Showing posts with label Andrew Sullivan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andrew Sullivan. Show all posts

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sully Weighs In

Andrew Sullivan has weighed in on the Phil Robertson flap with his usual fantastic insight. This is a fascinating glimpse into the fundamentalist mind.

You’ll notice that, for the fundamentalist, all sin – when it comes down to it - starts with sex. This sexual obsession, as the Pope has rightly diagnosed it, is a mark of neurotic fundamentalism in Islam and Judaism as well as Christianity. And if all sin is rooted in sex, then the homosexual becomes the most depraved and evil individual in the cosmos. So you get this classic statement about sin: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.”

The reason for this has to do with their own hangups about sex. They are actually the ones obsessed with it, not the ones with which they act as God's personal judges. It makes sense when you think about it because without the threat of hellfire they would lose control of themselves and do God knows what.

This emphasis is absolutely not orthodox Christianity. There is nothing primary about sexual sin as such in Christian doctrine. It sure can be powerfully sinful – but it’s not where sin starts. And to posit gay people as the true source of all moral corruption is to use eliminationist rhetoric and demonizing logic to soften up a small minority of people for exclusion, marginalization and, at some point, violence. 

Indeed. To gauge whether or not this is a valid point, simply read the Bible. Compare what sort of emphasis is given to sex as opposed to helping out your fellow man or loving one another despite human failings. 

He simply assumes that all men must be heterosexual, and that making themselves have sex with another man must be so horrifying it mystifies him. It isn’t logical if it were a choice for a straight guy. But it isn’t. All we’re seeing here is the effect of cultural isolation. The only thing I find objectionable about it – and it is objectionable – is the reduction of gay people and our relationships to sex acts. Mr Robertson would not be happy – indeed, rightly be extremely offended – if I reduced his entire family life and marriage to sex with a vagina.

For the fundamentalist, being gay is all about the sex because that's what they are obsessed with...likely because they themselves desire it so much in some way or another. I wonder how many of them have ever thought about the gay people who live and love together in many other ways besides sex. They probably aren't friends with any gay people so, as is usually the case, they are simply ignorant.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Seven Years

I wonder if Republicans will look back on this week and note that this was the beginning of the end of their party. It is truly something to behold as one of the two major parties in this country commits ritual suicide. They haven't gotten over the fact that the Affordable Care Act is law. They haven't gotten over the fact that they lost the election of 2012. They haven't gotten over the fact that Barack Obama is the president. In short, they are whiny babies throwing an all out temper tantrum.

The reaction has been swift.

Andrew Sullivan...

How does one party that has lost two presidential elections and a Supreme Court case – as well as two Senate elections - think it has the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal healthcare now? I see no quid pro quo even. Just pure blackmail, resting on understandable and predictable public concern whenever a major reform is enacted. But what has to be resisted is any idea that this is government or politics as usual. It is an attack on the governance and the constitutional order of the United States.

An attack? Well, it is amusing that Republicans are behaving in a more obstinate fashion than the Iranian president. American Taliban indeed.

Thomas Friedman

“Give me the money and nobody gets hurt.” How did we get here? First, by taking gerrymandering to a new level. The political analyst Charlie Cook, writing in The National Journal on March 16, noted that the 2010 election gave Republican state legislatures around the country unprecedented power to redraw political boundaries, which they used to create even more “safe, lily-white” Republican strongholds that are, in effect, an “alternative universe” to the country’s diverse reality.

An alternate in a bubble? Well, they are going to have to learn the hard way, I guess. I don't think they realize what's going to happen in 2014 now that they have shut down the government. It might be even worse if they let the government default in a few weeks. Speaking of which, Henry Aaron has a great solution for that problem.

Obama should ignore the debt ceiling

The debt ceiling is the fiscal equivalent of the human appendix — a law with no discoverable purpose. It is one law too many. Once Congress has set tax rates and spending levels, it has effectively said what it wants the debt to be. If Congress leaves the debt ceiling at a level inconsistent with duly enacted spending and tax laws, the president has no choice but to ignore it.

Indeed. Our country functioned just fine without it up until 1917. If the moonbats want to fuck around over the debt ceiling again, I say the president should just ignore it and pay our bills. That's his job and Congress has already given him parameters with which to work. Further, the Constitution guarantees that "the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." Not surprising that the Right has trouble remembering that there is a Fourteenth Amendment.

I'm setting the clock for today and predicitng that the GOP has seven years of life left in it. They are going to lose more seats in 2014, lose in a big way in 2016, lose more seats in 2018, and, when the new census is taken in 2020 and we get out of the gerrymandering boondoggle, it will all be over.

Unless, of course, they grow up and change. How likely is that?

Oh, and how many hits did get yesterday?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

28 Days

With the election exactly four weeks away, I thought it appropriate to sit back and see where things stand currently.

Now that Mitt Romney is just barely to the right of Barack Obama, the president and his re-election team have a real problem. The Etch-E-Sketch idea is actually working because many people didn't tune into the election until the debates. To them, Romney is a very reasonable man who looks and acts like a president. He's not the guy who said he was a "severe conservative," wants to cut taxes for the rich, and thinks that society is made up of makers and takers (copyright Ayn Rand). They weren't paying attention then. He is, in fact, a moderate.

The president's re-election is now more difficult because of this new (times four) Mitt Romney (who I happen to think is who he has been all along. Politico agrees). So, Barack Obama and his team need to do two things in the next four weeks and they need to do them well otherwise they might lose.

The first thing they have to do is get people to vote. If everyone voted who supports the president, the only state that Romney wins that the president won in 2008 is Indiana. But voter enthusiasm is lower on the D side than the R side so that makes the race tighter. In short, they need to get out the vote. Spending the next four weeks getting people registered to vote would be time well spent. Spending time talking about Big Bird  would not be time well spent.

The second thing the president has to do is vigorously defend his record in the next two debates, at rallies, and in the media. His team needs to stop talking about the last debate and focus on the next two. Personally, I don't think the Biden-Ryan debate is going to matter much because people want to hear from the president again, not a surrogate. In fact, the whole surrogate thing has to stop. No one can make his case for him anymore...the president has to nut up and do it himself.

He has a lot of great things to talk about so it should be easy. Our country is heading in the right direction on the economy with the unemployment number falling and jobs being added every month. His foreign policies have been specific (unlike Governor Romney) and largely successful. He needs to brag about them while illustrating that Mitt Romney's are a combination of dangerous naivete and a bizarre time warp to 20th century realism. And he really needs to pin Romney down on the economy with the details because Mitt doesn't have any.

As for folks like Andrew Sullivan, they need to leave the drama queen bit behind and start being helpful. The continued hand wringing over a debate now one week ago is getting very old. I realize that the art of performance is very important to media types like Sully but his posts are becoming so shrill it's hard for me to read them anymore. Personally, I think it's because his personal reputation is on the line after his Newsweek story about the president being the Democrat's Ronald Reagan and now he's worried that he might look foolish. Well, he's looking foolish now saying that the election is over with a full month left until people vote.

There are many folks in the political media that simply need to take a fucking chill pill. The new Pew Poll that shows Romney up 4 points nationally makes perfect sense when you consider that many people that took that poll identified as Republican. Unlike that whiners on the Right who foamed at the mouth about "skewed polls," people on the left (and everyone really) need to realize that this is simply how sampling works in some of these polls so that's why the numbers are weighed that way.

And, honestly, the national tracking polls are meaningless at this point as the 6-8 swing state polls hold more obvious insight.

Overall, I've noticed a somewhat muted response from the far right on the new, new, new, new Mitt Romney which I find to be fascinating. Are they being quiet because they don't want to jinx him? Are they afraid that he really is going to turn out to be a moderate? Or do they think he's just fooling everyone and the severe conservative will pop up if he wins?

Not that I want this to happen but I think it would be very interesting if Romney won the election and pretty much did the same things that President Obama is doing. After all, that's more or less what he said he would do in the first debate. Is this what the Right really wants?