The Spectacle Blog

Sulllivan Silliness

By on 5.29.12 | 5:40PM

Andrew Sullivan, he of "The First Gay President" fame, has responded to a blog note of mine in which I, tongue in cheek, mentioned understanding "the temptation to waterboard" MSNBC host Chris Hayes who offered the worst of liberal gobbledygook about his being "uncomfortable about the word 'hero'."

Sullivan offers this, which apparently passes for insight: "The most revealing thing about this rant is its understanding of waterboarding. It is, in Kaminsky's eyes, an instrument of punishment. Every now and again, the far right shows its hand. The adoption of torture was as much about revenge and payback as it was a misguided, illegal, desperate attempt to get intelligence by methods never designed (by totalitarians) to get intelligence."

I got a similar comment from a follower of Sullivan's who, desperately searching for a thought of his own, said that "Your post is vile and says much more about you than the people you suggest might be conceivably targeted for waterboarding as 'punishment.'I thought waterboarding is defended on the right as a legitimate form of interrogation intended only to obtain urgently relevant information. That’s quite a slip. You inadvertently confirm that it is indeed a form of punishment, even if you weasel-word and say you wouldn’t inflict it yourself. This is the great thing about the insurrectionist right: you can’t help yourselves. You betray the underlying violence of your intentions, and these little slip-ups are becoming more and more common among the demagogic cacklers you represent. We notice even if you don’t."

So let's be clear about this. A car can be used to take you to work, or for the sport of racing. An iPhone can be used to make a call, surf the web, or play a game. A liberal can be used to raise your taxes or to show a substantial, if not diagnosable, disconnect with reality. And waterboarding can (theoretically) be used to extract information from a non-compliant enemy captive or to make someone feel uncomfortable, as Mr. Hayes feels about the word 'hero', for example.

Nothing about my joke implies that waterboarding as used on KSM, and which seems to have contributed to the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden, was punishment rather than an aggressive means of interrogation.

What is particularly funny is that Sullivan does accurately quote my words in which I say specifically that "the proper punishment for Mr. Hayes and his ilk is to make sure their TV ratings are as low as possible (which may already be the case when it comes to Mr. Hayes' show) and to vote against Democratic candidates, other than those who (unlike John Kerry) have served with honor, at every opportunity..."

In other words, anybody but the most hypersensitive liberal (if you will pardon my redundancy) would recognize that my mention of waterboarding was meant as humor, even if not humor that a liberal would understand, and that I made explicitly clear that there is no place for violence in this debate.

Meanwhile, liberals say nothing about the true violence done by left-wing domestic terrorists as explained by Stacy McCain and Patrick Frey. When a search of the Daily Beast web site where Sullivan writes turns up instances of my name but no instance of Brett Kimberlin, one knows that the left is every bit as deranged as I suggested in my note about Chris Hayes.

Therefore, unlike Chris Hayes who offered what I believe to be a mostly insincere apology, I offer no apology for my words. It's not my problem if liberals can't take a joke -- and they surely can't.

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