The Decline of Sullivan

Until recently, Andrew Sullivan’s blog used to be one of the 3 or 4 blogs I checked every day. He seemed to “tell it as it is” and had few if any sacred cows. This is no longer the case. This is not a matter of disagreeing with any of his positions as I’ve always disagreed with some but instead his transformation into a shrill ideological hack; a rigid believer rather than the questioner he was before. Kevin Holtsberry does a pretty good job summarizing this recent rhetorical decline:

It seems to me, that he rarely argues in good faith and his animus and personal obsessions color almost everything he writes.

Sullivan is a skilled polemicist. He is obviously smart and can be, or at least has been in the past, an effective advocate for a particular type of conservatism. It is not, nor has it been, the dominant form in this country, but it is a legitimate form worthy of debate and discussion.

But I am afraid I can no longer take his arguments seriously on a host of issues when he blatantly over-generalizes and argues from bad faith based on emotion and sloppy rhetoric rather than logic and first principles. As I noted above, Sullivan would not tolerate this type of argument from others regarding homosexuality or any of the issues important to him. His double standard is a mile wide: trust those who support your ideas and distrust everything the other side does.


Urban Artifact

We did the “Pleasant Run” bike trail yesterday (the last two weekends have been unseasonably warm here) which happens to go through many scenic inner-city neighborhoods. It was among some spectacular urban decay that I found this picture on the trail which appears to be a family photo snapped during a prison visitation. Which begs the question: Of all the backgrounds a prison could have, why a Star Trek theme? And I suppose more importantly, if the prison is going through the trouble of allowing family photos with a spectacular star trek background, why not let the guy put on some regular clothes? I mean, what kid is going to want a collection of photos where daddy’s in prison jumpsuits?

“What’s does you your* daddy do?”

“5 to 10.”

* Jeez-o-pete I hope people didn't think I was trying to write in dialect. I already discovered black people don't like white people attempting this in my required (diversity credit) Afro-Lit class.