Andrew Sullivan Outed?

No, no — Andrew certainly makes no secrets about his sexuality.   But he was included in President-elect Obama’s meeting with liberal pundits, a follow-up to his dinner with conservative pundits.  Marc Ambinder:

9:45 a.m., in the transition office, President-elect Obama, meeting with: the Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan, CNN’s Roland Martin, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, the Washington Post’s Gene Robinson, the Boston Globe’s Derrick Z. Jackson, the one and only Maureen Dowd, the New York Times’s Frank Rich, the Wall Street Journal’s Jerry Seib, Atlantic political director Ron Brownstein, USA Today’s DeWayne Wickham and columnist E.J. Dionne Jr.

William Beutler says, “Aha!”

Could that really be Andrew Sullivan? As in “conservatism of doubt” Andrew Sullivan? Author of “The Conservative Soul” Andrew Sullivan? The same Andrew Sullivan whose strident advocacy for the Iraq war made him one of the most influential voices among the online conservative commentariat? Who among us could ever have imagined the day would come when Andrew Sullivan would break with his ideological compatriots and move to the left?

Bill’s having a bit of fun with Andy, of course, whose conservative credentials have been questioned in recent years after turning against President Bush and then endorsing John Kerry and Obama in consecutive elections.  Indeed, he’s as passionate an Obama advocate as you’ll find and has been since nearly the beginning.

As for the meeting itself, Sully‘s very much Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

It was totally off the record and I’m a stickler for those rules. I can say, however, the following: it’s hard to express the relief I feel that this man will be the president soon. I realize that’s what I feel above all else: relief.

I may disagree with him at times, and criticize him at times, but his great gift is showing that he does not expect people to change their convictions in order to find common areas of agreement. That’s the challenge he’s presenting all of us with, wherever we come from ideologically. The challenge is as real for a Krugman as for a Kristol, for Rick Warren as well as Gene Robinson.

As I’ve said repeatedly for the last two years, we’re lucky to have him.

So, is Andrew now an out-of-the-closet lefty?  Or just an Oakeshottian conservative left without any likeminded candidates to vote for and forced to vote for the man, not the party?   Probably a bit of both, I’d say.

American conservatism, at least as represented by the Republican Party, has changed too much and not enough over the years.   They’ve long stopped pretending to care about fiscal responsibility, merely pretend to care about limited government, and care perhaps a bit too much about fighting losing battles in the cultural wars.

Lots of us — Andy, John Cole, Steven Taylor, Steve Bainbridge come to mind — are less enthusiastic about The Cause as defined by the Republican agenda than we were even five years ago.  The Steves and I have remained on the GOP bandwagon and Andy and John have jumped off.   That’s a matter of slightly different ranking and weighting systems, methinks, rather than movement to the Left or Right.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. PD Shaw says:

    Yes, attempting to discredit an opposing politician via her daughter’s teenage pregnancy has all the marks of the old culture wars. Sullivan is quite couragous, whatever his politics may be.

  2. Jim Treacher says:

    Yes, attempting to discredit an opposing politician via her daughter’s teenage pregnancy has all the marks of the old culture wars.

    That’s hardly fair. He also attempted to discredit an opposing politician via her own pregnancy.

  3. steve says:

    I agree heartily with you on this post. If you believe in fiscal responsibility (not just lower taxes), a strong, prudent foreign policy and want to keep government out of social issues, to which party do you turn?

    Steve

  4. James Joyner says:

    If you believe in fiscal responsibility (not just lower taxes), a strong, prudent foreign policy and want to keep government out of social issues, to which party do you turn?

    I’d say you’re screwed,unless you want to cast a protest vote for the Libertarians.

  5. That’s hardly fair. He also attempted to discredit an opposing politician via her own pregnancy.

    Past tense. Does that mean he has stopped?

  6. tom p says:

    American conservatism… long stopped pretending to care about fiscal responsibility, merely pretend to care about limited government, and care perhaps a bit too much about fighting losing battles in the cultural wars.

    And they long ago stopped beleiving in anything like personal freedom.

    As to Andrew’s obsessions with the Palin family pregnancies (yeah I got tired of it too), I have to give a word in his defense:

    Here is a woman, 8 1/2 months pregnant, flies down to Texas for a Gov’s meeting, breaks her water in the middle of it (remember, she already knew the child had Downs syndrome) and didn’t go to the hospital???? Instead she waited for the dinner to be over, got on a plane and flew back to Alaska (a flight of how many hrs?) and then some hours later gave birth…

    Assuming all of the previous is true (and it is her story), doesn’t it raise questions in your mind about her judgement?

    As obsessive as Andrew got…. it never added up to me either. I mean, I found myself thinking she (sub-concsiously) wanted the child to die. And I always had to ask, why did they have an Amniocentesis when they were going to keep the child anyway? My son and his lady were faced with a similar situation and chose not to have one done because of the risk to the child.

  7. Floyd says:

    “and care perhaps a bit too much about fighting losing battles in the cultural wars.”
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    When your adversary will settle for nothing less than your absolute destruction… You fight!, even if it means “a losing battle”!
    Ultimately if a country’s culture is destroyed, fiscal responsibility means nothing.

    BTW Steve, The answer is “The Republican Party”,
    albeit by default rather than any proactive agenda!

  8. Eneils Bailey says:

    No, no — Andrew certainly makes no secrets about his sexuality.

    Oh No, I am devastated, I never knew, is Andrew really a queer?

    Is he really like one of those guys who used to constantly appoach me on the streets of San Francisco, follow me to East Bay Terminal and then only wanting to pay me two dollars for sex in a shit-house stall.

    Should I delete him off my email list?

  9. tom p says:

    When your adversary will settle for nothing less than your absolute destruction… You fight!, even if it means “a losing battle”!
    Ultimately if a country’s culture is destroyed, fiscal responsibility means nothing. BTW Steve, The answer is “The Republican Party”,
    albeit by default rather than any proactive agenda!

    So Floyd… just exactly what does the GOP stand for??? Because it sure as hell ain’t personal freedom. Culture? Who’s culture? Not my culture. And in case you haven’t figured it out Floyd, I am just as American as you. I come from the hills and hollers of the Ozarks where we want to be left alone to live our lives as we see fit. NOT as you see fit. The GOP has become a pimple on the ass of democracy. With time (I hope) they will redeem themselves.

  10. Eneils Bailey says:

    The GOP has become a pimple on the ass of democracy. With time (I hope) they will redeem themselves.

    Agreed, but don’t swap a pimple on the ass for a hanging hemorrhoid. If you think the Republicans have let you down; just wait till the democrats financially and culturally butt-f*ck you.

  11. Floyd says:

    “So Floyd… just exactly what does the GOP stand for???”
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

    Not much, it must be said, but then I am no Republican. As I said… by default rather than any proactive agenda!

    The Democrat Party is by contrast, quite agenda driven. That agenda means to destroy all that I consider decent and moral, while denying me and my prodigy the promise of the founders.

    In lieu of a Party dedicated to principle and proactive in defense of Liberty, with an understanding of it’s true meaning,I guess I would prefer the Apathy of one party to the animosity of the other.

  12. Cam Winston says:

    You read John Cole AND Andrew Sullivan? Aside from wading into the insanity, don’t you get tired of the redundancy?