Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish Turns 10

Andrew Sullivan has been blogging for a decade now. He remains one of the few truly indispensable bloggers.

Happy blogiversary to Andrew Sullivan, who’s been blogging for a decade now.   As usual, he has some extensive, heartfelt thoughts on the subject.

I’m a Catholic, so let me start with the things I am sorry for and even, in some cases, ashamed of. When you blog in real time, day by day, hour by hour, emotions can get the better of you. The blogosphere is awash in examples of invective, abuse, cruelty, accusations of bad faith, or just bluster – in part because blogging is so much more like speaking than writing and also because it addresses people in the abstract, not face to face. I am not innocent in this, and wish I could take back a few barbs, especially in the early days, when we were all discovering what this medium could do. As a pioneer – and in 2000, there was Mickey and me, basically, in the political blogosphere – I have been, for better or worse, an early adopter of the best and the worst. My only defense is that I have tried to learn from this as I have gone along, to improve on these moments of weakness and rhetorical excess by a more stringent tone, and by constantly and increasingly publishing real dissents, corrections and a much wider diversity of views than just my own, for balance, for fairness. I don’t think a blog would be the same without the occasional unjust jibe or angry outburst – because it would lose its vital, fallible human quality – and doubtless I will pop off again from time to time. But the Dish in 2010 is more mature in many ways than it was in 2000.


That was the original appeal, of course: the dream every writer has ever had since history began. To be able to write directly to other human beings, with no editor or publisher, no censor or commercial pressure, to open the mind to other open minds, to speak with as little fear as possible and to see what happens. I saw that potential in this new miraculous medium the first instant this blog was born; I see it now more clearly than ever. But I never dreamed all those years ago that in a Weddingaisle decade, there would be a million of you each month, from all over the world, from every perspective, telling the truth as you saw it and see it, and informing me and thereby each other of facts and ideas and news and passions none of us would ever have found on our own.

Andrew has some hobby horses that annoy the bejesus out of me, most notably the bizarre Trig Palin conspiracy theory that he won’t let go of.   But the obsessiveness that makes that happen is what fuels one of the few truly indispensable blogs out there.   He’s simultaneously ridiculously cynical and hopelessly romantic.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. In what sense is Andrew Sullivan Catholic? He doesn’t agree with or obey church doctrine on a number of issues and, unlike some churches, the Catholic church doesn’t permit followers to disagree with the official line on dogma. This isn’t to say Sullivan is wrong in these cases, but it seems about time for him to finally come to grips with the fact that his religious views are not longer Catholic.

  2. André Kenji says:

    If there are several Catholics that supports the Death Penalty, so, Sullivan can be one of them.

  3. iggy says:

    Of course, cynics are just romantics who’ve had their eyes poked out with a sharp stick.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    “He doesn’t agree with or obey church doctrine on a number of issues and, unlike some churches, the Catholic church doesn’t permit followers to disagree with the official line on dogma.”

    Under these conditions, how many “real” Catholics are there in this country? Far fewer than the statistics show, I would imagine…