Saturday, May 15, 2010

Is Andrew Sullivan a Misogynist?

As my readers know, I am a faithful reader of Andrew Sullivan. Not because I agree with him, mind you, but because I am fascinated with the mental gyrations he undertakes to justify his somewhat flexible positions.

Sullivan is notorious for his conspiracy theories about the birth of Trig Palin. He has now gained additional notoriety for his insistence that Elena Kagan publicly declare her sexual preference (or "emotional orientation" as he now describes it).

To use one of Sullivan's favorite phrases, "in my view," Andrew is highly suspicious of powerful, authoritative women. I can't understand what else would motivate his dislike of Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and now Elena Kagan. I do, however, expect his view of Kagan will evolve into affection and admiration once it becomes clear that Obama (who can do no wrong Link) fully supports her.

To illustrate my "view", I here provide examples of Andrew's double standard concerning women, education, and elitism.
This post of his included the notorious "softball" picture of Kagan: Link.
"... where has she experienced the brunt of the law on ordinary people, as the president has described one of his criteria for the court? I guess if you regard Larry Tribe and Charles Ogletree as victims of the world, you could make a case for her empathy. But apart from that? Not much that I can see.

Where is the struggle in her life story...? The NYT is very keen to let us know that the Upper West Side where she grew up was not as tony as it is today. Er, that's about it. ... Not a single anecdote in her life-story would be out of place in a Rhodes Scholar application - and I mean that as damning."

On the other hand, here is a post of his commenting on David Cameron, the newly elected UK prime minister: Link
"And here is where he reminds me a little of Obama. Class in Britain is what race is in America. Cameron never denied his past and even engaged in some of its more obnoxious practices. But he loves his country, and endured great prejudice, as well as great privilege, because of his class. Yes, Etonians can be victims too. He both owned his identity - all of it - and yet sought to transcend it."
I notice a bit of a difference there in his views; what could possibly account for that?

And here, he comments on Sarah Palin's educational background: Link
"Memo to Kristol: you may think Palin is sophisticated enough to grasp the high-level fantasies and abstractions that you have devised in your own head to defend the indefensible. But she isn't, buddy. She has a degree in sports journalism from the University of Idaho, and went to several colleges in several years. She thinks Leo Strauss is a brand of jeans. She doesn't have a clue what she's talking about. Remember: she doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is and heard about the surge 'on the news'.

This is your lipsticked pitbull, buddy. Own it. And all the immense incuriosity, minimal education, and fact-resistant ambition that comes with it." 
How can we explain Andrew Sullivan's diverse opinions on "elitism", class, and educational background? I leave this as an open question for the reader to contemplate.

Here is a picture of Andrew Sullivan arranging flowers. Because "in my view," all men who arrange flowers are gay, and all men who are gay arrange flowers - just as Andrew seems to believe that all women who play softball are lesbians, and all women who are lesbians play softball. Not that Andrew or I believe in stereotyping homosexuals or anything.

Where's that rope again?

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