March 26th, 2009

Is Obama getting too arrogant even for Andrew Sullivan?

My, my.

Interestingly, it was an attempt at a joke by Obama that finally got Andrew’s goat. it seems that every time Obama tries to be funny, he annoys someone.

21 Responses to “Is Obama getting too arrogant even for Andrew Sullivan?”

  1. huxley Says:

    A pity … legalizing and taxing marijuana is the one thing we could use a radical in the White House for.

  2. Jim C. Says:

    Poor Andrew. He’s been hoodwinked and bamboozled, used and thrown away. Cue the world’s smallest violin.

  3. Don Janousek Says:

    Andrew is in quite a fix. He claims to be a Roman Catholic, but can’t get that bigoted Pope in Rome to reply to his text messages on how to run the Church. He alone knows how to fight the war on terror, but that ignorant George W. Bush wouldn’t give him the time of day. The whole gay marriage issue could have been resolved yesterday if only those homophobic hicks would take advice from him. And now, after Andrew’s endorsement was the key to his election, The Messiah is treating Andrew’s position on pot like a line from a Cheech and Chong movie. But…but….Andrew is sooooo relevant. Can’t ya see? Oh, the humanity!

  4. JL Says:

    Andrew is a sad case. Back during the early ’90s, his blog used to be one of my favorites because he represented a point of view that was center-right, but in a refreshingly noncomformist way. I appreciated his defense (at that time) of G.W. Bush, and I appreciated those times when he offered a alternate view from that which conservatism ususally offered. I thought his views were refreshing and his comments often witty. His support for gay rights was one example of an alternate view that I felt made his conservative stance interesting.

    I no longer read andrews blog with any great frequency, although i do still ocassionally check in. What turned me off was the gadfly nature he has adopted, whereby he goes off in one direction fiercely, then finds something he doesn’t like about that original position, does a 180 degree spin, and goes off in a completely opposite direction. First, he was an adamant Bush supporter, and a strong supporter of the war in Iraq. Then, he sours on Bush and the war and becomes a critic of both. (It also didnt help that this “about face” occurred curiously at around the same time Bush started speaking out against gay marriage, and thus provoking Andrew’s ire.)

    Then he’s pro-Kerry in ’04, even though Kerry represented much of what Andrew opposed when he was adamantly pro-Bush!! For a while he was also complimentary of John McCain, until…..until he fell in love with “the One,” aka, Barack Obama. And now, that crush is wearing off too!!

    I’m sorry Andrew, but your repeated inconsistency, repeately “seeing the light” and coupling such with the “zeal of the newly converted” before reversing yourself yet again… has dampened this former fan’s enthusiasm for your site and views.

  5. Colin Says:

    Regarding Andrew Sullivan, he essentially struck me not as a man inherently guided not by reasoning, but emotion and a sense of moral justness…wherever that ended up leading him. When that philosophy happened to overlap with aspects of Neoconservative thought an the general push of the Bush Administration, he was a relatively popular commentator among the moderate-right.

    However, since his reasoning is not founded in a solid philosophy, he drifted farther and farther away, breaking entirely over the issue of Gay Rights, and has since drifted all over the map according to some internal moral compass taken straight from the pages of Pirates of the Caribbean – pointing simply to what he wanted to go – however convoluted his logic ran to get there.

    I don’t think Andrew ever changed, it’s just taken a while to realize just what he is.

  6. kamper Says:


    For the last month, you have dutifully reported every time an Obama supporter has uttered a criticism of him, however mild or pissy. You do understand that this is what healthy political dialogue looks like, right? Do you also understand that this does not mean that any of these people are “done” with Obama? It’s not an all or nothing proposition.

    A bit more of this give-and-take on the right over the last eight years might have prevented the movement’s current hiatus in the political hinterlands.

  7. Baklava Says:

    kamper asks, “You do understand that this is what healthy political dialogue looks like, right?

    Here is some dialog for you. That was a lousy question based on what I don’t know.

    kamper asks, “Do you also understand that this does not mean that any of these people are “done” with Obama?

    Kamper this shows your lack or reading comprehension as Neo has reported as such explicitly.

    A bit more give and take. Conservatives are the only ones giving. Leftist hard liners rule the day and are intent on destroying wealth (whether it is their intention or not).

  8. CV Says:

    It really is a most bizarre climate for political commentary. Obama seems completely incapable of making an attempt at humor without sounding snide and arrogant (narcissism will do that, I suppose). There’s also the constant smiling at inappropriate times (60 minutes interview).

    Conversely, comedians are still largely taking a hands-off approach and ignoring multiple gaffes and actual incidents ripe for humor (like the gift of DVDs to Gordon Brown, etc.)

    One of the many things about Obama that I find consistently annoying is his verbal habits such as prefacing his comments with “look” (he does this all the time), or “as I’ve said before,” when in fact he often didn’t say it before or said quite the opposite.

    In fact, someone just wrote an article about how some comedians (such as Jimmy Fallon) are picking up on The One’s tendency to say “look” a lot. This story actually ran on the front page of my local paper today!

    The headline? “Taking a Harsh Look at Obama’s Use of Look.”

    Apparently THAT’S what passes for “harsh” comic heat in the Obamanation these days.

  9. Don Janousek Says:

    Give and take? The Fools in Congress, i.e. the Democrats, and their leftist allies are “giving” the country the royal shaft and are “taking” every earned dollar they can get their hands on away from the taxpayers who earned them. That would appear to be enough “give and take” to me. Am looking forward to the day when the people in the country “give” the Fools in Congress, i.e. the Democrats, and their leftist allies good, swift kicks in the rear and “take” their present power away from them.

  10. Baklava Says:

    Darn those pesky Wepublicans – they didn’t give defeat to those who wanted defeat.

    They did give to the leftists with the gang of 14 on the immigration issue.

    You wanted defeat too though. Aweeee poor lefty.. didn’t get his defeat.

  11. kamper Says:


    True to your name you are delightfully light and flaky.

    If you would go back and read my comment, I said “for the last month,” meaning that my comment was in reference to the last month of content at this blog, not just the post above. However, I stand by my basic premise, which is that neo is mistakenly interpreting healthy and necessary criticism of the administration (especially from supporters) as the end of “Obamalove” (whatever that is).

    In just the last week, we have had the following posts, all forwarding this theme in one way or another.

    3/26: Obama is “too arrogant” for Sullivan
    3/25: the end of Tina Brown’s Obamalove
    3/23: the “Obama-friendly” NY Times criticizes his economic plan; Judd Gregg is done with Obama
    3./23: Chris Dodd’s view from under the bus
    3/23: Sarkozy is offended
    3/21: a treatise on Obamalove, it’s types and manifastations
    3/19: Jay Cost is worried about Obama’s lack of bipartisanship

    This only the last week.

    I am far from a “leftist” but the last election was no choice at all. Now that he is in office, I wish him all success. I do wish that we had a functional opposition party, same as I wish we’d had one during Bush.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    kamper: Not for a moment do I think these people are “turning” on Obama, at least not in any meaningful way. What I am pointing out is the first chink in the armor, the first slight questioning of someone about whom they showed a remarkable lack of curiosity or doubt before, despite reams of evidence. Now is just the beginning of a reasonable evaluation of the man by may of his admirers.

    In contrast, the opposition to Bush was over-exaggerated rather than under, particularly in the press. Almost exactly the opposite of the Obama situation. Plus, many Republicans were very critical of Bush, from start to finish.

  13. Hong Says:

    Really though who cares what that imbecile Sullivan thinks? He has always been a loose screw even when defending our beliefs early in the Bush Presidency. The low hanging ‘intellectual’ fruit are easily discarded. I’ll wait for criticism from more middle brow figures in the media before I can truly believe this empty suit is in permanent decline. I still believe it’ll take a few years.

  14. huxley Says:

    kamper — What neo said and …

    Objectively speaking, Barack Obama is the least experienced and least accomplished person to become president in a century. Maybe ever. That’s notable in itself.

    Obama was elected on the basis of his charisma, his speechmaking, and his ability, as he explained in his memoir, to “serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

    So the left and the liberals saw Obama as on the left and the liberal plus many people from the center and even the right convinced themselves that Obama was a smart, pragmatic centrist who would govern the nation with a gracious bipartisanship.

    We are now witnessing the collapse of that latter narrative, and to those of us who didn’t believe it in the first place, it’s a fascinating story.

  15. huxley Says:

    Here’s another pundit coming out of the Obama trance: Gail Collins, who last November was calling for Bush to ignore the Constitution and step down early so the Obama team could start their administration immediately. Now she is openly ridiculing Obama and his administration

    Barack Obama — Kinda boring. Did you see the news conference? Same thing over and over again. Not that we mind. In these troubled times, we like stability. Thank God we didn’t elect somebody who was all charisma and exciting speeches.

    In summary, there appear to be only two constants in our ever-changing world. One is that Barack Obama is going to be on television every day forever. No venue is too strange. Soon, he’ll be on “Dancing With the Stars” (“And now, doing the Health Care, Energy and Education tango …”) or delivering the weather report. (“Here we see a wave of systemic change, moving across the nation …”) …

  16. kamper Says:


    What you are saying would mean something if there had been a ‘collapse’ in Obama’s support. But there hasn’t been.

    The strange thing about the right at the point in time is how strange and desperate the memes are becoming.

    One very odd example is the ‘Obama is addicted to the teleprompter’ narrative. All anyone has to do is watch one of his news conferences to observe with their own eyes that the guy can talk intelligently at length on nearly any topic. Whether you agree or not is another issue, but it’s a a little surreal to argue that he can’t talk off-script. It only makes sense from a Rovian standpoint of attacking your enemy where they are strongest.

  17. huxley Says:

    What you are saying would mean something if there had been a ‘collapse’ in Obama’s support.

    kamper — As you know, I didn’t say a collapse in support, I said a collapse in the narrative. It stands to reason that that will start with the people who pay most attention to these matters — pundits, bloggers, interested observers such as commenters on this blog — before radiating out into the general world.

    As to polls — Obama is doing less well than Bush was doing at this point in 2001, even though Obama was elected by a larger margin and without the acrimony that surrounded the 2000 election results.

    Furthermore, the trend lines in the poll link you provide show a steady erosion of approval as disapproval strengthens. That forecasts, if continued, a collapse in Obama’s support by the end of the summer.

    If the economy recovers significantly in that time, Obama will recover, but if not, I think it’s possible Obama will be a lame duck by the end of the year.

  18. huxley Says:

    As to the teleprompter — unless I’ve been misled, Obama uses the teleprompter more than previous presidents. I’m not sure how dependent he is upon it.

    He certainly has said some ill-considered things without the teleprompter, and his constant umming and ahhing do not inspire me with confidence in his intelligence and articulateness.

    When I analyze what Obama says, my impression is that he is even more accomplished than most politician in speaking at length without saying anything. See my earlier comment

  19. huxley Says:

    One last thought on the polls — in the past week Obama resumed campaigning mode with three television appearances. I was wondering whether they would give Obama a bounce in the polls, as they have in the past.

    No, nada, nothing — no bounce.

    This is serious. If Obama has lost his mojo with the American public, he’s done.

  20. Drew Says:

    Watch it and weep!

  21. sergey Says:

    The quality of a person’s humor is rightly viewed both by general public and mental health proffesionals as the best indicator of sanity and personal integrity. Is it appropriate in tone or fit the situation? Is it magnanimous or bitter? In Obama case, everything indicate latent anger, existential frustration, lack of moral certainty and tone-deafness up to autism. Ominous signs, I think.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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