Tag: Andrew Sullivan

The Trials of Judge Kavanaugh

Sunday, 30 September, 2018

Andrew Sullivan nails it in the ‘Daily Intelligencer’ section of New York Magazine with “If everything were fair game in public life, none of us would survive.” Snippet:

To the extent that the hearing went beyond the specifics of Ford’s allegations and sought to humiliate and discredit Kavanaugh for who he was as a teenager nearly four decades ago (a dynamic that was quite pronounced in some Democratic questioning of the nominee), it was deeply concerning. When public life means the ransacking of people’s private lives even when they were in high school, we are circling a deeply illiberal drain. A civilized society observes a distinction between public and private, and this distinction is integral to individual freedom. Such a distinction was anathema in old-school monarchies when the king could arbitrarily arrest, jail, or execute you at will, for private behavior or thoughts. These lines are also blurred in authoritarian regimes, where the power of the government knows few limits in monitoring a person’s home or private affairs or correspondence or tax returns or texts. These boundaries definitionally can’t exist in theocracies, where the state is interested as much in punishing and exposing sin, as in preventing crime. The Iranian and Saudi governments — like the early modern monarchies — seek not only to control your body, but also to look into your soul. They know that everyone has a dark side, and this dark side can be exposed in order to destroy people. All you need is an accusation.

The Founders were obsessed with this. They realized how precious privacy is, how it protects you not just from the government but from your neighbors and your peers. They carved out a private space that was sacrosanct and a public space which insisted on a strict presumption of innocence, until a speedy and fair trial. Whether you were a good husband or son or wife or daughter, whether you had a temper, or could be cruel, or had various sexual fantasies, whether you were a believer, or a sinner: this kind of thing was rendered off-limits in the public world. The family, the home, and the bedroom were, yes, safe places. If everything were fair game in public life, the logic ran, none of us would survive.

Having dug an “illiberal drain”, the Democrats will have to live with the stench.


It’s Time to Resist the Excesses of #MeToo

Sunday, 14 January, 2018 0 Comments

Well, so says Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine. What spurred his “resistance” is the open letter signed last week by a hundred French women who don’t regard themselves as helpless victims of men. Sullivan’s money quote: “A woman can, in the same day, lead a professional team and enjoy being the sexual object of a man, without being a ‘slut’, nor a cheap accomplice of the patriarchy.”

Sullivan then turns his attention to Moira Donegan, the infamous creator of the infamous “Shitty Media Men” list and he calls it for what it is: McCarthyism. Snippet:

“The act of anonymously disseminating serious allegations about people’s sex lives as a means to destroy their careers and livelihoods has long gone by a simple name. It’s called McCarthyism, and the people behind the list engaged in it. Sure, they believed they were doing good — but the McCarthyites, in a similar panic about communism, did as well. They believe they are fighting an insidious, ubiquitous evil — the patriarchy — just as the extreme anti-Communists in the 1950s believed that commies were everywhere and so foul they didn’t deserve a presumption of innocence, or simple human decency. They demand public confessions of the guilty and public support for their cause … or they will cast suspicion on you as well. Sophie Gilbert just berated the men at the Golden Globes for not saying what they were supposed to say. It’s no wonder that today’s McCarthyites also engage in demonizing other writers, like Katie Roiphe, and threatening their livelihoods. And just as McCarthyites believed they had no other option, given the complicity of the entire federal government with communism, so today’s McCarthyites claim that appeals to the police, or the HR department, or to the usual channels, are “fruitless” — because they’re part of the patriarchal system too! These mechanisms, Donegan writes, have ‘an obligation to presume innocence,’ and we can’t have that, can we?”

The time has come to resist the new McCarthyism of the Left and its cruel cadres.


Ben Bernanke blogs

Monday, 30 March, 2015 0 Comments

Andrew’s Burnt Out? Blogs Are, Too” wrote Ana Marie Cox on 29 January, when it emerged that Andrew Sullivan was given up blogging. Sullivan’s Dish had persisted in various forms over 13 years and THE END was seen as the final blow to a self-centered, self-publishing activity encrusted with billions of unread words. But wait: “Blogging is very much alive – we just call it something else now,” responded Mathew Ingram of GigOm two days later. The irony of this is that GigOm itself expired on 9 March.

Actually, despite the headlines, blogging continues and a new name has been added to the blogroll: Ben Bernanke, who served two terms as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the US central bank. His first post is titled “Inaugurating a new blog” and it contains this piece of modest wisdom: “I hope to educate, and I hope to learn something as well.” That’s the blogging spirit, Ben. Question: Why are interest rates so low?

Ben Bernanke blog

UPDATE: Reuters informs us that blogging, in some parts of the world, is a deadly dangerous expression of freedom: “A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday, the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation.”