I’ll keep this brief. Andrew replies to one of my posts, but not the other. To my “everyone into the pool” criticism, he responds with a host of complaints about Bush and contrasts them to a column I wrote (and linked to in my original post) as if I’m contradicting myself. Indeed, he makes it sound as if I’m being hypocritical for criticizing Bush myself while criticizing him for doing the same (he also implies that because I’m “institutionally related” to Bush through NR I could never have a truly intellectually honest position).
This is a bait and switch. I didn’t say there are not legitimate complaints about Bush. Indeed, I stipulated there were and linked to some of my own. His expasive list of complaints about Abu Ghraib etc are all fine, I suppose, but they are off topic. The point was that Andrew was treating “fiscal conservatives” as if they are creatures who operate on a single issue wearing blinders to every other issue (and I should note that even blinkered fiscal conservatives do like tax cuts, a lot.)
As for my second post about him not mentioning on his blog that he has categorically ruled out supporting Bush, he’s said nothing publicly. But a few of his readers and others have noted that Sullivan has publicly said elsewhere that he cannot support Bush and this is not news. And others have pointed me to long passages by Andrew where he details his anguish over Bush’s support of the FMA which, if you read between the lines he makes it pretty clear that he cannot support Bush. Again, if you read between the lines. If you don’t, they read more like he’s building suspense. And the overwhelming majority of folks I’ve heard from who regularly read Sullivan’s site were shocked that he would say something so coyly at home and so clearly elsewhere.
Update/Correction: I posted this above too, but I’d better say it here as well since there are some many permalinks to this post. Andrew Sullivan does mention the Advocate essay and my criticism. I didn’t read the post headlined “The Marriage Thing” thinking it was another post about gay marriage. I’m sorry for saying otherwise. As for the case he makes, I’ll let it stand for itself.