Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Hamlet's Performance Falls Flat

Andrew "Hamlet" Sullivan, after months of portraying a man wrestling with himself over a monumental decision, finally endorsed John Kerry today (hat tip, Vodkapundit), an endorsement as anxiously awaited as that of the New York Times. Truly one wonders if even Sullivan thinks he was fooling anyone by his "indecision" at this point.

I don't read Andrew Sullivan much anymore, though unlike others I don't consign him to some fiery sphere of treason in the blogosphere. I never thought he was much more than a lukewarm supporter of president Bush in the first place, no matter how hyperbolic his supporting rhetoric became.

My most extensive familiarity with Sullivan's writing came in an extended series of articles back and forth between himself and Stanley Kurtz over the gay marriage issue (the most intelligent discussion of that matter anywhere in media in my opinion, with Jonathan Rauch occasionally joining in on Sullivan's side - here's a link to just one article in it, but it's worth your time to track down them all). It became clear to me over the course of that debate that there was literally nothing Sullivan would not sacrifice for the sake of this issue - including intellectual honesty. He began that series still claiming he was a loyal Catholic, with mere technical difficulties which he hoped to reconcile wih the Church. Yet the Church's position on that issue had not wavered since the days of Saint Paul (the Biblical one, not the Fraters Libertas one). When his rhetoric and media campaign failed to budge the Church even a bit, he wrote a series of fiery missives condeming the Church he claimed to be so faithful to. To anyone familiar with the theology and canon law on the matter, it was a piece of brilliant propaganda, but thoroughly dishonest. And Sullivan, no dummy, surely knew this at the time.

Sullivan is still a skilled and often interesting writer, and I still do read him on occasion. But I also know that he writes to advocate and manipulate. His pattern of feigning to weigh the issue of supporting the president, when everyone else knew the gay marriage issue had already decided it for him, is just another example.

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