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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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» Sullivan Agonistes from Fanatical Apathy
As some long-time WWDTM listeners might remember from his appearance on the show, Andrew Sullivan and I were friends in college, acting in plays together. I liked and admired him then, and have watched his subsequent career with great interest,... [Read More]

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» Who Cares What Atrios Thinks? from Red State Blue State Blog
Atrios posted a rant against Andrew Sullivan which basically amounts to a childish tantrum in the "he started it" tradition. I read Atrios's blog, Eschaton, daily, and it's fair to say I'm a big fan. It's also fair to say... [Read More]

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» The decent people have spoken! It's time to raise the bar! from Classical Values
Atrios is willing to allow certain Republicans to redeem themselves -- provided they oppose the Bush administration and provided their repentance is deemed sincere. However, no liberal tent is large enough for Andrew Sullivan! He will never be welcome.... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 7, 2004 8:17:35 PM

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