Sully On "Victimology"

As regular readers know, I fight a constant battle against the rehabilitation of Andrew Sullivan among progressives. Today Sullivan demonstrates again why I do this:

I must say that, to my mind, [Shelby] Steele has a point. It isn't the judicial rulings that trouble me so much as [Sotomayor's] non-judicial opinions and mindset. The constant, oppressive consciousness of her identity - racial and gender - and the harping on it so aggressively so often does strike me as a classic mode of victimology deeply entrenched in her generation.

(Emphasis supplied.) Andrew Sullivan has rightly obsessed on the discrimination faced by gays and lesbians in our society. It would never occur to me to describe his writings on gay rights as a "classic mode of victimology." To this day, Sullivan is unable to understand the issues of racism (his championing of "The Bell Curve" continues to this day) and sexism (his virulent sexism is exposed almost daily.) To him, concern about racism and sexism is "a classic mode of victimology." There is something wrong with him. UPDATE - Compare this Yglesias post about Victor Davis Hanson to what I write about Sully. The difference is no one, except me apparently, will write this way about Sully.

Speaking for me only

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    totally agree (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Lil on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:05:47 AM EST
    I was just telling someone that when people of opressed groups don't stick up for other opressed groups, they are stupid. his privilege as a gay person is astonishing.

    as somone who (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:49:40 AM EST
    always stood strongly for racial equality I always found it a little hurtful and confusing that so many african americans took such offense at the comparison of our struggle for rights to theirs.

    I used to be stunned by that. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Fabian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:57:48 AM EST
    Now I realize that attitude is never going to go away, although I hope it becomes less prevalent.

    Which means (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:03:08 AM EST
    you understand how "hurtful and confusing" your "throw a bone" comment was when we were speaking of the "faith based office" appointee the other day.

    we have been all through that (none / 0) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:10:31 AM EST
    so I am not going into it again but it seems to me the fact that you would compare that comment to what I was describing say more about you than me.

    btw and fyi
    I have always stood for equal rights and fair treatment for women and minorities.


    What an insane thing to say (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:06:30 AM EST
    It's no the consciousness of her identity that's been "oppressive," it's been the actual oppression and discrimination.

    This is Sully's classic mode of artfully saying sh*t that doesn't make any sense.  

    Yeah - somehow I doubt (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:04:52 AM EST
    she finds her own consciousness of her gender and ethnicity to be 'oppressive'. I hope not anyway - it would make for a long day: "Dang, I'm still a Latina! There I went again - consciousness, stop oppressing me!!!"

    He really is just incoherent most of the time.


    The Republicans seem more fixated (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by MKS on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:06:40 PM EST
    on ethnicity here.

    Princeton, Yale Law Journal, years on the bench.  That's qualified.  And, yet you hear comments about her being a quota/affirmative action pick.


    She IS a Gender pick, and about time!! nt (none / 0) (#52)
    by lilybart on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:33:34 PM EST
    It is very common (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:16:10 AM EST
    for people of oppressed groups to not speak up for people of other oppressed groups and to in fact belittle them.

    e.g. Aravosis and women.
    e.g. Sully and about every other oppressed group.


    BINGO (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:34:29 AM EST
    Sullivan has always irritated me.  Perhaps because I am a woman and his pervasive sexism is hurtful, nasty and unfair.  But he gets a pass from to many progressives.  Same with Aravosis.  Because they are white males??  I don't know.  Somehow they can be righteously indignant when it comes to bias towards gay men (I don't know that they care much about gay women) and yet can publicly rip apart minorities and women and still SOME progressives give them a pass......
    I understand both are anti war....but then so was/is racist, sexist, anti semite bigot Pat Buchanan.  Oh wait, he gets a pass on MSNBC too.

    Nobody wants to feel like they (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 06:13:19 PM EST
    are on the bottom of the pile, and for some people, the easiest way to feel superior is to belittle someone else.  Look at the history of this country - each new wave of immigrants started at the bottom, and stayed there until the next group arrived.  But none of these groups ever rose above the White Anglo Saxon Protestant Males.

    I think this need to be better than is so ingrained in every culture, that I don't see it ever getting to the point where we are completely homogenized, neutral and free of prejudice.


    Something wrong with him (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Dadler on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:19:43 AM EST
    He is dumb in very profound ways.  A lot of really bright people are stupid as dirt (no offense to dirt) all day, every day.  Look at the idiots "running" the financial system (into the ground?).  They are all highly educated and dumb as bricks when it comes to getting beyond their entrenched paradigms and dealing in harsh, obvious reality.  Sullivan is dumb as a brick when it comes to EVER having to be self-critical.  He's the classic finger-pointer, like most peopel are.  Everyone else is the problem, never him or those like him.  It is an actue form of childishness, as well.

    Very good post (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:50:34 PM EST
    Can't help but wonder (none / 0) (#76)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:51:48 PM EST
    how such incompetence remains so predictably employed though?

    flip it around (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:55:27 PM EST
    how many competent media elites can you name off the top of your head?

    meaning IMO it is his incompetence that KEEPS him employed.


    also (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:21:24 AM EST
    it seems to me that its not so much of her "harping on it so aggressively so often" as the right wing noise machine cherry picking a few comments out of her long career and thousands of decisions and harping on them so aggressively so often.

    harping on it so agressively? (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by CST on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:21:52 AM EST
    The only ones I hear "harping" are the wingers.

    Is she supposed to pretend that she's a white guy?

    If he's fine with her judicial rulings, than what do her non-judicial opinions have to do with being a justice?

    That's like saying Obama makes a great president, but since I don't like his taste in ice cream I can't vote for him.  I mean, I get that's not quite the same thing but it's about as relevant.

    he is part of the village (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:29:42 AM EST
    I think everything he says and writes is designed to keep getting him invited back to the talk shows to represent the "gay point of view" for people like Tweety.

    it drives me nuts.


    Heh, this needs to be asked more often (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:31:39 AM EST
    Is she supposed to pretend that she's a white guy?

    What's not a question: (none / 0) (#16)
    by Fabian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:35:17 AM EST
    Is she supposed to act like white guys do?

    Wait - she can't do that!  She's NOT a white guy, so what white guys can get away with, she'll get slammed for.  Imagine some of Scalia's choice quotes coming out of her mouth - the Right would go nuts!


    exact.ly (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:36:57 AM EST
    already proven.  the things she is being slammed for like saying her heritage would color her decisions have already been said by people like Alito with no comment from anyone.

    Dork (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by candideinnc on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:24:49 AM EST
    Sullivan is typical of the pseudoconservative "thinker."  He can only show empathy for people exactly like himself.  He even had the nerve to claim that the AIDS crisis was "over" because well-to-do gay Americans (like himself) could get horribly expensive life saving drugs, while in Africa hundreds of thousands continued to die from the plague.  He is worthless.

    yeah (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:27:18 AM EST
    I remember that.  I wonder if comments like that are at least partly responsible for the recent uptic in cases among young gay men.

    And America's support of Big Pharma (none / 0) (#51)
    by lilybart on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:31:52 PM EST
    should never be changed. He is against healthcare for all, which isn't very Catholic of him.

    Typical (5.00 / 6) (#15)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:34:35 AM EST
    The fact that Sotomayor's right-wing critics have done nothing since her nomination but harp upon every single reference to race is presented as evidence that Sotomayor herself is obsessed with race.  It's obvious her critics are the obsessed ones.

    17 years as a judge, and no one can point to a single opinion where her race or gender plausibly made the difference in the outcome.  That's the real evidence.  What she said to a group of Latino students about what it's like to be a Latina judge, gawd, who cares.  A handful of isolated remarks certainly don't show an "obsession."

    Much of the argument on this issue is the sort of juvenile stuff I thought I had left behind in the freshman year of college.  You know, "it's racist to say black pride, because white people aren't allowed to say white pride!"  Sheesh.

    Not only are you right about this: (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Lil on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:41:07 AM EST
    A handful of isolated remarks certainly don't show an "obsession."

    but there is more than an element of truth in what she said. Critics know this,I believe, and are disengenuous in their criticism. They do this to hold up the status quo and maintain power and privilege. But like any wink, wink, nod, nod, they know she told the truth. And what's wrong with being a "wise Latina woman" anyway? (and saying it too.)

    I meant this to be a reply to Steve M (none / 0) (#20)
    by Lil on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:43:08 AM EST
    I think there's nothing wrong with being (none / 0) (#22)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:49:36 AM EST
    as wise Latina, as long as you don't say it, rise to a prominent position based on your smarts and hard work etc. Shhhh!

    Hehe (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:18:15 AM EST
    of course, her reference to a "wise Latina" was a riff off Justice O'Connor's comment about how a wise man and a wise woman would supposedly decide cases the same way.  It's not like she, out of the blue, made up the phrase "wise Latina," and I don't think she was even literally calling herself wise any more than Justice O'Connor was calling herself wise.

    Oh, yer no fun! {grin} (none / 0) (#66)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:52:09 PM EST
    Don'tcha know, we wimen folk only harp about these things as oppressed victims or when we are wrongly trying to rise above our place in life! How dare we put our shoes on and march out of the kitchin and worry our pretty lil' heads about things like ya know, judicial decision makin'!

    When I talk to people about the parallels (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:48:48 AM EST
    between homophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism and racism, I'm usually confronted by someone angrily declaring they are not at all the same thing, especially when comparing anti-gay sentiment and what African Americans have historically experienced in this country.

    They aren't the same thing. But there are clear similarities with recognizable patterns of oppression in:

    1. The scope of the oppression (lynching of blacks; six million Jews & an unknown number of gays murdered in the Holocaust; 17-30 million gay men and women tortured and killed by the Catholic Church as "witches"),

    2. The types of violence experienced by oppressed groups (from institutionalized oppression to torture and murder),

    3. Widespread repercussions from that violence (response to terrorism throughout that population), and

    4. Inability or unwillingness of the other members of the oppressor group to stop those performing terroristic attacks on the oppressed minority.

    We don't have to compete for which type of oppression is worse, we simply need to recognize that human behavior tends to veer toward tribalism, and the extremes of that tendency result in horrendous violence.

    Don't forget (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:57:05 AM EST
    the disabled.  The Americans with Disabilities Act -- which gave the disabled the same rights in hiring as women and minorities (assuming the disabled person has bonafide occupational qualifications) -- was only passed in 1990.

    Right (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:44:55 AM EST
    Which brings up another key point I left out. The more people view members of an oppressed group as "the other" with the extreme of that view perceiving them as sub-human, the more likely they are to use violence against them. Which explains why people with disabilities have historically been institutionalized and given shock treatment or had parts of their brains removed, etc.

    Perfect: (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:02:00 AM EST
    As regular readers know, I fight a constant battle against the rehabilitation of Andrew Sullivan among progressives.

    Andrew Sullivan dishes (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by ding7777 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:36:35 AM EST
    Watching a black man win the South Carolina primary in a landslide by transcending race

    Gosh, no one in South Carolina knew Obama was a "black candidate"; even the 95% of blacks who voted for him.

    And apparently (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:21:22 PM EST
    He didn't know about Jesse Jackson winning 11 contests in 1988  -  7 primaries (in mostly southern states - Alabama, Georgia, DC, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico,and Virginia), and 4 caucuses (Michigan, South Carolina, Vermont, and Delaware) and was for some time, the front runner in the race. I was only Obama that could transcend race.



    OMG I can't believe you mentioned (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:34:31 PM EST
    Jesse Jackson. To the doghouse with the Big dog with you.

    Yeah, yeah (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by jbindc on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:51:49 PM EST
    I know little things like "facts" are not what Sully is all about, but what can I say?  I'm crazy that way.



    It is amazing how (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:58:49 PM EST
    Jesse Jackson's 11 primary wins have simply been disappeared.

    Problem is, (2.00 / 0) (#58)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:45:49 PM EST
    when we use race as a factor in hiring, promotions, education, and other programs we're setting ourselves up for backlash. Obviously we need to counteract years of institutionalized racism, but who is paying for it? The rich white men are not feelin' the pain. They're set up just fine in life. Race-based programs inherently hurt poor and middle class whites. Not saying that White Man's Burden is real, but the perception of discrimination against whites who don't deserve it hurts our cause.

    It's like telling white Americans that they have to pay restitution to blacks for slavery. No matter that their white ancestors may have died fighting to free slaves, or that they themselves may have risked their lives marching for equal rights. No matter that many whites immigrated to America long after slavery ended. They would still have to pay the bill for someone else's errors, and they're considered the "bad guy" just because their skin color matches that of others who have done wrong. Even citizens who aren't Caucasian or African American but one or more of the other myriad of races that make up our country are held responsible if tax dollars are used.

    In Hawaii, restitution in some sense is already being paid. Ethnic Hawaiians (Kanaka maoli) access millions of dollars worth of tax funded programs paid for by all other races. Five white men executed the overthrow of the Queen and they and their airs financially benefited. But instead of going after those rich families, kanaka maoli receive tax money based on an erroneous claim to ownership of land before the overthrow. The common Kanaka maoli were not sovereign, and only one person owned land at that time: The Queen. Aside from that, there still is no reason why every citizen of Hawaii should pay that bill. Filipino immigrant families who work two to three jobs per adult and who live packed into small apartments have to pay that cost. Samoans, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, all the other Pacific Islanders and ethnicity-Americans have to pay for it. Worse, these programs don't even have to be need-based. You can be a so-called "native Hawaiian" sitting in your million dollar home with big screen TVs, SUVs and a swimming pool, and be receiving help from ethnic based programs.

    My point here is that if we continue to ignore the complexities of externally caused limitations many groups face, leave ourselves wide open for critics to point at poor Americans who are denied our help because of their skin color, including whites.

    Flame suit on...

    Much better (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:50:02 PM EST
    that minorities and women get no jobs and get stigmatized.

    Silly comment from you and I will leave it at that. Otherwise I will cuss you out.


    Thanks for not cussin' me out (none / 0) (#63)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:14:16 PM EST
    I want us to promote minorities and women because of course we have to do something to mitigate historical injustices. I just want us to find ways to not be so black and white about it, so to speak. I feel for poor whites primarily because classism is every bit as harmful as the other isms.

    One member of my family is black and the rest of us are white. We were raised in the same household, we come from the same socio-economic class (raised poor), and yet when it was time to go to college, I had to work for four years to be able to afford it, and when I graduated, I faced years of loan repayments. My black skinned relative got a free ride in college with a full scholarship and housing, plus financial support from our family (me included). I don't begrudge the aid she received, especially because I love her and want the best for her. But I very much resent that our society didn't help me. I realize that my skin color is an advantage in my career while she will experience racism, but the discrimination I receive because of my sexual orientation clearly outweighs the benefits of being white. Not to say I'm victimized more than her, just that our programs don't take into account the complexities of problems people face.

    I also have a close friend who is as white as can be with blond hair and blue eyes. But she's 1/16th or 1/32 native American, so she got a free ride in college, in fact, all the way through her Masters. There's no question she'll never be discriminated against because of her skin color, but society has programs in place to help her anyway. Now that's just silly. Again, she's my friend so I'm glad she got help. But it would be much better if we based programs on need, or even made college free with a commitment to give back to society with some alternative service programs that are based on your work and commitment instead of your skin. Poor whites and ethnic minorities would all benefit, and we wouldn't have the situation where ethnicity trumps poverty.

    I think we can do this better than we have so far.


    Once people (none / 0) (#65)
    by eric on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:23:37 PM EST
    recognized the concept of race, then racism was sure to follow.  To fix it, we need to also recognize race.  I don't see any other way.  Do seemingly unfair things happen with our attempts to remedy racism?  Yes.  But I don't think there is a better way, outside of completely erasing the concept of race itself.

    Ensuring that programs address (none / 0) (#70)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:27:36 PM EST
    economic need as well as race is a good step. Recognizing that "white guilt" gets us nowhere (and teaching that) would help too.

    There's no way in today's world that people should get money for being the descendents of those who were the commoners/subjects of a monarchy. Hawaii's King Kamehameha used aggressive terrorism (throwing people off the Pali cliffs) to "unite" the Hawaiian kingdom under his rule. The commoners did not own the land that today's kanaka maoli claim was stolen from them. In fact, the overthrow of the monarchy mostly benefited five specific white men, not the entire white race. Why are all races paying for it? If someone did their ancestors wrong, they ought to be suing the families that still live off that wealth. The same goes for descendants of slave owners or anyone who inherits blood money. Go after those people who actually did you wrong.

    I think we should acknowledge the complexity of power struggles between groups instead of simplifying them into race-based conflicts most of the time. For instance, in sheer numbers, white on white violence surpasses the Holocaust and violence toward African Americans in the last century. Some estimates say 45-66 million people were killed in the USSR between 1917 and 1953 (shot, tortured, starved, frozen or worked to death). That belies the disingenuous and dangerous promotion of the premise that simplifies historical conflicts into white people = historically bad, people of color = hurt by whites. BTW, I think sexism has its own set of problems that the other isms don't have to deal with, especially the actual biological differences between the sexes. But that's another post...

    How many of us grew up with the perception that white Americans were bad because some white people killed native Americans? As if native Americans weren't already killing each other all over the country! Tribalism at work. We'll never even know how many tribes were annihilated by other natives in the past ten thousand years. In fact, ancestors of today's native Americans may even have obliterated the Caucasians who were on this continent before them, so the whole story of "we were here first, you took our land away" can be better described as "groups of people always have conflicts, and those with more technology and resources tend to win."

    Looking back through written history, it's pretty clear that people use a variety of "differences" in their attempts to overpower and oppress other groups. Race is just one of many, but the real problem is that it's human nature to differentiate between our own group and "the other." The power struggles play out with the annihilation or oppression of certain groups, and simplifying conflicts by delineating race as the major factor prevents us from addressing the root problem. In reality, each person should be responsible for their own activities, not be painted as good or bad because of the actions of other people with the same skin color. I don't think race based programs necessarily do that, but I do think that we leave ourselves wide open to criticism when we act like every white person is better of than any person of color. If you think that's true, just try to get a job in state government or as a white attorney in Hawaii...

    In conclusion (sorry for the long post), I hope we can at least recognize that when we pit people of color against poor and middle class men who face their own challenges due to classism, we do a great disservice to equality because we give opponents of social equality a ready made criticism. "Why shouldn't those hard working guys get the jobs the deserve?" We send them right back to the right wing where they'll be coddled and sympathized into voting for the next BushCo. We may jokingly call their dilemma White Man's Burden, but it still is unfair to those individual men. If instead, we took back our country from the super-rich and used our resources to benefit all of the lower and middle class with education, housing and health care, we wouldn't be constantly fighting each other for resources.


    Oops, heirs not airs (none / 0) (#82)
    by MyLeftMind on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:36:14 PM EST
    Gotta keep an eye on that auto-correct feature.

    since you wont do it (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:02:59 AM EST
    allow me to say that Sully is often in a "classic mode of victimology."

    doubly so.  as a gay man and a "conservative" gay man.

    It's called "entitlement". (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Fabian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:31:54 AM EST
    If anything that affects you directly is important and relevant and anything that affects others but not you is whining and playing the victim, that's entitlement.  

    The racism! It burns! n/t (none / 0) (#9)
    by lilburro on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:27:05 AM EST

    No Criticism Of White Privilege Is EVER (none / 0) (#18)
    by tokin librul on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:40:18 AM EST
    tolerated from the oppressed.

    Any mention of it is regarded as a species of betrayal of the very privilege it contradicts.

    Sotomayor will be required to perform an act of groveling self-abasement, an apology to the offended privilege of the White, male elite.

    Sullivan's real fear is (none / 0) (#31)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:22:46 AM EST
    based in worries about how the
    oppressive consciousness of her identity - racial and gender.....deeply entrenched in her generation
    can't be counted on - in his mind.  In other words, his real concern is about Sotomayor being in a class of older blacks and latinos who grew up in the sixties w/religion as a stopgap against the oppression they had to deal with - who may not necessarily be pro-gay rights.  He shoulda just said that instead of inartfully talking about that victim crap.  

    if he has been reading (none / 0) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:30:46 AM EST
    what I have been reading I dont think that is exactly his problem.  she has in the past shown some pretty promising signs of her feelings about the treatment of gays.

    or course its possible Sully and I would see this differently.  we see most things differently.


    personally (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:41:27 AM EST
    I think it may have more to do with his fear of her treatment of conservatives.

    Sounds like a dog whistle (none / 0) (#64)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:18:34 PM EST
    for 'she's an old-school shrill feminist' to me.

    Sotomayor is a baby boomer. (none / 0) (#81)
    by AX10 on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 10:19:42 AM EST
    Conservatives by their horrid nature are opposed to this generation due to their involvement in the "cultural wars" which brought about civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War as well as questioning of absolute authority.

    Just tell me (none / 0) (#35)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:43:36 AM EST
    Does this sort of thing demonstrate a scary obsession with race and ethnicity?

    I am a little (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by eric on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:22:06 PM EST
    puzzled by that.  Growing up Italian-American in New Jersey?  Isn't Italian one of the largest ethnic groups in New Jersey?  How is this a topic of discussion?

    It's pretty much like me putting on a program, "Growing up Swedish-American in Minnesota", isn't it?


    Heh (none / 0) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:27:17 PM EST
    Classic case of victimology to me (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:46:34 AM EST
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite? (none / 0) (#41)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:17:11 PM EST
    Here's a classic example of modern tribalism
    In response to Obama's Cairo speech:

    Feel the Hate

    We give over $3 Million a year to Israel, and who knows how much tax money is lost from tax deductible donations to Israeli organizations, but extremists won't acknowledge that as support.

    "What are we, chopped liver? You don't care about us? ..."  

    Warning: harsh language, racist and homophobic speech, and poorly expressed, drunken anger.


    Whoops, that's Billion, not million (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:25:21 PM EST
    BTW, the rebuttal video in the link above helps a lot.

    Every person or member of a group (none / 0) (#38)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 11:56:29 AM EST
    that feels it is being oppressed or discriminated against would, ideally, like all the effort and energy and focus to be on them; when the focus shifts - as it always does - there is a fear that whatever progress was being made will just stop dead in its tracks.  People fear the undeniably short attention spans that, to some extent, the media have fostered, and get upset when that media finds a new flavor of the week or month to milk for ratings.

    I don't know that it is entirely crazy to feel this way, but I also do not understand why there isn't an understanding that what is important are the principles that underpin all of these efforts, and that the more focus there is on principle, perhaps the less segmented and specialized each group's interests would appear to be.  Shouldn't the benefits of progress made for one particular group almost certainly end up benefiting all groups?

    Sullivan feeds right into the my-situation/struggle-is-worse-than-yours attitude (even when he is not explicitly referencing the plight of the group to which he belongs, it's right there under the surface) that only ends up annoying people, and sounds like whining, which no one wants to hear.

    I don't know, reading Sullivan is a lot like pressing on a bruise to see if it still hurts, which is why I generally stay away from him.

    Yes.... (none / 0) (#69)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:05:17 PM EST
    the principles are important...liberty, justice, and equality under the law for every sovereign individual human being.

    We somehow need to forget about the sub-group we align ourselves with and focus on individual rights...once indivivdual rights are set in stone then it don't matter what sub-group you're in.  No gay rights, no womens rights, no minority rights....just rights for every set of skin and bones.

    Easier said then done when many if not most people base much of their identity on gender, race, sexual preference, religion.  A Catch-22 of sorts.


    Rehabilitation among Progressives (none / 0) (#40)
    by MKS on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:12:19 PM EST
    Yep, I would like to accept Sullivan but he has his flaws.  Or, perhaps, he is by nature reactionary and has a couple of areas where he takes the enlightened side:  e.g., gay rights and torture.  His adoration of Margaret Thatcher does reveal a lot.

    I want you NOT to accept him (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:25:37 PM EST
    He has both racist and sexist tendencies, not to mention bouts of McCarthyism.

    His judgment and knowledge are limited at best.

    He is not smart. He is reactionary and not progressive.

    Why do you want to accept him?


    Sully (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Chgohunt on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:41:01 PM EST
    Thank you BTD!  It is why I continue to appreciate your comments.

    Sully is a bully, plain and simple.  He believes he alone is the only one whose opinion is right and he relies on an ego inflated by serious "white male privilege."  Even his support for issues within the GLBTQ community is guarded, and always self-referential and compromised by an inability to think beyond himself and his cohort of equally privileged men.

    And as others have pointed out previously, Aravosis is a similar piece of work.  Regardless of his sometimes "thoughtful" comments about issues pertinent to the liberal community -- he approaches the world from a misogynistic, conservative, privileged "status."  He sees nothing except what is right in front of his nose, and it remains biased by his failure to recognize a world broader, and more colorful than himself.

    They are both representatives of what is most wrong about conservatives who then try to become broader minded and identify with liberals -- it just is half-assed at best.

    A couple of gay men with serious Mommy issues, I have to say (and I say it as a gay white Jewish man)!


    Why indeed? (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:57:33 PM EST
    Sometimes I think there are a lot of so-called progressives who only believe liberal ideas when they come out of the mouths of conservatives. Like if he thinks it, it must be right.

    There are too many true liberal voices that go unheralded to waste one iota of time listening to Sully.


    Don't forget self-loathing... (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by JoeCHI on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:58:25 PM EST
    also a pompous a$$ (none / 0) (#57)
    by Lil on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:42:29 PM EST
    Incoherent (none / 0) (#68)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:01:16 PM EST
    Sullivan is also flat-out intellectually incoherent.

    Admire his zero-tolerance on torture (none / 0) (#46)
    by lilybart on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:23:36 PM EST
    and I appreciate that he keeps it front and center and never waivers.

    And his late-term abortion story posts were a real service for women. although all the stories were written by men or I guess he wouldn't take them seriously.


    And what did he conclude (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:26:55 PM EST
    from reading those stories?

    What did he learn? How did his views change?

    This is all part of his schtick.

    Have you seen him post reaction to his Bell Curve advocacy?


    True. He still can't support late-term (none / 0) (#54)
    by lilybart on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:35:54 PM EST
    abortion, though all the stories he posted were very clear that this was the most loving choice for the couples involved.

    He is infuriating, yes.


    the Judicial avant-garde (none / 0) (#42)
    by joze46 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:19:07 PM EST
    From my view that five to four vote the Supreme Court ruled on in 2000, Jeb Bush's corruption voting in Florida, is directed proof of the Judicial avant-garde is connected deeply with Bush and company.

    Not just Sully with his Bell Curve contra punctuality with their decisions now known to have filleted and ruptured society in an economic pandemic, a war with no end, modified with the fear mongering of the far right shows us all they are not only out of step with what America needs and wants they are servants of the rich prime one percenters.

    Perhaps you are on target; Sully is just the point person to grease the greed of judicial contra punctuality.

    The realization is that now America knows and the world knows this judicial status quo of the current Supreme Court, they themselves are on public trial, they have ruptured society so much so America is floundering in an incredible deceit of corporate and political connections that wreak of the stench in what Obama said simply is "The little secret is that it is legal". And better yet when Obama said "Business betrayed the worker"...

    America we see it big time lost the greatest manufacturing concern in America's history, GM, we have dysfunctional gigantic insurance company that can't fail but is, and a host of continued bank failures all the while CMBC rants it is O.K. But it is terrible to worse than anything compared to the first depression. Alarming just about six month George Bush said we have a resilient economy. The Bush administration should hang their head in shame for this horrible situation determined by the "Decider" George Bush.

    America has some of the worst rates of child poverty, infant mortality, teen suicide, crime, family breakup, homelessness, and functional illiteracy in the developed world. Huge banking corruption in predator loans by zombie banks all playing havoc on the American citizen this past eight years.

    In addition, many of our inner cities have turned into islands of despair, a frightening number of our public schools are dangerous, and more than two million of our residents are behind bars and growing.

    Of course I don't paint a happy picture, it could change, we just need to listen to our new president. Obama, has the courage and the will to turn this thing around we just need to avoid the obstructionist. The GOP.

    I wrote to him today over this very post. (none / 0) (#44)
    by lilybart on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 12:21:54 PM EST
    And he is a sexist. Almost ALL the stories he posts from readers, whether abortion or cannabis or recession stories, are from MEN.  

    I am one who reads him every day, but then he says Sotomayor is "harping" and that is code for annoying female in Sully world.

    I appreciate so much about him. I value the abortion stories he posted so people understand what late-term abortion IS. But then this happens.....

    I have the same experience of him (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:09:26 PM EST
    Usually I think he's basically nutso and then suddenly something quite sane comes out of his mouth or blazes from his fingertips......followed then by something absurd bordering on socially evil.

    I have come to believe (none / 0) (#73)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:17:56 PM EST
    the sane stuff is just lubricant (pardon the association) for the nutso socially evil stuff.

    And you may be right (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:23:29 PM EST
    Right on torture Wrong on life in general (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:06:53 PM EST
    Strange composition of a man.

    I've Never Paid Any Attention (none / 0) (#79)
    by bob h on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 04:57:09 AM EST
    to Sullivan, because he has always seemed to lack conviction to me.  Someone with his finger in the wind who is just writing for effect.  Without his plum Oxonian accent, he would have no TV career.

    He's an example of the smart, well-educated Briton who comes to the US and promptly loses the plot.  Hitchens is another one.

    Years ago, I wrote a letter to Salon criticizing (none / 0) (#80)
    by esmense on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 09:37:23 AM EST
    Sully's "Liberal Idiots" column for essentially the same thing -- his mind-numbingly routine and predictably sneering assaults on "liberals" for behavior in which he himself indulged. What was surprising was the long and furious defense of Sullivan that David Talbot sent me in response. It was only the first of several emails in an earnest and heated exchange between us on the subject of Sullivan and the concept of and rationale for his column. The offensiveness of Sullivan's sexism, racism, hypocrisy and illogic is exceeded only by the offensiveness of the material support, enthusiastic embrace and doubtful defense he receives from so-called "liberal," as well as "mainstream," media players.