Sullivan rattles the long and the short!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

The breakdown of rational animals:
We agree with the start of Andrew Sullivan's latest essay for New York magazine. He praises Rep. Ilhan Omar, and the progressive moment more broadly:
SULLIVAN (2/15/19): Watching Congresswoman Ilhan Omar this past week has been, shall we say, illuminating. In some ways, I find myself inspired. Finally in 2019, we have one of two Muslim women in the U.S. Congress, proudly wearing a hijab, and immediately destroying any stupid stereotypes of Muslim women as subservient or silent. We have a seemingly fearless and often charming woman of color with the temerity to interrogate the overwhelmingly white and male foreign policy blob in the heart of our political system. We have a refugee from Somalia as a young congresswoman, a hard-left analogue to the great Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

This, if you need reminding, is America in 2019. Whatever the social-justice left believes about our systemic oppression and whatever the Trump right believes about the core ethnic identity of a lost America, this is the most successful, multicultural, multiracial democratic experiment in the history of humankind. Omar is part of it. If her success doesn’t make you proud of America, in this broad and nonideological sense, there’s something critical you don’t understand about this country, and why so many of us immigrants love it so.

[...]

So it seems to me there is a massive opportunity for the left now across the Western world. Look at how popular a 70 percent top rate is—in America! The left is correct to sense a huge opportunity and they are right, I think, to be bold...The economic case for rebalancing capitalism is more persuasive than at any moment in my lifetime, as is the profound challenge of tackling our climate catastrophe.
In many ways, Sully's inspired. But he quickly moves on to this:
SULLIVAN (continuing directly): But the full package from the contemporary radicalized left in both the U.K. and U.S. brings with it far more troubling ideas. Hostility to the policies of the state of Israel—a perfectly legitimate position—morphs swiftly into ugly anti-Semitic tropes. A passion for social justice curdles into attacks on free speech or degenerates into broad denunciations of “whiteness.” Postmodern critical gender theory denies any meaningful natural differences between men and women, and casts an entire sex as inherently problematic. Social-media frenzies carelessly destroy the lives and careers of individuals who transgress orthodoxies. Important work combating sexual harassment and abuse is hurt by reckless accusations and McCarthyite campaigns...

Now look at Omar. She didn’t just push back on AIPAC’s distortion of American foreign policy, she reiterated a classic anti-Semitic trope that American Jews buy influence, period. She didn’t just confront Elliott Abrams, she refused to let him answer anything but loaded “yes” or “no” responses. And last week, for good measure, she demanded an investigation into the decision by USA Powerlifting to ban transgender women from competing in women’s powerlifting contests, because of the unfair advantage that developing a male body for most of your life will give you in lifting weights. The organization instituted the ban after a young trans woman, JayCee Cooper, smashed the state record for women’s bench press in Minnesota, beating her nearest female rival by a mile, only a year after joining the sport.
Sully goes on and on from there, listing the various ways our rational instinct is inclined to break down—even Over Here in this, the most brilliant and the most rational or all known political tribes.

We humans! Our capacity for gong-show adherence to tribal dogma typically knows no bounds. We love to go out and start killing the pigs. If you think you support progressive values, you need to confront this embarrassing fact about our own fallible tribe and our own human nature.

We rarely miss the chance to be wrong. We stampede after gossip and fictions. We love our loathing of Them.

Except in technological pursuits, we rational animals just aren't very sharp! Increasingly, corporate news orgs and career pseudo-liberals are betting money on the idea that we liberals don't understand that fact—on the idea that we'll be willing to follow the ways of the Fox News Channel pretty much all the way down.

We're constantly spoon-fed corporate piddle at our big liberal news orgs. Big money is wagered on the idea that we the liberals and we the progressives won't be able to see through the hustles—that We will love our versions of Hannity as much as They love theirs.

Who hasn't Rachel ever discussed all the looting in American health care? Why is it always who might be going to jail, just over and over and over?

Do you like tribal porridge all night long? We're asking, but we all must decide—and the answer will likely be yes.

28 comments:

  1. That "Sully" guy sounds like the perfect embodiment of a liberal zombie: race-mongering liberal neocon scumbag.

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    Replies
    1. Funny. The rest of us have known him as a conservative Republican for decades.

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    2. Andrew Sullivan was a huge mainstream media cheerleader for the Iraq War. But now, Somerby is quoting him approvingly as if that never happened. Meanwhile, Brian Williams will never be exonerated for his causing of that war.

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    3. 5:32

      By your logic, one can never agree with a statement made by someone who supported the Iraq war. Support of the Iraq war prohibits one from making sensible claims.

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    4. The purists never forgave Hillary and she didn't even support the war.

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  2. “Sully goes on and on from there, listing the various ways our rational instinct is inclined to break down—even Over Here in this, the most brilliant and the most rational or all known political tribes.”

    And, let’s be clear here, Bob, you agree with Sullivan. Is that right? We are all happy to know that certainly. But perhaps there is the little matter of whether Sullivan is actually correct, and more importantly, whether Andrew Sullivan’s take on something justifies the view that Omar is “adhering to tribal dogma” at all, or whether her stance shows how “our tribe” adhere to “gossip and fiction” or a “breakdown of rationality.”

    Of course, in the matter of whether Sullivan is actually correct or not, I recall that that consideration is no longer of any importance to Bob Somerby. As with Harari, so with Sullivan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4:54, perhaps he’s asking you to make your own judgments, and not making his post a personal attack against you, which you seem to do.

      I think what was most striking is that Sullivan praised Ilhan Omar in his first foray, then slammed her hard in the next, most dishonestly at that.

      “Sully” is advising Democrats, in this case, to not embrace the “crazy” ideas of the New Green Deal which, amongst others, includes wanting to exclude nuclear power “…as an option for tackling the climate crisis in the Green New Deal…”

      Sorry, that just doesn’t seem crazy to me. There was a lot more with which I disagree in Sullivan’s article. Bob made his case, in what may seem an inscrutable way. I think it’s Sullivan who’s being tribal here, Establishment Democrat that he is.

      Leroy

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    2. Sullivan is a conservative, not a Democrat.

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  3. “We will love our versions of Hannity as much as They love theirs.”

    Please don’t speak for Them, Bob. It’s crass and presumptuous.

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  4. According to Somerby via Sullivan, apparently Rep. Omar’s “troublesome behavior” is connected to and perhaps dictated by “corporate news orgs.”

    Good to know she is just one more brainwashed nincompoop.

    If she only had Bob Somerby’s mad skilz as progressive spokesman, liberal vote-getter, and tone policeman, we would now be living in a progressive paradise.

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  5. “She didn’t just push back on AIPAC’s distortion of American foreign policy, she reiterated a classic anti-Semitic trope that American Jews buy influence, period.”

    That is simply false.

    But even assuming it isn’t, anti-Semitism is now a tribal dogma of liberals? That’s interesting, because Omar was attacked by Republicans who were “outraged” at her supposed anti-Semitism, because for them, any criticism of Israel is automatically criticism of Jews, and hence anti-Semitic, but many Democrats (=“liberals” perhaps?) also criticized her. Their criticism was more about the perception that her tweet was anti-Semitic. It seems that the Democratic response exhibited the tribal dogma, not Omar’s tweet.

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  6. “She didn’t just confront Elliott Abrams, she refused to let him answer anything but loaded “yes” or “no” responses.”

    Heaven forfend. Poor Mr. Abrams. Can a war criminal not be treated with a little TLC by a tribal progressive?

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  7. The hateful anti-Semite who married her brother is the new face of the Democrat party.

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    Replies
    1. Fascinating. “Anti-Semite” is now the “R-word” for the Right.

      There should be no more discussion of the PC left.

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  8. >We have a seemingly fearless and often charming woman of color with the temerity to interrogate the overwhelmingly white and male foreign policy blob in the heart of our political system.

    That's rich. Our foreign policy over the last 30 is first and foremost JEWISH. It is wholly designed for the benefit of jews. Post 9/11, we invaded and destroyed two nations, just as outlined in the PNAC policy. We went on to foment a revolution in Egypt, overthrow the government in Lybia, and support terrorist revolutionaries in Syria -all for the benefit of Israel.

    Furthermore, the constant attacks in the media are nothing more than the continuation of jewish attacks on all forms of white identity, as is the phenomenon of mass nonwhinon immigration.

    Ohmar's comments were not antisemitic, just counter-semitic. Anyone who resists jewish policy in any sort of effective manner is immediately branded antisemitic; it's just a tool these sickening rats use to cynically shut down criticism. See Finkelstein's "The Holocaust Industry."

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