The Corner


Sullivan has been posting emails from his echo chamber for a while now. Basic theme: Sullivan = hero, Ponnuru = very bad man. In his latest one, he’s really outdone himself–in length, sleaziness, and insanity. He’s posted a long, weird email from some anonymous person who claims to have known me in college. Sullivan says that you should read it “if you care about the future of individual freedom in America.” By all means, do read this letter if you have some time.

Some of it has nothing to do with anything. Some of it speculates about the “real views” that Robert P. George and I hold; I can’t speak for George, but they are inaccurate with respect to me. Some of it assumes that making a (faulty) argument against views I’ve advanced amounts to proving that I don’t really hold those views. Some of it is garden-variety stupidity: see, for example, the reference to Hardwick, which shows that the emailer has no idea what he/she is talking about. Some of it is bizarre: as when the emailer tries to argue that loving abortionists “ungrudgingly” and never giving up on the possibility that they will be transformed are compatible with supporting their murder. Note to anyone close to this emailer: If he/she says “I love you,” start running.

This correspondent concludes: “I can only say that I have always known [Ponnuru] to hide himself behind various facades depending on the circumstances. Liberal, moderate, conservative? Whatever works at the moment.” 1) Right. I have often tried to pass myself off as a moderate. Or a liberal! (I might have described myself as a classical liberal or libertarian in the past, when it would have been accurate.) That’s why I ran the conservative paper on campus, and went to work for NR after graduation. That’s why I’ve been working here for 11 years. That’s why I endorsed Phil Gramm for president. This person knows me like the back of its hand! 2) Sullivan should be so proud of himself–letting anonymous emailers slime his opponents when he’s losing an argument. (Time should be proud, too.) Note to any old classmates or colleagues of Sullivan who would like to drop me a line about his dishonesty and untrustworthiness: please don’t. I know all I need to know from reading him, and I see no need to join him in the gutter.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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