Toast Or Roast: Jack Gillis

Gillis gets out his flamethrower:

While many ordinary gentlemen respect and admire Andrew Sullivan, despite occasional or even regular disagreements, I don't. I despise the man--ironically, I despise him more and more as his views become more and more in accord with my own. [...]

The only thing that's changed between 1993 and 2009 is Andrew Sullivan's mind, but he can't seem to accept that. Which is, in the end, why I find Sullivan so genuinely despicable. He suffers from a profound and incorrigible solipsism. In Sullivan's worldview, the one true and enduring doctrine, the one First Principle, is always and only .... Andrew Sullivan's mind. It can never be that, say, conservatism maintains certain characteristics and an appeal to certain populations across generations while Sullivan has changed. No, it must be Sullivan who is fixed in the firmament while conservatism changes. Even though, as he himself seems to now dimly acknowledge, almost all the characteristics he now deplores were both present and prominent all the time he was perfectly comfortable in the conservative movement. [...]

Sullivan has a reputation for honesty that is both deserved and undeserved. It's deserved in this sense. Once you realize that he lacks foundation, and that his opinion is merely the disconnected expression of likes and dislikes, you can see that he is honest about that. His affection for the Pet Shop Boys and his abhorrence of torture are both sincerely held. But where the reputation is undeserved is in the illusion of ideological continuity which he creates for himself. He thinks the following makes sense. Invading Palin's privacy: Good. Invading Sullivan's privacy: Bad. Betsy McCaughey's lies about Hillarycare: Good. Betsy McCaughey's lies about Obamacare: Bad. Ignorant interventionism in the 1980s: Good. Ignorant interventionism now: Bad. Provincial conservatives hating the "decadent left": Good. Provincial conservatives hating Blacks: Well, not so good but maybe Blacks are stupid. Provincial conservatives hating homosexuals: Bad.

Read Jack at Newsvine.