Another Undecided Decides


Following in the footsteps of Steve Chapman, Andrew Sullivan—who didn't have a candidate when Reason surveyed him earlier in the campaign—has gotten off the fence and declared his presidential preference: John Kerry.

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  1. You’re kidding right? Anyone who has been reading Sullivan even halfheartedly as of late knew this was a done deal a long time ago. Considering he’s basically said “I ain’t voting for Bush” a few months back what was he mulling over? Kerry vs. Inanimate Carbon Rod?

  2. Nathan,

    Maybe he was thinking of voting for Nader?

    I have to say that this quite some turn around from 2003.

  3. Jason,

    No chance in hell. Sullivan’s not the “vote third party” type. It was either Bush, Kerry or none of the above, and as much pro-Kerry his writing has been over the last few months the only thing that could have possibly moved him over to the “none of the above” category would have been if Kerry came out for shooting homosexuals.

  4. Nathan & Jason:

    Let’s not forget that he can’t actually vote.

  5. Gee, what a surprise. Who could possibly have seen that one coming?

    Seriously, as soon as Bush made favorable mention of the FMA, Sully’s endorsement of Kerry was inevitable.

  6. Nathan,

    “Considering he’s basically said “I ain’t voting for Bush” a few months back what was he mulling over?”

    Not voting? Voting fot Kerry but not endorsing anyone?

    I think Sullivan spent a lot of time growing to hate George Bush, and suddenly decided he was going to vote for Kerry.

    I think that’s happening a lot lately.

  7. Danimal,

    True enough.

  8. Geez, really? If I learned anything this election its how flakey the self-proclaimed libertarian cognoscenti really are.

  9. Well, no matter who wins I’ll be able to see someone in cyber-sackcloth here at Hit n’ Run. But who will it be? Dan or Joe? 🙂

    I still think Bush will win it by a nose.

  10. I think Sullivan spent a lot of time growing to hate George Bush, and suddenly decided he was going to vote for Kerry.

    Suddenly? …. Riiiiiiight. I read Sullivan daily and his Kerry endorsement was about as unexpected as the NY Times’. He’s been (overtly) endorsing him with his coverage now for about two months (not to mention he had written an article about 6 months ago for a gay magazine basically saying he wanted Bush out of the Whitehouse). Todays announcement is like watching your wife’s abdomen grown for nine months and then she “surprises” you with the news she’s pregnant.

  11. Oh don’t foget Hitchens!

  12. I think Sullivan spent a lot of time growing to hate George Bush, and suddenly decided he was going to vote for Kerry.

    I think if you’d actually spent any time reading Andrew Sullivan, you’d have noticed he’s not actually voting because he’s not an American.

    Nathan’s right; it’s been obvious for quite some time that Sullivan was going to come out for Kerry. You’re correct that the process was gradual, but it ended months ago.

  13. Sullivan an undecided? ROTFL.

  14. joe said:

    “I think Sullivan spent a lot of time growing to hate George Bush, and suddenly decided he was going to vote for Kerry.”

    Andrew Sullivan said:

    “I should reiterate: I do not hate this president. I admire him in many ways–his tenacity, his vision of democracy, his humor, his faith.”

  15. Jumped the shark.

  16. Seriously, as soon as Bush made favorable mention of the FMA, Sully’s endorsement of Kerry was inevitable.M/i>

    Didn’t Kerry also say he supported the FMA? Or did he support it before he opposed it? Or was that he opposed it before he supported it?

  17. R.C. Dean,

    Kerry has always – to my knowledge – opposed the FMA. Now, maybe his position flip-flopped on DOMA, but that’s a different piece of legislation. And of course Kerry’s actions on the matter really have nothing to do with Bush’s reprehensible bigotry.

  18. “I think if you’d actually spent any time reading Andrew Sullivan, you’d have noticed he’s not actually voting because he’s not an American.”

    Sullivan has been an American citizen for years.

    I really thought he was going to endorse “None of the above,” because he’s been denouncing Kerry for his weak-kneed liberal dovishness for months, even while he’s been growing increasingly disenchanted (maybe “hate” was too strong a word) with Bush.

    Lot of righties holding their noses this election, methinks.

  19. I can hear all those good old boys in America’s heartland right now…….”gee, Andrew sez to vote for Kerry-I’ve gotta get into town to change my registration, hope I’m not too late….I’d sure hate it if his gay readers couldn’t get married….hell, I don’t even care if the terrorist blow up Sioux City-this is way more important!”

  20. Sullivan is not an American citizen.

    And no, this isn’t really a surprise. But it’s a turnaround from his last statement on the topic, and his last statement on the topic was in the pages of Reason, and We Update Our Stories.

  21. It comes down to this:

    Kerry voters want a president who knows what “boots on the ground” really means.
    Bush voters believe having protected Texas from the Viet Cong is a credible service record.

    Kerry voters prefer a thought process over acting on reflex.
    Bush voters believe in consistency, foolish or otherwise.

    Kerry voters believe that Iraq is George Bush’s White Whale.
    Bush voters don’t understand the literary reference.

  22. clarityiniowa….you’ve been hittin’ the kool-aid again, havn’t you?

  23. I calls ’em as I sees ’em, gawdamman. I’d love to vote third-party, but here in Iowa, we don’t fart into the wind.

  24. clarityiniowa,

    Are you being facetious, or do you really believe that? If the latter, your observations are quite astute. Keep up the good work. 😉

  25. I think the Red Sox are going to finish off the Cardinals tonight in Game 4.

    Wait, what the hell are you people outside of New England talking about?

  26. Wellfellow – In answer to your question, I do believe in the observations I made, and I have voted for Kerry. My folks are yellow-doggers. I tend to vote very independently. But, I have already cast my absentee ballot and voted a straight Democratic party ticket for the first time in my life. Reason being, I think W. and his neocon cadre are the biggest threat to my personal liberty, and yours, since J. Edgar Hoover and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. But, if Bush does win, I’d at least like to see a divided Congress. I am a big fan of gridlock.

    Plus, I have met Kerry personally on a number of occasions, thanks to my father who worked in his primary campaign here in Iowa, and have had actual conversations with him about his policies and his voting record in the Senate. He makes more sense when you hear more than soundbites and 30 second ads.

    Would I like to vote Libertarian? Mmm, well, yes and no. Too many Libs are closeted, or not so closeted, anarchists, and I do believe limited government is a guarantor of freedom, not its enemy.

  27. clarityiniowa: The reflexive dismissal of all Bush voters as a bunch of mouth-breathing morons is one of the more disabling blinders currently being worn by partisan Democrats. If the Dems hope to regain the White House one of these days, they might want to calm down a little and figure out why millions of unenthusiastic voters have opted for Bush as the lesser of two evils. Not all of these voters are complete idiots.

  28. Andrew Sullivan decided to endorse Kerry the day Bush came out against gay marriage. Oddly enough, he seems to have been the last person to know this. I don’t mean to belittle his opinions or his sexuality by saying this. While I too support the right of gays to marry, I understand that as a heterosexual there’s a certain visceral, personal level where this debate is never going to hit me in the way that it hits gays. But the fact is, Sullivan’s previous sincere policy disagreements with the administration went to 11 from that day forward. What on Monday had been understandable difficulties in Iraq by Friday became unforgivable blunders. Same goes for virtually any other issue, culminating in slamming Bush for not taking personal responsibility over flu vaccine shortages. At that point I decided things were getting ridiculous. A cool weighing of the facts was giving way to emotional hysteria with increasing frequency. Sadly, it is therefore with decreasing frequency that the commentator I once admired for being one of the strongest open-minded voices in a sea of partisan zombies makes his appearance. Not to say the zombies have him; Sullivan has earned the right a hundred times over not to be lumped in with Begala/Coulter, et al. by those of us who think he’s made a bad call this time, but his mind seems far less open than it once did.
    It’s not even his endorsement of Kerry per se that bothers me, it’s the fact that he (and many other Kerry supporters) cite the many mistakes Bush has made in Iraq, but nobody including Kerry himself has been able to tell me WHAT THE HELL KERRY IS GOING TO DO BETTER, besides not being Bush. Seriously. Anything. If the best you have to offer is “I’m going to do better” or “I would have done almost everything differently” (such as….) or “France will like us again, and that’s going to fix Iraq because, um..”, then you aren’t getting my vote. The dirty little non-secret is that most of the European nations who opposed the war had their hands deep in Saddam’s pocket, so I take their opposition as a badge of honor. The stain of blood money is on their hands, not frigging Halliburton’s. Furthermore, can we please stop tap dancing around the fact that France, Germany, and Russia are categorically opposd to ANY exercise of American power (except when it’s saving their lives and/or solving problems they don’t want to have to step up and deal with themselves, like genocide in the EU’s backyard), so their opposition had a hell of a lot more to do with them than anything George Bush did/didn’t do. Of course I want the US to have all the allies it can get, but it scares me that John Kerry views the diplomatic situation in this war as if the ground zero was still the Fulda Gap instead of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, and Manhattan. Kerry is also fantastic at pointing out where we’ve made mistakes six months after the fact, and often six months after he endorsed those same mistakes. Unfortunately, monday morning quarterbacking doesn’t mean jack shit. Sullivan himself pointed out several days ago that while Kerry now slams the “outsourcing” of the Tora Bora assualt, he supported it at the time. But somehow between this week and last year, Sullivan took the argument that if Kerry is just a “me too” to Bush’s policies, why should he get the job, and reversed it into “why shouldn’t he?” Why? Because the actions of the guy who had the political guts to do what everyone knew needed to be done, at enormous cost to his own popularity, counts a hell of a lot more than the guy who comes along after the fact, cherry picks the popular results and just SAYS that’s what he would have done, while just SAYING that none of the unpopular mistakes would have been made, especially if said guy was in favor of those “mistakes” WHEN THE CALL HAD TO BE MADE. Kerry cannot be trusted to stick with this war through the rough times, and I’m at a complete loss as to how intelligent people who finally heard him say what they wanted to hear with stance #15 can convince themselves that’s the one he’ll go with if elected. His campaign strategy on Iraq is no different in principle than if he had handed out a sheet of conflicting position statements and said “If you can find one you like on there, then vote for me!”
    If my choice is between (A) a guy who wakes up every morning thinking about how to kill terrorists and bring a transforming democracy to the Middle East, but has made a lot of forseeable and unforseeable mistakes or (B) A guy whose statements suggest that he’d rather have us stay home and wait for the next 9/11 if attacking the Islamofascists and murderous dictators means he must lose the suck-up approval of our European betters who are being bribed to high heaven by aforementioned dictators, I’m going with A.
    Bush’s missteps in Iraq no more make Kerry a better choice than the Yankees blowing the playoffs means I am therefore a better ballplayer than any of them. In the end, that’s all this comes down to.
    History judges war leaders by the war’s eventual outcomes, not by every step along the way. With that in mind, I hope that someday (and I’m still young) I’ll be able to read in a history book that the removal of Saddam Hussein made way for a rough but eventually successful road to democracy in Iraq that inspired the people of the Muslim world to hold their own leaders accountable, which lead to a modernization and democratization of the culture and choked out the Islamofascist movement. If John Kerry becomes president, I fear that I will read about America’s millitary withdrawl from the world, which allowed the madmen to run rampant. Iran, North Korea, and the Islamofascists no longer gave any thought to America’s threats, as President Kerry only authorized threatening to use force against them, not actually using it. I fear I will read how their power grew until a very real darkness covered much of the world, where the concentration camps of Kim Jong Il and the anti-gay/woman/music/book/Jewish/Christian/Buddhist/Hindu/anything non-Wahabbi pogroms of the Taliban operated openly and without fear from an America that had become more sophisticated and European in it’s decision that it could stand by and watch those things happen, as long as it was happening over there. I fear the day when our reliance on port security and paperwork will not protect us from the blackmail of a North Korean ballistic missile, or from a man who has a nuke in his hand and Allah’s voice in his head.
    This is all a very real scenario, and it’s exactly what’s going to happen if the leader of the one nation on Earth that can stop this is a man who puts the approval of others on a higher level than what is being approved. Andrew Sullivan used to know this. He still does. Unfortunately, I think he and many others have convinced themselves, out of distaste for the very imperfect president that is George Bush, that John Kerry will not be such a leader. I fear that they are wrong.

  29. Goro,

    My dismissal isn’t at all reflexive. It is the product of rubbing elbows with so many so desperate to be led that they will enthusiastically follow even the most irrational course – as long as their leader does not waver from it. This most Nixonian of administrations, this naked Emperor, needs to be taken down and his followers encouraged to think for themselves.

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