Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Oh to be a Gay Englishmen in America

Andrew Sullivan is one of the few gadflys of US political commentary. An eager immigrant to the USA from Britain in the 1980's he gloried in what he felt was a better gay scene in the US, despite the supposedly worse homophobia of the general population.

He has always incorporated a number of conflicting aspects. A longtime passionate advocate of gay marriage, he's also a serious practicing Roman Catholic. HIV-positive, he once advertised for anal sex with other HIV-positive men, getting a lot of criticism from the gay community. He supported the Iraq War and George Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 and strongly argued against Islamic cultures that persecute gays. But then he shifted away from the GOP and supported Obama in 2008 and 2012. And there's a lot more like that.

Still, such characters are interesting precisely because they can't be pigeonholed. Sullivan has recently entered the fray around transgender issues and to say the least, as a gay man he's not happy with the recent bolshiness of the trans community.

So his recent take on comparing Boris Johnson and Donald Trump is worth reading in The Difference Between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.
First up, he deals with Brexit:
It’s clear to me now — as it should be to any dispassionate observer — that the pro-Remain parliamentary and media elites in all parties have never had any intention of honoring the result of the 2016 referendum. And they still don’t. They are sabotaging that democratic decision simply because they did not like the result, and they’re too chicken to take that case to the polls. So they’re keeping this zombie minority government in power, while preventing it from achieving its primary goal indefinitely. For all this, in my view, they deserve nothing but contempt.
But the following passage is an example of Sullivan's ability to see both sides of an issue as he reveals how strongly he supports the idea of Britain being an EU member - recalling wearing a "Britain in Europe" button to school during the original 1975 referendum - and describes the economic damage he thinks leaving will cause, and that he would vote Remain again if given the choice.
But, call me crazy, I also believe in abiding by the result of legitimate national, democratic votes. Upholding that principle, even when it goes against our own strong wishes and personal vote, is foundational to liberal democracy. And retroactively nullifying by waiting out a referendum result solely because you lost is unacceptable, period. Consistently bullshitting about your own motives thereafter is contemptible. Preventing a new election in order to keep a zombie government in power, even when it is begging to be put out of its misery, is unprecedented. 
Yes, I’ve become radicalized. But anyone who believes in democracy or national sovereignty should be radicalizing every day this anti-democratic stonewalling farce continues.
It would be great if more Remainers were equally honest and decent about this process rather than screwing democratic results while at the same gaslighting people about how the EU and British Remainers are supporting democracy.

He then goes on to write about another political shitstorm, the one across the Atlantic in his adopted nation; Trump and Impeachment.
But while both stories provide a pretty good analysis, it’s marred by two things.
First, Sullivan fails to make the connection between an elite in Britain and Europe that has refused to accept the 2016 referendum Brexit result in Britain – and the same sort of trans-Atlantic elites in the US who have simply refused to accept that Trump won the 2016 Presidential election. The “throw-sand-in-the-gears” approach of the vote losers is also the same in both cases, but Sullivan simply ignores that in the case of the USA.
Second, Sullivan has a history of getting unhinged about “oik” candidates. He really came unglued about the last one who was a precursor  to Trump – Sarah Palin. For months he banged on about how her baby, Trig, was actually her daughter’s. It was a different kind of “birther” conspiracy and he got labelled, "The Trig Truther".

I can't recall any gay man ever being so obsessed with one woman’s vagina!

Finally, there is Sullivan as an example of where politics can lead the human soul. He provides a synopsis of each Democrat candidate, which Kiwiblog boiled down further:
  • Joe Biden: confused, addled, over-briefed, and clearly past his expiration date as a politician.
  • Bernie Sanders: appealing to millennial Marxists who have no memory of the 1970s.
  • Elizabeth Warren: unelectable by pledging to rip everyone off their current private health insurance. A supercilious, smug, know-it-all Massachusetts liberal who reveals contempt for the deplorables.
  • Cory Booker: On paper, he’s perfect. In reality, he comes off as an earnest cyborg from outer space.
  • Kamala Harris:  a feckless, authoritarian, lying opportunist who treats the Constitution as cavalierly as Trump, but without his excuse of total ignorance.
  • Tulsi Gabbard: despised by too many Dems to have a hope.
  • Amy Klobuchar: a ball of nerves and insecurity who seems to shrink upon exposure.
  • Beto O’Rourke: a woke, moronic bigot, who believes we live in a white-supremacist country....Of all the candidates, he’s the only one I actively loathe.
  • Julian Castro: an open-borders globalist panderer dedicated to the vital cause of free abortions for transgender male illegal immigrants.
Ok. So it's a hopeless field of candidates, but then we get this:
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll vote for anyone, including Warren or Sanders or even the vacuous “Beto” to defeat Trump. We proud human scum will not be distracted from the central task at hand.
Wait! Only "Vacuous"?  No, no, no.

You, Mr Sullivan, said that "Beto" was "a woke, moronic bigot" that you "actively loathe". But you would still vote for such a person if the alternative is Trump, who is presumably an unwoke, moronic bigot that you actively loathe? And here I thought you hated all the woke bullshit?

Not to mention the implication that you would vote for Harris, a person you describe as knowingly treating the Constitution "cavalierly". Surely such a person is more dangerous - especially when she's also a "feckless, authoritarian" - than one who acts out of ignorance? She certainly was to Californians she prosecuted.

The whole concept of, vote-for-the-candidate-who-will-push-your-central-political-idea-irrespective-of-anything-else, remains intact, if unmentioned. 

Which is worth remembering the next time you're confronted by some yowling, screaming ethical and moral void trying to pull the usual game of moral and ethical one-upmanship by telling you that you can't possibly vote for a given candidate because "they're the worst person ever (sob)".

As in much of life the answer is, "sez you".


Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Seems like you are confused as he is. The EU have long accepted the fact that the UK was/is going to leave and has negoiated in good faith for nearly four years.
If you knew anything about the saga you would rewrite your piece.

The UK keep moving the goalposts. They have a choice, neither one which is palatable, have an external border on the island of Ireland or move the border to the UK mainland in order to comply with WTO rules.

They will do neither and unless you can offer a solution on the Irish problem any discussion on other legislation or blame shifting is pointless. 80% of NI would vote to remain now but even if it were 80% leave the problem remains the same.

And your solution is?

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Sorry..forgot the bit about where Johnson was cheering and backing Theresa May all those days ago when she stood up in parlaiment and told the house that giving up Northern Ireland to the EU..."was completely unaccaeptable"......when it came to the vote he voted FOR May's deal....Johnson is the unacceptable face of parliament and fortunatly the Westminster system is much more robust than the the US system and power is not devolved into one man.....thank god.

Andrei said...

"The UK keep moving the goalposts."

The UK doesn't ddo anything - it is a country

The chinless upper middle class twits who run the place do not want the people who live there to have their say because these godless wonders think they are better and know better.

The current English ruling class have betrayed their compatriots and even worse their forefathers who died in Italy and on the beaches of Normandy to prevent the formerly Great Britain being dominated Europe - they are in fact traitors.

Lucyna said...

You mean they are "Class Traitors", Andrei?

You really are becoming quite Marxist.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

I must rearrange my history books....for all these years I have been under the impression that the Britain and the Commonwealth were at war with the fascist right wing countries Germany and Italy, most of Europe was conquered by these two.

Fortunately everybody shook hands after the scrum and said never again and started to trade with each other. Seems to have worked for 70 years...why is the Kremlin trying to undermine it I wonder.?

Andrei said...

Trading with each other is good Egbut

Allowing your laws to be written by others is not good.

It was a confidence trick Egbut the British people were told they wre joining a free trade zone, not becoming a province of the Fourth Reich

RosscoWlg said...

No need arrange your books Eggie, Europe of course has been trading with itself before the time of Stonehenge.

WW2 was just a mere interruption of normal transmission, with your so called fascists a mere pimple in time.

Trade was achieved for millennia, all of course with out the current crop of Euro Socialists and Crypto Communists tying to interfere with their version of the rules.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


Nailed it!

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Perhaps Andrei or Adolf might tell us about just ONE law that has ben legislated through parliament that was forced on the UK by the EU.....

C'mon chaps, just one ......shouldn't be to hard for clever clogs like you.

Anonymous said...

So Egbut, are you suggesting the EU commissioners have no input in how things are done in the UK?


Adolf Fiinkensein said...


Stop trying to be a clever clogs.

Britain is awash with EU regulations which are not legislated by parliament.

The most notorious regulation is the one which requires Poms to Euronate instead of spending a penny.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Para.....the EU is a parlaimentry democracy, every one has input into everthing, that's how consencus on laws are reached.

I'm taking your question as a serious attempt to underdstand the subject and not just a throw away remark......

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Still waiting.......