well, isn’t that a good thing?

    • Two questions
      At what age is deciding to switch parties NOT a big deal?
      Why do you think an older person’s decision to switch is more tenuous than a younger person’s?

      • Nobdy

        I think old people are different in terms of switching parties than young people are because it is more likely that the party has diverged from their interests than that they have had some epiphany. The prototypical young party switcher is someone who has a liberal (or conservative) moment of clarity in college and switches away from the party of their parents to form their own identity.

        The prototypical old person switcher is someone who realizes that the party that once represented them no longer does, and reluctantly has to vote for a party that they may have demonized their whole life.

        I think that’s what makes it more tenuous. Rather than proudly forging a new identity in youth this person is abandoning a long-held identity and putting on a new identity that they’ve long disdained.

        There are a fair number of Republican intellectuals sort of going through this in public right now (though most are saying they won’t vote for Hillary because they know if they say they will they will irreparably damage their careers.)

        Even Erick Erickson, disgusting as he is, has clearly become Dem curious as he has watched the horror of the Trump campaign unfold. Now you’re never going to lure Erick Erickson into voting Hillary, but you might lure a more moderate version by convincing him that Hillary isn’t looking to hurt him, and hey, remember how great things were under Bill?

        In theory, anyway.

        • JR in WV

          I’m 65 right now, and thru the election. But I’m aware enough to have been a Democrat since Tricky Dick Nixon was prostituting the Oval Office.

          People who have watched the Republican party sink lower and lower every two years since 1968 and haven’t found it in their precious minds to stop doing that, well I don’t have any respect for them.

          That said, if one or two of them are willing to vote for Hillary, I won’t give them the hard time they deserve. I’ll even say thanks. And grin fetchingly. But it won’t be in my eyes, just on my lips.

      • Denverite

        Sorry, had to run errands. What is it about Home Despot that makes people instantly forget how to drive once they enter the parking lot?

        At what age is deciding to switch parties NOT a big deal?

        I don’t think there’s a specific age, but I think once you vote for the same party for 5+ (and especially 10+) national elections, switching parties requires rethinking your worldview in a way that is a lot harder to do than if you’ve only been voting in a couple of elections.

        I think this is especially the case in this election, when switching from R to D for an older, lifelong Republican is to some degree admitting that the Democrats were right all along that a huge portion of the Republican party is batshit crazy racists, and you were either deluded or some degree of batshit crazy racist yourself.

        Why do you think an older person’s decision to switch is more tenuous than a younger person’s?

        In addition to the above, I think it’s harder for older people to do things like rethink their worldview. “Set in their ways” is a thing. If they need extra encouragement to do that, it may seem silly to have to congratulate them for not being evil, but I’m OK with that.

        • LosGatosCA

          What is it about Home Despot that makes people instantly forget how to drive once they enter the parking lot?

          You’ll have to post the short list of places where people haven’t instantly forgotten how they drive for this question to have any credibility.

      • njorl

        In addition to what the others have said, by the time you do switch parties, you’ve probably been through at least one election where you deluded yourself into voting for the party you always voted for. When you switch, you’re probably admitting to yourself that your last vote was a mistake.

  • DrDick

    Why in Cthulhu’s name should we praise Sullivan? Large numbers of fairly prominent Republicans are making the same choice because Trump even scares them. Even John McCain’s granddaughter is voting for Clinton.

    • efgoldman

      Why in Cthulhu’s name should we praise Sullivan?

      The other thing is, in terms of his actual vote, he will vote either in New York or Massachusetts, where his vote is essentially meaningless no matter which little bubble he fills in.

  • mcgregor1079

    I just wanted to say: I see what you did there, and at least one person in this universe got it, as obscure and dated as it was:
    http://articles.latimes.com/1992-07-16/news/ol-3868_1_carol-leifer

    Remember Petula Clark? “She did ‘Downtown,’ ” Leifer says in her act. “That was her big hit. Remember this song? ‘Don’t sleep in the subway, darling. Don’t stand in the pouring rain. ‘ . . . I gotta say to myself, ‘What kind of guys is she going out with?” . . . She’s gotta tell them these things? You know, ‘Don’t wash your face with Clorox. Oh, hey, don’t shave with a Ginsu knife. . .

    • Thanks, I do appreciate it. I saw her on TV five zillion years ago and that bit has been in my head ever since.

  • efgoldman

    Even under normal circumstances, I’ve never seen the point of praising or (odder still) thanking people (usually white and male) who decide to vote D instead of R.

    The cognate that comes to me is the football coach’s mantra: Just do your job.

  • Drexciya

    Just going to leave Sullivan’s musings about BLM here as a data point for the people in this thread and the last thread that I agreed with:

    9:28 p.m. A sheriff is trying to argue against the facts of a drop in crime. He offers instead a feeling: that people do not feel secure in their communities. Again, it is vital to avoid the data or the facts. What matters is pure feeling. This goes of course also for the Black Lives Matter activists, whose core and central argument is that black men are disproportionately killed by cops. The best data shows this is false – just as their narrative about Michael Brown was false. Thanks in part to the radicalized racial left – we now have merely one identity politics waging war against another. They have a terrible inter-relationship, these two illiberalisms. They foment each other.

    9:47 p.m. A reader dissents:

    “Are you talking about the recent Harvard report that came out? I guess you are TECHNICALLY correct- the data in a few of the thousands of police districts in the US (the data came mainly from large metropolitan areas with diverse populations, which are generally not the districts where the most publicized deaths have occurred, but I digress) shows that black men are not more likely to die, but they ARE much more likely to experience non-lethal force (like kicking and punching) than other groups, and are far and away more likely to be targeted by police- having more interactions with the police leads to more violent interactions simply by the numbers. Equating the frustration and anguish of the Black Lives Matter movement with the fiction that America in general is less safe than it was whenever it is that these people think America was “great” is insulting.”

    The key argument of BLM is that black lives are at stake, and can be killed with impunity by racist cops. That is false. So much else about police interactions with black men is painful and appalling. But their lives are as safe as white lives, when confronting cops.

    10:01 p.m. Here’s the link to the Harvard study debunking the BLM argument. I find it conclusive. Feelings do not, er, trump data in a deliberative democracy. A reader writes:

    “I understand that there has been the recent study suggesting that given an interaction with a police officer occurs, then the police officer is no more likely to use a gun with a black person than with a white person. However, given that many black men have a much higher rate of interaction with police (such as, anecdotally, Philando Castile, with 52 traffic stops), then is it not fair to say that black men are disproportionately killed by cops?”

    The point is that there is no evidence of individual racism in these police encounters, despite the impression from many chilling phone videos. The structural bias still exists as a whole, as I said, but the narrative about cops being more likely to kill a black member of the public when encountering him is false.

    When confronted with a group of women who had lost children to this apparently non-racial “police violence”, this is what their counterexample and perseverance was rather grossly reduced to:

    8:22 p.m. A stirring video about the mothers of those dead from police violence. I thought it was an interesting twist in the video to have Hillary ask the mothers to lead her in a prayer. And one of the mothers silences the rowdy crowd to give praise to God.

    My only response to all this is that I think people need to stop confusing opposition to Trump with opposition to Trumpism. The assumption that the full-throated rejection of the former can, in any way, diminish or challenge the latter isn’t so much applying and expanding a progressive standard as it’s delaying analysis and judgment on the central questions and concerns posed by his prominence, many of which will outlast him as a candidate, and many of which are being deferred by the Democratic establishment and liberalism for (understandable, but concerning) political reasons. Putting participation stickers on the bar is not an apt substitute for raising it.

    • Scott Lemieux

      The key argument of BLM is that black lives are at stake, and can be killed with impunity by racist cops. That is false. So much else about police interactions with black men is painful and appalling. But their lives are as safe as white lives, when confronting cops.

      This is…wow. What’s next for Sully, using a national magazine to promote racist junk science?

      • Denverite

        This is…wow. What’s next for Sully, using a national magazine to promote racist junk science?

        The next thing you know he’ll dig in his heels and insist for 25+ years that he was right all along.

    • “Here’s the link to the Harvard study debunking the BLM argument. I find it conclusive. Feelings do not, er, trump data in a deliberative democracy.” – Andrew Sullivan, president of The Bell Curve Boosters Society

      Heh.

      Ha ha.

      Ah ha ha ha ha!

    • Origami Isopod

      Thank you for posting this here. It’s vile, and the handful of people defending Sullivan in the previous post really ought to see it (though I don’t expect them to change their minds and I think I can live without their probable defenses of him).

  • synykyl

    Sullivan may not deserve any credit, but Caroline McCain does.

    Read this and feel good about our chances of finding and working together with reasonable Republicans like her.

    https://medium.com/@ccmccain/for-this-republican-never-trump-means-im-with-her-10321e751c6d#.w6gpmf5sn

    It’s not just about how she hates Trump and is therefore endorsing Hillary. There is a realization that the demonization of HRC and other Democrats has been unjustified and destructive.

    • Drexciya

      I…no. I’m sorry, no. The party she was fine with working with before Trump brought back poll taxes, theorized medical rape via forced transvaginal ultrasounds to disincentivize the abortions they couldn’t outright ban, has been whipping up the very anti-immigrant/Mexican fearmongering Trump used to win for years in addition to wanting Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare gutted. And don’t even get me started on their approach to corporation, deregulation and unions. I’m not trying to understate Trump here, but Trump is a culmination of preexisting dynamics, not an expression of unpredictable ones. Pence, who’s a theocratic fascist instead of the ethnonationalist type let HIV fester in his own state just to get rid of Planned Parenthood and wanted to use HIV/AIDS money to fund conversion therapy. He’s a pretty standard fixture of a party that’s only just now becoming unpalatable for her? Nah, she can stay in the back pew and follow/vote for the people with souls. There’s no other work for them to do.

      We really have to start thinking about whether the wide-ranging and uncritical inclusion of people who were fine with the Republican party before Trump is capable of being ideologically cost-free. If these are the kind of people we’re actually going to accept and gratefully welcome into the fold as equal partners, we should start thinking about the possibility that we’re doing little more than creating a democratic pathway for Blue Dog/Republican-lite types to have a working and steady constituency in the party and thus, a voice and a say in its priorities.

      • synykyl

        Give me a fucking break.

        Caroline is maybe 30 years old. As far as I know, she has never been a politician or political commentator.

        She grew up in a very conservative Republican family and, in my opinion, it’s a big deal for someone like her to write what she did in support of Hillary.

        You can condemn her (and others like her) for failing to reject the Republican party before now, but I say thanks and welcome aboard.

        • Drexciya

          I’m thoroughly unmoved by that. She’s older than me. I say let’s see if the extent of her beliefs is more flexible and humane than “unwilling to vote Trump” before assuming that her likely temporary entry into the fold is meaningful.

          • Chetsky

            Please reconsider. I started voting a dem around age 20-ish (grew up in small-town texas, hooboy, republican). But in ’03, I was also a little …. swayed by Bush’s arguments about WMD in Iraq. Took a while before I realized I was getting hornswoggled, and besides, there are better things one can do, than go to war … again and again. I was in my late 30s at the time.

            Lots of people come to maturity about the world much slower than we’d like. Don’t write them off b/c they didn’t grow up fast enough for you.

            It’s only recently I realized how much of a sexist male I’ve been basically my entire life. And all the while, I thought I was a feminist.

            Maybe I’m still one, but just can’t tell. Sure hope not.

            Aside: gotta say, this still doesn’t make me wanna applaud for Sullivan’s supporting Hillary in such a backhanded manner. Sure, he’s supporting her. If he is, he can be at reasonably positive about it “I mean shit, man, don’t go overboard with your effusive support, but at least, pick a -side-, ffs.”

      • efgoldman

        The party she was fine with working with before Trump….

        Under this logic, we must condemn HRC for being a Goldwater Girl as a teen, and Robert Byrd for being in the klan as a youth, and LBJ for once upon a time voting with the old segregationist bulls…
        The question for/about Ms McCain (and all the other fear of fascism converts) is what she does and says after November. If she returns to the dark side, well then your condemnation is 100% justified. If she stays a Democrat, then she is welcome to stay and help out.

        • Drexciya

          That’s an absurd set of comparisons. We’re talking about someone who, if not for Trump, would be voting for Rubio or Walker, or Jeb Bush. A difference shifted in a matter of months, not reversed and accounted for over the span of decades through a dedication to contradictory and corrective actions (as is the case with Clinton and Johnson). That’s a substantially different set of circumstances. Right there in the letter itself, she leaves open the possibility of migrating back to the Republican party in a year with the standard being no higher than “Trump and talk radio minions not being at the head”:

          Whether the party can recover from this cycle remains to be seen. But it’s impossible to predict what will happen to the GOP a year from now. It’s impossible to discern whether this is a reckoning, or simply an adjustment. Whether the party will self-correct or has been irreparably damaged.

          There are those who insist the party is dying, and the RNC was its wake. There are others who believe, perhaps naively, that a rebirth is possible. I am hopeful for a rebirth, a restart — but it will be impossible with Trump and his talk-radio minions at the helm.

          It’s fine and useful if she’s going to cement a progressive result, but people don’t need to treat with her and her ilk like they’re progressives in training or something. They’re just Republicans with limits.

          • Denverite

            They’re just Republicans with limits.

            You say this like the fact that some Republicans will actually say they’ve reached their limits and do something about it is a bad thing.

            I don’t know if there are more or less of them than I would have thought there would be in this scenario (e.g., demagogue runs an explicitly white nationalist presidential campaign), but I definitely would have thought it would be a minority of Republicans, and the ones that did flip were showing some degree of political bravery. (Though certainly for non-politician public figures who don’t have to fear political consequences, this isn’t nearly as big of a deal.)

  • Nick056

    To me this post sort of acts as though someone, sua sponte, tried to start a collection to send Sullivan a fruit basket for voting Clinton and people reasonably responded, “Um, why?” But to my view what really happened is, Shakeszula wrote a post that ended on this note:

    Maybe this is all leading up to the publishing of a pre-written article: Why I stayed home on Election Day.

    In fact, Sullivan had already written this, unmentioned in the OP:

    The only thing between him and us is her. So – against all my previous emphatic denials – I’m with her now. As passionately as I ever was with Obama. For his legacy is at stake as well.

    People have noted that discussions on LGM aren’t exactly strategic. Still, If you care enough about Sullivan to write a blog post trashing him and predicting he won’t vote Clinton, his actual words on the topic might be a relevant concern.

    But Sullivan in particular isn’t really the point, is he? He’s just an example. As to whether he (or anyone) deserves special credit for voting Clinton, I basically agree with Denverite here and Dilan in the previous thread. Some people have spent the last 25 years disliking and distrusting Hillary Clinton. I’m aware that most of the reasons people dislike her are specious. But it’s worth pointing out (as has often been done in other contexts) that it wasn’t merely the VRWC, Limbaugh, and Matt Drudge who targeted Clinton. The NYT and the WaPo treated her like Public Enemy #1 over Watergate and, to some extent, have not really relented since. The press has pretended for an entire year that she was under criminal investigation personally, even though it wasn’t the case.

    The people who hate her and wish to smear her basically come from everywhere. Jeff Zeifman likes to falsely claim that he fired her from her position as an attorney in the Watergate hearings. Christopher Hitchens (Sullivan’s friend) filed an affidavit in the Clinton impeachment trial alleging that Sid Blumenthal tried to smear Lewinsky, essentially at Hillary’s best. (And when Blumenthal wrote a very good book about the Clinton years, the press in general shit all over it mostly because he betrayed the tribe when he befriended Hillary.) She is, we know, the most unpopular nominee in history except her opponent, if you go by the negatives.

    So when people marinated in the eminently mainstream and toxic discussion of her character set aside decades of personal dislike and and publicly affirm their vote for her, yes, I’m willing to give them some credit proportional to their decision. I’m not saying they deserve a bouquet of flowers and prime seating at her inauguration. I just have a fundamentally different view of what’s happening in this election from some people. Like posters said in the Noam Chomsky thread: we should be running up the score everywhere we can. It’s not just about winning. It’s about getting every vote we can. And part of that means acknowledging that for some people voting Hillary instead of Trump feels like eating all the funnel cake at the carnival and deciding to step in the Graviton instead of the Salt and Pepper Shaker ride. Their main impulse is going to be: “I think I should go home now, I don’t feel well, and I don’t want to get on either of these rides.” If they’ll get on board, I’m happy.

    Finally, many people are reluctant to vote Hillary because they feel like “Stronger Together” is just the ad pitch, and inside she holds you in contempt if you don’t think voting for her is the easiest decision you’ve ever made in your life since Republicans are pretty much mutated sewer rats. I don’t actually think that she feels that way. But this post pretty much expresses that attitude.

    • Denverite

      I basically agree with Denverite here and Dilan in the previous thread.

      Shit, now I’m rethinking my position. (That’s a joke, Dilan!)

  • efgoldman

    The NYT and the WaPo treated her like Public Enemy #1 over Watergate

    I assume you meant Whitewater.

    when people marinated in the eminently mainstream and toxic discussion of her character set aside decades of personal dislike and and publicly affirm their vote for her, yes, I’m willing to give them some credit proportional to their decision.

    Basically the same credit you give an anonymous offensive lineman when he makes a routine block. He did the least he should have done.
    Foir a man who fancies himself a public intellectual, and has a long and stubborn record of being wrong – which he has not, for the most part, disavowed – that’s the least he can do and the most credit he gets.

    • Denverite

      Basically the same credit you give an anonymous offensive lineman when he makes a routine block. He did the least he should have done.

      Well if he’s the RT on the team playing the Broncos and he doesn’t get any help and he manages to block Von Miller straight up, then he’s a fucking hero.

      (I don’t know what this has to do with your metaphor. Just getting excited because training camp has started and the title defense is underway.)

  • Gee Suss

    There’s a lot that I would want to say about this but I will leave it as thus:
    There are a lot of people who seem to think a white, gay, HIV+, British man is a stand-in for “white Republicans”. I think it’s telling that because he’s white he gets granted a whole host of attributes

    • notahack

      Yes, the fact that he has called anti-war protestors “objectively pro-Saddam”, is pro-torture, and is anti-BLM is proof positive that he is a progressive beacon in this world.

    • Snuff curry

      What the fuck does gay and British have to do with anything? Are affluent, gay white men left-wing on the whole?

      • Origami Isopod

        Because someone on an axis of oppression who stumps for their oppressors tends to go over well with bigots. The same sort who think feminists are wrong because Palin said so, or BLM is wrong because, idk, Alan Keyes disapproves.

        Also, far too many Yanks hear an upper-class UK accent and presume the speaker is smart and reasonable.

        • Snuff curry

          Well, not just Americans. Look at Stephen Fry’s popularity both sides of the p.v. pond. Etonian manner, somewhat erudite, but complete cretin and mostly amoral except when it comes to one or two issues that directly affect him. Nothing about being born in Britain prevents someone from becoming a Republican in the US. In fact, most of the notable ones do. Britain is a mostly right-wing place and always has been.

          I don’t think otherwise homophobic people are enamored of Milo, for example, because he’s gay so he’s “supposed” to be liberal. He, Palin, Keyes, Carson–they are not embraced for what they can do for the Republican base, but to be trotted out as a trump card and token when the time is ripe for good publicity. I feel there’s a difference.

          • Origami Isopod

            Well, not just Americans. Look at Stephen Fry’s popularity both sides of the p.v. pond.

            I would hazard a guess that Fry’s a lot more popular the higher you go up the class scale in the UK.

            Britain is a mostly right-wing place and always has been.

            It’s certainly not a progressive wonderland, as we’ve seen from the Brexit. That said, it’s a far sight less right-wing than the U.S. (Not that this is a high bar to clear.) There is actually a viable left over there, even if they’re quite adept at shooting themselves in the foot.

            I don’t think otherwise homophobic people are enamored of Milo, for example, because he’s gay so he’s “supposed” to be liberal.

            I don’t think Milo’s a good comparison to the other three. They’re all politicians who were trying, to some degree, to be taken seriously by the establishment (in Palin’s case, if only because it made grifting off them easier). Sullivan has always positioned himself as a serious thinker. Milo is just pure right-wing id.

            • Snuff curry

              Aspiring serious thinker or no, his being British or gay does not make him Of the People, has no bearing on whether he’d be a likely Republican or not, which is how I interpreted Gee Sus’s remarks.

              Fry quite literally carries with him in England the reputation of being what a dumb person might imagine a smart person is like. Literally. He doesn’t rank well amongst the intellectual classes, and not just because he was on television or pitched a fit when Rik Mayall outacted him in Serious Theatre.

              • Snuff curry

                Brexit is hardly the straw that broke the camel’s back, re a thriving British left-wing. That dream was put to bed decades ago when New Lab made its ascent. Corbyn’s only reinforced it.

              • Origami Isopod

                How I interpreted Gee Suss’s remarks was that a lot of Americans would like to fool themselves into believing that someone who sounds as “reasonable” as Sully does is representative of Republicans.

                Other than that I think we’re on the same page here. Minor points: I wasn’t aware that Fry had a longstanding reputation in the UK as an idiot. I’m aware that New Labour is not a new thing (and before that, there was Thatcher), but still, the US only wishes we had as many left-identifying people as the UK does. Yes, I agree that Palin & Co. don’t convince bigots so much as offer them justification, but I wasn’t claiming otherwise.

        • Snuff curry

          The same sort who think feminists are wrong because Palin said so, or BLM is wrong because, idk, Alan Keyes disapproves.

          I don’t think it works in that order. I think people first decided women are shit, and then seek reasons and justifications for believing so. Palin’s convenient as a Token Woman We Don’t Hate, but she didn’t cause anti-feminism nor is she, in particular, ever regarded as “disproving” feminism. Palin is not a thought leader and her feelings on feminism are, at best, irrelevant. Keyes is not required to have opinions about BLM; his very existence is somehow supposed to disprove that Republicans are racist because they have A Black.

          White men dictate policies and prejudices. Every one else exists to fill categories necessary for plausible deniability when the time comes to prove the party is, technically, “inclusive.”

          • Snuff curry

            By which I mean, Palin didn’t magically appear on the scene as an exciting new voice in American conservatism, and then launch an attack on feminism whereupon her supporters suddenly decided feminism must be bad.

            Palin is popular because she toes the pre-existing line. She accepts the age-old conservative belief that women are different, inferior, and are not in need of a helping hand because equality is a zero-sum game and men are more important.

      • DocAmazing

        Speaking as someone who has had dealings with the Log Cabin Republicans: rich, gay white men are usually rich white men first and gay second. See, e.g., Peter Theil.

    • tsam

      Most of the attributes are repeating his own words.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    Obligatory Petula Clark reference:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iwEB-ZnJWGg

  • Drexciya

    Related to undercurrents throughout this and the other thread, I do think it would be appropriate to have a lengthier conversation about the political effects of persistent white valuation within a party that’s expressly multiracial and where its brown/black contingents remain undervalued and supposedly undeserving of more explicit appeals, regardless of demonstrable (and greater!) comparative loyalty and involvement. That’s especially true when its resistance to/reluctance to embrace non-racist/anti-racist policies is cushioned by that valuation.

    This isn’t an effect-free calculus, it’s not an amoral one, and the limited (or really, ignored) pressure to appeal to people of color and more fully represent their needs, presence and positions outside of the standards of lazy universalism is grounded in the understanding that a white supremacist context limits our flexibility and undermines the need to compete for our support beyond the bare minimum. Black Lives Matter gets reduced to Black and Blue Lives Matter, reparations gets siphoned into “well, we need to invest in schools to let everyone fulfill their potential”, police violence gets mentioned in indirect, passive terms, like our state sanctioned lynchings are unfortunate weather events that no one could effect, and immigration is contrasted with Trump’s positions instead of the Democratic Party’s execrable record on the subject (which is on full display here, where Clinton reminded everyone of her no doubt highminded support for a border FENCE instead of a border wall and where she praised her and Sanders’ support of increased border security). It’s a bit shameful, but not quite as shameful as the fact that there’s a modest liberal undercurrent that’s willing to defend that political calculation, regardless of the fact that it falls between insulting and politically exploitive.

    I think the duplicity of this strategy was on full display during the convention, where brown faces were, within the limited scale of the convention, permitted to dominate the face of the party, but where its influence on the party’s thoughts and positions were tailored to the white gaze and fitted, sometimes awkwardly, within the bounds of conventional acceptability, which is another way of saying presumptive whiteness. The positivity of the diversity shouldn’t be understated at all, it was good to see such representation, and I take the point of people like Bouie, which noted the deep influence of non-white cultural institutions (like the black church) in how the party shaped what was expressed. But such controlled diversity, with such an audience in mind has sincere and intentional limits. That’s especially true when they’re unnecessarily anchored to a need to appeal to white expectations and I sorta just want to use Ezekiel Kweku’s observations to illustrate what that means in practice and how noxious of an effect it can have:

    But it was hard to ignore the fact that of the three mothers who were chosen to speak, only one — Reed-Veal — had lost her child at the hands of the police. And even Sandra Bland’s death was as at a level of a remove and responsibility; she was found dead in her jail cell after an unwarranted traffic stop. The choice of these particular stories by those organizing the event cannot possibly have been a coincidence. This is not to say that these stories are unimportant or the deaths any less tragic. But even in a moment dedicated to black life, black death was seasoned for white palates, curated for white sensibilities.

    Even during a section of the convention addressed to the concerns of Black Lives Matter, the issue that galvanized the movement — unpunished and unjustified police killings — was muted. The Mothers of the Movement were preceded by speeches from law enforcement representatives, who gave their own account of the state of policing and black lives. Former Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. plainly said “an attack on a police officer is an attack on our entire society,” and Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay referred to the killings of police officers as “assassination.” The closest either got to acknowledging the fact that the Black Lives Matter movement was birthed out of police officers’ disproportionate killing of black people (and lack of punishment for this) was when McLay made a brief reference to “controversial officer-involved shootings.”

    Nobody said anything as blunt as “police killings” or “police brutality.” Nobody said anything as straightforward as “a police officer shot a black person,” much less “a police officer killed my child.” The death of black people was always in the passive voice.

    It might seem like quibbling over semantics, but if what is happening is not properly named, then we will form solutions that do not confront reality. And this, in fact, is what happened onstage.

    This goes side by side with the constant equivocations by both Obama and Clinton, where equivalences were drawn between why a black person would be fearful of leaving their homes and why a cop would be and where a content free invocation of “systemic racism” was followed by a nod to the police. As someone mentioned in this thread or the last, if this country is being saved, brown and black people are going to be the ones saving it. We deserve better than this, and I think this needs considerably more mainstreamish pushback than I’ve seen. It’s just not possible to create a party that’s capable of fulfilling its obligations to people of color and a party that’s responsive to white people who voted Republican in every election except this one. The desire to have it both ways is only hurting one set of people and it isn’t white people. If taking their votes meant making them suck up what should necessarily follow from being a party held up by the blood and sweat of people of color, I’d feel better about all of this.

    But that’s not what it means.

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