Dr. Sullivan, the tough Tory toff. Plus: Nuptials grammar. Friday in review. Severe tongue-dashing. And much more.
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p>I read with interest R. Andrew Newman's piece on Andrew Sullivan. It made me wish to relate some experiences I have had when discussing things with Mr. Sullivan on his website, some observations I have made, and some conclusions I have arrived at concerning him.
p>To put it bluntly, Mr. Sullivan is a prancing, preening, solipsistic, narcissist. Have you ever noticed how every issue comes down to everybody on the planet having to change in order to accommodate
? Humanity is supposed to jettison several thousand years of common sense about marriage because Andrew wants to marry his boyfriend. Catholics are supposed to ditch almost two thousand years of faith and doctrine because Andrew wants to marry his boyfriend. People with large families are supposed to give up SUVs to please Andrew who won't ever have a large family because Andrew wants to marry his boyfriend. I sense a pattern here.
p>Sullivan has a clever con going where he bills himself as a “Conservative” and gets gigs on Liberal TV shows where he plays the role of the “honest and principled Tory” delivering up the ritual anti-Bush diatribes. He has some British editors convinced he actually knows something about America and he writes columns about the American scene.
p>Andrew isn't shy about displaying his immense “knowledge.” During the Terry Schiavo case, he scored a trifecta of ignorance in multiple disciplines when he declared that a simple feeding tube was “advanced life support,” that starvation was a merciful way to die, and that some podunk probate judge had the unquestioned constitutional authority to pass a death sentence on a person who had never committed a crime. I find it rather rich that one who is on extensive medical therapy for his own illness has the chutzpah to call a simple feeding tube “advanced life support,” that one whose website is constantly filled with tales of the pain suffered by those with AIDS would dare call involuntary starvation merciful, and that one who incessantly bleats about the fate of al Qaeda murderers would have the unmitigated gall to call for an innocent woman's death.
p>Sullivan's debate technique is simply to avoid debate altogether by putting forth one unsupported assertion after another as if they were facts. When someone dares to challenge these “facts,” Andrew gets ugly and starts the
attacks with the usual strawmen: racists, homophobes, religious fundamentalists, bigots, etc., that seem to make up the non-Sullivan populace. Once, when I pointed out to him his errors about the Geneva Convention, his reply was “you sicken me.” Gee, how intellectual.
p>Andrew's most despicable venture into moral relativism occurred this week when the mutilated bodies of the two American soldiers were found. Sullivan proclaimed that it was only to be expected that the enemy would ratchet up their level of barbarism to match ours, that we had lost the “moral high ground” that was the purpose of the Geneva Convention, and that we had no right to complain about this atrocity. No, Andrew, the Geneva Convention was not designed to give you “good feelings” of being morally superior. It was designed to reward those who fight for nation-states, and to severely punish thugs and terrorists like al Qaeda members who don't.
p>Readers might try going over to his blog site to see if he will come down off of his cross long enough to reply to your letters. It happens occasionally, but he's usually answering some fawning fan letter, talking about his Beagle, or relating his feelings.
Timothy L. Huettner, M.D