Hopefully Someone Cares
I got a chance to talk with Atrios a bit about this issue up at the RNC in New York and I have to say that I really disagree with his attitude. The underlying facts and analysis, fine, but there's really no point in taking someone who's trying to agree with you about something right now and then turning around and condemning him for stuff he said back in the day. If the Atrios Rules are going to be that no one is welcome in his coalition unless that person repudiates everything he's said in the past and performs a grand ceremony of repentance, then the reality is that no one is going to join the coalition. People who are moving in your direction should be encouraged and welcomed. It's when they start drifting away that you want to start delivering them a swift kick in the ass on their way out.
Now do I particularly care that Andrew Sullivan has gone sour on Bush? No, not really. But can I imagine the existence of some people who do care that he has, but who don't care that I have? Of course I can. The fact that Sullivan was such a trenchant, McCarthyite condemner of anti-war folks back in the day only makes it more likely that what he says now will swing someone or other around. That matters.
UPDATE: The other thing is that, objectively, Sullivan's a good prose stylist so if you happen to agree with whatever he's saying at the moment it's not such a terrible idea to quote him.
September 7, 2004 | Permalink
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