This post is about Andrew Sullivan, so I promise to make it mercifully brief.
Sullivan is a pioneer. He was the first blogger to realize that in the low-knowledge, high-offense Internet age the shortest route to popularity was simultaneous moral outrage and moral dishonesty. I can’t believe you’ve done the thing I know you didn’t do. (See: Bush policy and Abu Ghraib, neoconservatives and wars for Israel).
The man who has designated Barack Obama the first gay president has appointed himself the arbiter of political hyperbole, naturally. He makes his rulings about beyond-the-pale commentary via negative “awards” on his blog. For my last post about Obama’s self-mythologizing and personality-cult efforts Sullivan has nominated me for his “Hugh Hewitt Award.” Hewitt is, of course, a national treasure, but in Sullivanland the award “is given for the most egregious attempts to label Barack Obama as un-American, alien, treasonous, and far out of the mainstream of American life and politics.”
Michelle Goldberg just doesn’t know how to quit when she’s behind. The Daily Beast pundit dug herself a deep hole on MSNBC on Sunday when she made an astonishing comparison between an innocuous Ann Romney op-ed about Mother’s Day and the policies of Stalin’s Soviet Union and Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Predictably, that whopper drew attention to her bad judgment as well as a desire on the left to smear the Romneys. But rather than merely admit that her analogy was inappropriate and move on, Goldberg is guilty of the same fault that she accuses the candidate’s wife of committing: trying to make herself a victim.
In her column about the incident, Goldberg refuses to apologize and puts the controversy down as just another Twitter-era fake controversy that Romney is exploiting. But before we buy into that attempt to weasel out of this, it might be apt to ponder exactly what Goldberg and the entire mainstream media would be saying if a conservative talking head on one of the cable TV networks compared Michelle Obama to Hitler and Stalin for praising motherhood of all things. However, Goldberg’s decision to air her animus for Mrs. Romney again shows that her problem goes deeper than forgetting the person who first mentions Hitler and Stalin in a debate almost always is the loser.