If It Is A Blogfight Andrew Sullivan Wants . . .

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 10, 2010

Welcome, Andrew Sullivan readers. Read this.

The Inspector Javert of Trig Palin’s matrilineal line saw fit to respond to this post of mine; later instructing one of his many interns to write that in doing so, Sullivan “twisted the knife on the GOP’s demonization of Obama.” I am sure that an effort was made to twist a knife, but when one seeks to do so, one refrains from choosing the plastic cutlery. Not so Sullivan; it’s par for the course for the Daily Dish to bring its dullest knives to even the most fierce rhetorical gunfights.

Ignoring just about everything else in my post, Sullivan focuses on the following words I done wroted:

The mere fact that Republicans are negotiating with the Obama Administration over legislation does not mean that critiques against the Administration are somehow invalidated. You weren’t making this claim about the supposed invalidity of Democratic critiques of George W. Bush when Democrats were negotiating with him over legislation, were you?

Things immediately go off the rails, because it is at this point that Sullivan begins his “response.” Paragraph one:

Wrong on both counts. No one on the left doubted George W. Bush’s cultural or biographical legtimacy as president. In the first term there were claims of illegitimacy – but on the, er, understandable and technical grounds that he won fewer votes than his opponent, and won via an extremely contentious court case. No one treated the son of a former president as some kind of anti-American or un-American alien, the way Palinites treat Obama. Nonetheless, several Democrats immediately supported his massive tax cut – while no Republicans, in the wake of an Obama landslide – supported a desperately needed stimulus. I do not recall states mulling secession or nullification of federal decisions under the last president.

Regarding George W. Bush’s “cultural or biographical” background, and how it figured into his legitimacy, the fact that the 43rd President was a scion of one of America’s most famous political dynasties, and the eldest son of a former President of the United States was regularly used to argue that the 43rd President would never have gotten where he got to without powerful family connections. There is nothing per se wrong with making this argument, but to imply (heavily) that George W. Bush was “cultural[ly] or biographical[ly]” immune from harsh critiques is a bit rich. To be sure, this problem was not George W. Bush’s alone; just about every President has had his “cultural or biographical” background used against him. But makes it all the more amazing that Sullivan would argue that Bush didn’t experience arguments against him based on his “cultural or biographical” background. (We’ll say nothing of all of the rhetorical cheap shots aimed at the state of Texas during the Bush Presidency; apparently, an entire state merited being sneered at and attacked because its favorite son was a President with whom the sneerers disagreed.)

As to whether the former President was treated as “some kind of anti-American or un-American alien,” do I really have to link to this, this, and this to show how both President Bush and Republicans in general have been compared repeatedly to “some kind of anti-American or un-American alien[s]“? (I presume, for the purposes of this argument, that to have been compared to Hitler and the Nazis is to have been accused of being “some kind of anti-American or un-American alien[s].) Unless I am sorely mistaken, Andrew Sullivan can use Google too, and can find exactly what I found by using it. Queries: Was Sullivan simply too lazy to perform such research? Did it not occur to him to do so? Did Sullivan consciously refraining from performing such research simply because he was afraid that in doing so, it would undermine his claim? The whole world wonders.

Sullivan next whines states that “several Democrats immediately supported [Bush's] massive tax cut – while no Republicans, in the wake of an Obama landslide – supported a desperately needed stimulus.” First off, this is untrue; Arlen Specter (while a Republican), Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins all supported the stimulus. That makes the number of Republicans/Republican-at-the-time-of-the-vote having supported the stimulus, three. Or, to paraphrase Monty Python (and one hopes that Sullivan is paying attention–I am trying to channel both God, and British humor to keep him interested):

And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take out the Google and search for the number of Republicans having supported Obama’s stimulus. Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.”

I trust that on this matter, at least, things are clear. Moving on from Monty Python, it is worth noting that when President Obama announced his Afghanistan policy–and got attacked for it by the Left–it was Republicans who came to his aid, and offered their full-throated support for the policy. Does this not count as a form of bipartisan cooperation initiated by the Republicans to assist a Democratic President? For that matter, has Sullivan forgotten that the very tax deal he celebrates this week with endless, meaningless, Baghdad Bob-ish, nauseating frequency, featuring one ludicrous “meep, meep” after another, is a tax deal that was crafted in negotiations with Republicans? That Republicans are supporting this deal, and are trying to save it–and the Obama Administration’s prestige–in the face of Democratic assaults so virulent that F-bombs have been thrown the White House’s way, and House Democrats have even stated that they will not bring the tax package for a vote? Why is all of this not equivalent to some Democrats supporting a Bush tax cut? Did these facts somehow get in the way of Sullivan’s desperate screed, and make it inconvenient to mention them? Is that why he elided them so completely?

As to Sullivan’s claim that he does not recall “states mulling secession” during the Bush Administration, I remind him of this, this, this, and this (it even has a Wikipedia page), all of which either outright stated, subtly implied, or addressed secessionist dreams in the wake of the 2004 Presidential election. There was also this, which is not secessionist, but which is so blisteringly contemptuous towards anyone and everyone who disagree with the author’s political views, that it may as well openly call for secession. An excerpt:

. . . I grew up in Missouri and most of my family voted for Bush, so I am going to be the one to say it: The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry. I suppose the good news is that 55 million Americans have evaded the ignorance-inducing machine. But 58 million have not. (Well, almost 58 million—my relatives are not ignorant, they are just greedy and full of classic Republican feelings of superiority.)

Ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states. There used to be a kind of hand-to-hand fight on the frontier called a “knock-down-drag-out,” where any kind of gouging, biting, or maiming was considered fair. The ancestors of today’s red-state voters used to stand around cheering and betting on these fights. When the forces of red and blue encountered one another head-on for the first time in Kansas Territory in 1856, the red forces from Missouri, who had been coveting Indian land across the Missouri River since 1820, entered Kansas and stole the territorial election. The red news media of the day made a practice of inflammatory lying—declaring that the blue folks had shot and killed red folks whom everyone knew were walking around. The worst civilian massacre in American history took place in Lawrence, Kan., in 1863—Quantrill’s raid. The red forces, known then as the slave-power, pulled between 150 and 200 unarmed men from their beds on a Sunday morning and slaughtered them, many in front of their wives and children.* The error that progressives have consistently committed over the years is to underestimate the vitality of ignorance in America. Listen to what the red state citizens say about themselves, the songs they write, and the sermons they flock to. They know who they are—they are full of original sin and they have a taste for violence. The blue state citizens make the Rousseauvian mistake of thinking humans are essentially good, and so they never realize when they are about to be slugged from behind.

Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you—if you don’t believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it.

Next, they tell you that you are the best of a bad lot (humans, that is) and that as bad as you are, if you stick with them, you are among the chosen. This is flattering and reassuring, and also encourages you to imagine the terrible fates of those you envy and resent. American politicians ALWAYS operate by a similar sort of flattery, and so Americans are never induced to question themselves. That’s what happened to Jimmy Carter—he asked Americans to take responsibility for their profligate ways, and promptly lost to Ronald Reagan, who told them once again that they could do anything they wanted. The history of the last four years shows that red state types, above all, do not want to be told what to do—they prefer to be ignorant. As a result, they are virtually unteachable.

Third, and most important, when life grows difficult or fearsome, they (politicians, preachers, pundits) encourage you to cling to your ignorance with even more fervor. But by this time you don’t need much encouragement—you’ve put all your eggs into the ignorance basket, and really, some kind of miraculous fruition (preferably accompanied by the torment of your enemies, and the ignorant always have plenty of enemies) is your only hope. If you are sufficiently ignorant, you won’t even know how dangerous your policies are until they have destroyed you, and then you can always blame others.

The reason the Democrats have lost five of the last seven presidential elections is simple: A generation ago, the big capitalists, who have no morals, as we know, decided to make use of the religious right in their class war against the middle class and against the regulations that were protecting those whom they considered to be their rightful prey—workers and consumers. The architects of this strategy knew perfectly well that they were exploiting, among other unsavory qualities, a long American habit of virulent racism, but they did it anyway, and we see the outcome now—Cheney is the capitalist arm and Bush is the religious arm. They know no boundaries or rules. They are predatory and resentful, amoral, avaricious, and arrogant. Lots of Americans like and admire them because lots of Americans, even those who don’t share those same qualities, don’t know which end is up. Can the Democrats appeal to such voters? Do they want to? The Republicans have sold their souls for power. Must everyone?

Were these secessionist dreams serious? No, not really. But then, of course, neither has secessionist talk during the Obama Administration been serious. There are cranks and lunatics out there, and because of their crankiness and lunacy, they get huge megaphones from the media to encourage and foster our Thunderdome brand of politics. This happens in just about every administration, Republican, or Democratic. Jane’s Law, we may remember, was crafted during the Bush Administration. To consider these crankish, lunatic arguments representative of an entire mainstream political movement is at best a dangerous proposition, and at worst, just flat-out absurd. The problem with Sullivan–one problem amongst many–is that he seems to think (or would have us think) that the only time the cranks and lunatics have come out into the open was in response and opposition to the Obama Presidency. Again, all one has to do is to use Google to annihilate this proposition. Why doesn’t Sullivan fact-check himself?

It is worth noting as well that during the Bush Presidency, there was all sorts of yelling and screaming about the incipient threat of fascism. Paul Krugman, among others, caught the crazy virus. I would think that such talk should have been retracted, and its propagators should have apologized for their mindless alarmism when a President from a party that opposed the Bush Administration got elected to succeed Bush, and power was handed over peacefully, seamlessly, and non-fascistically to Bush’s successor. Alas, said retractions and apologies have not yet been proffered.

We can finally move on. Paragraph two:

As for “critiques”, GOP cooperation does not invalidate them. But I’m not talking about good faith critiques of policy. I’m talking about the plain fact that Fox News, talk radio, the Pajamas Media network have not just criticized the president, but demonized him as beyond the American pale, lying about his belief in American exceptionalism, tying him to “Kenyan anti-colonialism” or other such Stanley-Kurtz style paranoia-for-pay. Check out the image above. Did it appear in some fringe Larouchian publication? Nope; it was right there in Forbes Magazine, next to a piece by Steve Forbes. Name one MSM publication that photo-shopped Bush in that way.

Check out the image Sullivan references. To say the least, it’s pretty ridiculous. Now, in response to Sullivan’s comments, I am afraid that I cannot name “one MSM publication that photo-shopped Bush in that way,” insofar as I cannot find one MSM publication that photo-shopped Bush as a stand-in for Joseph Stalin, sitting next to Vladimir Lenin.

But thanks to Moe Lane, and Dan McLaughlin, I can show you this image, comparing George W. Bush to Saddam Hussein. And this image, comparing George W. Bush to the Joker; recall that a similar comparison between the Joker and Obama evoked utter rage from the Left (never mind the fact that the person who drew President Obama as the Joker was a Kucinich supporter). And I can show you this image, portraying George W. Bush as a vampire, sucking the blood out of Lady Liberty. While we are at it, and speaking of all things Twilightesque, let’s not forget the vampirization of John McCain by one of Andrew Sullivan’s own colleagues at the Atlantic, who apparently decided to join Sullivan in an effort to ruin one of America’s great magazines. (More here.)

The MSM featured allegations that the Bush family aided and abetted Hitler’s rise to power. Not a photo-shop, but I dare say it’s much worse, and much less responsible. And as Dan McLaughlin points out, there were any number of crazy efforts on the Left to make George W. Bush and his Administration look bad, mainly by adopting “fake but accurate” as their mantra no matter what loony story they sought to push.

I feel I have to point this out again: Sullivan could have found all of this evidence on his own. He chose either to ignore it because it would undermine his “argument,” or he was too intellectually lazy to fact-check himself.

Paragraph three:

The level of bile against anything he has done, the loathing projected onto him – for doing what he clearly promised to do – is clearly beyond what happened to Bush. I remember. Because for the first two years of Bush in office, I defended him against those on the left who wouldn’t give him the slightest benefit of any doubt. And the fury that crested against him was largely due to the Iraq war – a decision he implicitly ran against in 2000, when he promised a humble foreign policy and less defense spending than Gore.

Shorter Andrew Sullivan: “Because I defended George W. Bush, I remember what was done to him, and I can argue from authority that Obama ‘clearly’ has it worse.” Well, as the foregoing demonstrates, that’s clearly untrue. And guess what? I defended George W. Bush at the same time Sullivan did, and it appears I remember my history of Bush Demonization better than he does.

I would blockquote paragraph four, but really, haven’t I made my point? I’ll just close with one question: How many more badly written, badly researched, patently false and disingenuous Sullivanesque scribblings is it going to take before the Atlantic finally decides to save what is left of its reputation, and fire Andrew Sullivan?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/4SZNTV3MEY2RHUML7TOB7J52SQ John

    I can only assume you continue to engage this silly, silly man as a means of drumming up traffic. If so, I fully endorse the tactic. If not, color me confused.

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  • Wcvarones

    It’s pretty clear that Sullivan has been suffering from AIDS-related dementia for some time.

    It’s a shame that the Atlantic continues to degrade itself and embarrass Sullivan’s legacy by publishing his deranged rantings.

    • Njoriole

      I’m not sure that Wevarones’ comment is “making fun” of Sullivan’s illness. I think it’s just a a statement of opinion, an attempt to explain how completely unhinged Sullivan hs become since doing a complete 180 degree turn on Bush. (Which occurred, BTW, immediately after Bush came out for the Defense of Marriage amendment, as I recall.) I’m not saying it’s not somewhat distasteful anyway, just that it may not be as eggregious as you make it out to be.

      • a_g

        I can’t help but agree with this. No one is making fun of Sullivan for this, only pointing it out as relevant. Because it *is* relevant. Precisely how relevant is a different discussion, but it seems clear to most of us that Sullivan’s rants are as far off the mark as they are not only because of ideological turn-abouts.

        • Anonymous

          Andrew Sullivan does not have full blown AIDS. He has HIV, it is under control, there is therefore likely no dementia, and we ought to wish him a long life. I ask again that this line of discussion be dropped. Sullivan’s ridiculous posts are not due to some disease, they are due to him being in the tank–at least for the moment–for the Obama Administration.

          • Anonymous

            Do you think the mouth breathers that flock to this kind of post understand the difference between AIDS and HIV?


          • Anonymous

            Make that seven comments trying to show that this post is irrelevant. One would think that if it were, you would have stopped by now.

          • Anonymous

            Look, Pejman, someone has to be the thread asshole. It’s boomaze’s turn. Why are you arguing with the troll? You could have made a convincing argument for the innocence of Christ before Pilate and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

            Now if you were trying to convince Pilate of Palin’s innocence, Sullivan would have cause to be angry with you.

    • Beaneater

      I don’t see anyone making fun of it. I see people alluding to it as an explanation for the quality of his writing. Obviously it’s speculative and probably not true, but it’s not “making fun” in any case.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      Again, stop making fun of the fact that Andrew Sullivan has a terminal illness. It’s not the kind of comment that is encouraged here.

  • Steve

    John: Apart from sheer entertainment, think of these as a form of intellectual warm-up: easy stretching exercises undertaken before the real mental workouts of the day.

  • Anonymous

    I hate to break it to Salon, but the Copperhead party has always been the pro-slavery Democrat. The difference between the collective now and the plantation then is Zero.

    As for power muscle, he’s been the poster boy for AIDS-related dementia for a while. You can’t educate the terminally insane.

    • Anonymous

      Whatever our disagreements with Andrew Sullivan, making fun of a terminal illness is deeply wrong.

      • Anonymous

        “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s refusal to be honest about the dead, simply because they are dead. To hear some people talk at a funeral you’d think dying was limited to the chosen few.” R.E. Delderfield, To Serve Them All My Days.

        I refuse to give someone a pass on that basis, especially when dying of a self-inflicted disease. It’s just another example of the soft bigotry of low expectations. That leaves out the fact that he’s been living by the sword in terms of insulting everyone for years.

        • Anonymous

          I really don’t care how Andrew Sullivan contracted HIV. What matters is that one can show compassion for the ill–although Sullivan, thankfully, has his HIV under control–while at the same time criticizing strongly his views. We are not refusing to be honest about Andrew Sullivan.
          Again, let’s stick to the issues at hand, and not bring in an Internet diagnosis about supposed dementia. Indeed, as this is my blog, and my comments section, I insist that this be the case.

      • Anonymous

        What do you expect to reap? Seriously?

  • Kaymad41

    Don’t forget the effort to rip apart GW’s military service. Bush was a chicken hawk because he didn’t die in combat, damn-it all. Obama with zero service has gotten a pass.

    • Anonymous

      No, Bush was a chickenhawk because he attacked Kerry’s actual COMBAT SERVICE.

      Sorry, lol, you don’t get a free pass for doing that.

  • Anonymous

    If the Stimulus had been restrained to, or even majorly comprised of, actual stimulus instead of multibillion payoffs to dozens Democratic GOTV groups, it probably wouldn’t have gotten shut out in the House, however ineffective most free-market types believe it to be.

    As I recall, the Democrats were exultant that the Republicans turned tail from the stimulus, and confused as to how they could be so stupid. Remember, we had a president with approval ratings well into the 60s and opposing him was considered a Declaration of Irrelevancy for the Republican party going forward.

    • kk

      So Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and AIG are all Democtratic GOTV groups? Huh! Wonder why they gave so much to the Republicans this year?

      • Anonymous

        Dude, wake the f**k up. Goldman runs Obama’s Treasury Department. They were major players in Obama’s ’08 Presidential Campaign. Probably THE major players. Lefty activists are only the puppets and operated under the illusion that they played a decisive role in his election. People like Jane Hamsher ran around the interwebs acting as if they were owed something, when in fact, they were owed little.

        The Banksters own Obama, and have owned him since 2007. Ask yourself why the only Bankster who is wearing an orange jumpsuit today is the patsy, Bernie Madoff. That’s the beginning of wisdom.

  • KingTaco

    Free, take-it-or-leave it chilly day advice: Ignore Andrew Sullivan. You can’t win, and he can only gain. He’s not a figure that one has a political disagreement with. You may have some bitter arguments with people on the opposite of the the political spectrum, but as tough as they can get there is some measure of good-faith there. Andrew Sullivan is a creature of *attention*, not politics. This was true back when he was a bombastic, paranoid righty finding fifth-columns in the liberal press. It’s certainly true after moving to P town and instantaneously shifting his views to fit a more lucrative audience.

    Selling gussied up ‘concern trolling’ (conservative bashing masked as ‘real’ conservative points) to liberal audiences to allow them to think they ‘listen to all view points’ is a lucrative gig. David Brooks does that at it’s most ‘respectable’ vantage, I guess. But importantly, Andrew Sullivan cares only for attention. He can and will twist any response to his advantage; he has no real political angle to defend and an audience that will side with him no matter what, there’s no ground to ‘win’ in debating him. It only serves to give him more sunlight.

    • Itsallrightforsome

      And Victor Davis Hanson ought to stop wasting time too answering him.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4BT44Y76BJNLXKQFWV3ZSUJ43U corio lan

    Back in the day (i.e.,2004), Sully was fully aware of, and strongly denounced, the Left’s demonization of Bush – check out this link, for one example, of his reaction to a rendering of Bush as Goya’s Saturn.


    • Anonymous

      Nah, nobody wants an open discussion of reality here. Carry on.

  • Anonymous

    Sullivan is so irrational and irrelevant that one wonders why he is still invoked as anything other than the object of derision he has become. In fact, he typifies the proof of Romans 18-32 we are seeing around us these days…

    • Anonymous

      We cannot blame his physical infirmity for this because he suffers from the same faulty mental processing as the majority of senior Democrats:

      How dare Sarah Palin be a woman opposed to their Abortion gods?

      How dare the GOP refuse to cower before Obama’s mighty teleprompter?

      How dare the Tea Party insist the money they earned by the sweat of their brow not be confiscated and paid to foreign executives as bonuses?

      The very idea…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Bolts/100000197460969 Chris Bolts

    I’ve never posted on this site, but as I’m reading the comments I see a few that are referring to the fact that Andrew Sullivan has AIDS. For starters, I never knew he had AIDS and it’s not very endearing to learn that he has AIDS from people who are using it as a means to demean him.Second, as a person who has family that is suffering from AIDS let me tell you that it is not a disease to be taken lightly as the person who has to deal with it knows they have a death warrant as each day they live becomes a greater burden.

    It’s a shame that people can’t stick to arguing on the merits and must use standard Leftist tactics to demean and reject a person outright. Andrew Sullivan has said more than a few silly things that exposes him as an idiot, but trying to discredit him because he has AIDS only reveals the idiocy of the person trying to use it as a tactic against him.

  • G Joubert

    And don’t forget, the legitimacy of Bush 43′s presidency was challenged,ab initio, as having been “appointed” if not outright stolen, when the truth is approximately the opposite.

    • Anonymous

      Er, there’s a good reason to challenge the legitimacy of Bush’s first term: he lost the popular vote and Florida’s election was wracked with serious problems. Nobody can honestly say who won the state.

      I personally believe that his election was legitimate because of the Supreme Court decision, even though it’s a decision I vehemently disagree with. But it’s not like those who say otherwise don’t have a point.

      • Eric Brown

        Nonsense. Bush won the recount. USA Today & the Miami Herald ran a recount. Bush won. Aside from a few brief mentions, the media ignored it. One can be sure that had Gore won the recount, the media would have trumpeted it to the sky.

        Winning the popular vote is a sideshow. The President simply isn’t elected via the popular vote. If you don’t like it, amend the Constitution.

        • Anonymous

          Sorry, that was a typo – I meant “Nobody *could* honestly say who won the state,” which is true. At the time of Bush v. Gore, nobody knew who had actually won.

          I like the dig at the media, but there’s a good reason the media would have made a fuss, and it’s not because they’re “liberal” – it’s because it would have demonstrated that the 2000 election was fundamentally undemocratic.

          Anyway, yes, we should amend the Constitution to a direct vote. However, I think anything less than proportional allocation of electors is itself unconstitutional; it’s certainly highly questionable policy.

          • Eric Brown

            Pshaw. It doesn’t institute the policy outcomes you like, but it’s hardly highly questionable. Perhaps you should reread the Federalist Papers.

        • Anonymous

          There was no official recount. I mean, I’m fine with the result, but you can’t say this honestly.

          • Eric Brown

            Nonsense. There was an official recount, using the methods defined by statutes currently in force. Bush won that recount, and Gore’s legal team got a majority of Democrats on Florida’s Supreme Court to institute another recount using different methods in different counties. The US Supreme Court overturned the Florida decision, the Florida Secretary of State certified the election results, and Bush was elected.

  • Shaihulud

    Ya know, if folks like the author here would STOP quoting him, Sullivan would fade into a deserved obscurity. It always annoys me that so many folks are even reading and quoting goofs like Sullivan, or that sock-puppeteer, Greenwald, or acknowledged plagiarists, or admitted…, well, you get the picture.

    • Anonymous

      Come on, Greenwald’s an important voice in political discussion. You can disagree with him – I certainly do, quite often – but he’s intellectually honest, deeply patriotic, and has serious and legitimate concerns about the policies of the US government. He’s worth reading, and his arguments deserve far more consideration than baseless dismissal.

  • BAndrew

    You wrote: “Did Sullivan consciously refraining from performing such research simply because he was afraid that in doing so, it would undermine his claim? The whole world wonders.”

    Surely you were being facetious in suggesting the interest of the whole world in anything Sullivan would write. It’s been seven years plus since I abandoned any hope of finding coherent, principled argument from him on any point. I’m with KingTaco: Ignore the attention whore. Writing about anything he says will only gratify his warped ego and spur him on to other provocations. Just let him wither and die — metaphorically speaking, of course.

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  • http://nukemhill.wordpress.com/ NukemHill

    Jeebus. I think Sully’s going to swear off anal sex after that reaming.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, much was intelligently discussed…..wait, no it wasn’t.

      In fact, this was all a waste of time.

  • Mick

    The Birth Certificate is a red herring, designed to hide the very real Constitutional violation of Obama’s Usurpation. He is not a natural born Citizen, the requirement of A2S1C5, not “Citizen at birth”, not “Born in the US”, but “natural born Citizen”, a term of art of Natural Law (you know, our Federal Common Law– see the Declaration of Independence). The requirement of A2S1C5 was to ensure to the highest degree allegiance and attachment to country in the CIC of the armed forces. It requires SOLE Allegiance from birth. Obama was born a British subject because his father was Kenyan (British Nationality Act 1948). As such he is NOT a Natural Born Citizen, and not eligible. Do his actions show a man with attachment to this country? Certainly NOT. Obama is precisely the kind of man that the framers would have prevented from being POTUS. What kind of man Usurps the Presidency? A dangerous one. What kind of Congress allows it? A treasonous one.
    If the well documented reason for the POTUS being a natural born citizen was to prevent foreign influence, then how is it logically possible that anyone born in America, even to aliens, be a natural born Citizen, eligible to be POTUS? How can a man born a British subject be a natural born Citizen? Very little was spoken by the framers about the term, because it was logical, and a well known concept dating to biblical times. Populations desired to be lead by one of their own. It is Natural Law. In Federalist #68 A. Hamilton shed some light on A2S1C5 in an almost in passing, “of course it should be that way” manner:

    “Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?”

    Laurence Tribe, during the Resolution 511 hearings defined it thus:
    “those born WITHIN the TERRITORY and ALLEGIANCE of a nation”. If all that was required was birth in the territory, then why would he have to say “allegiance”? Where does a newborn’s allegiance come from? His parents!!!! DING DING DING!!!
    All of congress knows that Obama is ineligible, no matter if born in the White House, on the Oval Office desk, delivered by JFK, who then ate his placenta. They have committed treason, and now seek to cover up. They are dispicable. And where is Althouse, Instapundit, Volokh? Have they been told to shut up? Are they cowed by the “birther” epithet?

    • kk

      Love this! Apparently Obama was the second miraculous birth–of a Kenyan father, but no mother (let alone an American mother whose father was a WWII veteran). And yes, Althouse, Instapundit and Volokh are all cowed.

  • jgreene

    You waste too many words on Andrew Sullivan. He’s a programmed leftist “drone”. “Casting pearls before swine” hasn’t worked in thousands of years,and won’t today.

  • Ice99eci

    Oh, the outrage. A bunch of trivia bundled together. What of the hundreds, maybe thousands of legislators at the state and federal level who will not acknowledge the President’s right to serve? United States Senators who cavil and shrug at the question of whether the president, elected in a near-landslide, is a US citizen. Why do they do this? Because it is where the power lies.

    You can equivocate Bush v. Obama examples, but the virulent and patently false Obama propaganda is broadly disseminated and broadly believed even when it is patently false. Furthermore, it is the source of real power that should be tainted but is, regardless, routinely harvested and used by people who want to be considered patriotic Americans.

    Consider the comment below–Kaymad41 notes that Obama did not serve though Bush did. What type of focused delusion is this? Bush never ran against Obama; Obama ran against McCain, who did indeed serve, yet Obama was elected convincingly. Bush ran against Kerry. Somehow Kerry’s volunteer tours in one of the most dangerous services in the entire theater, his three Purple Hearts, his medals and the dignity and gravity of his service became the basis of contempt relative to Bush, who was indeed a chicken-hawk. Because Rather was overeager and careless and got Canuck-lettered Bush is no longer a chickenhawk, no longer the leader of the Rumsfeld and Cheney cadre of fortunate-sons, no longer the darling of Limbaugh, lounging on his butt at home on a medical because he had a big pimple on his ass. It requires a special kind of highly focused hatred to live and profit comfortably on that kind of delusion.


  • Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor

    I’m a big Sullivan fan, and I freely admit that this is a pretty thorough rebuttal of his direct posts on this subject. The meep-meep bit is downright cutting! But (Sullivan aside) this post also glosses over a couple key points.

    Yousefzadeh writes that secessionist talk under Obama has not been “serious” – just as secessionist talk under Bush was not “serious.” But even a cursory examination of this point yields some key differences. The Governor of Texas has seriously broached the topic of secession – not in depth, not in a policymaking context, not in a bill, no – but nevertheless seriously and consistently. There is simply no equivalent for this in 2004-05 on the “Blue” side. Some writers for Slate and Salon posited secession – the Governor of Illinois did not. No Democratic governor did. There’s a difference and it matters.

    Likewise, the defining characteristic of Birtherism is not so much its mass popularity (for God’s sake, half the American people believe the Earth is 5000 years old!) as its elite popularity. Republican Senators and Congressmen have publicly questioned whether the President is a citizen. How many Democratic Senators and Congressmen publicly nodded toward 9/11 Trutherism? I can think of one – Cynthia McKinney (not the most loyal of Democrats, but still). But the list of Republican officeholders who’ve legitimized Birtherism is much longer – Marsha Blackburn, Steve King, Bill Posey, Jim Inhofe, Dan Burton, the irrepressible Ms Bachmann, Senator Shelby, John Campbell, John Culberson, et al et al et al. These aren’t cranky bloggers. These aren’t Salon freelancers with zero clout. Nor are they marginal House cranks like Ms McKinney. These are influential Republican policymakers – and a significant number thereof.

    There’s a real qualitative difference here, and it shouldn’t be swept under the rug.

    • kk

      I notice Pej has no response to your substantive refutation. I also found it odd that he equated Jane frickin’ Smiley with the Governor of Texas, but then, that is pretty much his entire argument: that after Bush lied to the nation, invaded Iraq and failed to kick bin Laden’s ass–as he so memorably committed to do–we’re supposed to equate anger at Bush/Cheney war crimes with the racist trash that immediately started circulating about Obama.

      • Pejman Yousefzadeh

        I am not obliged, of course, to respond to every single comment that is made; something I would think was obvious. Apologies for accidentally having clicked “like” on your comment; as it is substance-free, I can most certainly state that there is nothing I like about it.

  • Egypt Steve

    I agree, it’s disgusting the way the left was always comparing Bush to Hitler. Beyond starting an illegal, aggressive war, ordering people abducted and tortured in secret prisons, and illegally spying on citizens, I can’t see any basis for comparison whatsoever.

    • Anonymous

      I had hope that a commenter like Professor Vinson would be educated enough not to violate Godwin’s Law. History laughs bitterly at such misplaced analogies.

      • Anonymous

        Read you on Politico, seem like an intelligent, non-”freeper” right wing guy.

        Could get past the idiotic, ranting first paragraph on this to see what you have to say. I’d like to see how you address Sullivan’s (correct) point that the hatred of Bush started after he began to screw stuff up whereas the hatred of Obama was immediate and not based in any of his actions as POTUS. Maybe I’ll try another time, maybe not, still don’t you want people to hear your ideas or is this just another hate blog?

        Seriously, anybody who kept reading this after the first few paragraphs isn’t interested in opposing idea’s, they just wanna hear you throw feces at Sullivan. Good job on that, by the way.

        • Anonymous

          I like how you are so determined to find this post irrelevant, that you have, as of this writing, issued four comments declaring it so in one way or another. In any event, plenty of ideas were discussed here. That they were discussed with harsh language at times thrown Sullivan’s way does not detract from the actual ideas, which most people appear to be able to appreciate.

          • Anonymous

            “I like how you are so determined to find this post irrelevant, that you have, as of this writing, issued four comments declaring it so in one way or another. ”

            Nope, you are missing my point entirely. I’ve read your posts before at politico, and find you intellectually honest and bright. Rare things on the net :)

            My point is it doesn’t matter if the content of this post turned out to be the fucking the new Federalist Papers, nobody with a brain or that isn’t hear to yell about Sullivan being gay will read long enough to care. I stopped early, so will others.

            “In any event, plenty of ideas were discussed here.”

            I didn’t get far enough. Most worth speaking to won’t.

            “That they were discussed with harsh language at times thrown Sullivan’s way does not detract from the actual ideas, which most people appear to be able to appreciate.”

            The people who read and “discussed” this with you didn’t even grasp what you were saying. They wanted to bleat about AIDS infected leftists.

            How you aren’t catching that is amazing and instructive. I’ll leave your blog and politico posts alone none. You don’t want people interested in ideas as an audience.

          • Anonymous

            I am delighted to have people interested in ideas. You, however, just seem to be interested in a fight.

          • Anonymous

            I find the attacks on Sullivan ugly. He did just respond to your entire post, which linked me here. And he did it in a way that makes you look like a complete fool comparing the texts. He submits where you have a point and specifically defends his.

            When you make posts like this, just don’t acted appalled and surprised when “LOL, leftists are fags with AIDS!” posters appear. You put out bait for them and they give you traffic.

          • Pejman Yousefzadeh

            I didn’t engage in ugly attacks on Sullivan. I criticized him. In the event that you are unaware, he strongly criticizes people as well, so I am sure that he isn’t surprised when he gets a dose of his own medicine. As for making me look like a fool, well, note that via the name-calling, you just engaged in an uglier attack than any I managed to write.
            I’d be willing to let all of this rhetoric go, of course. But then you had to compound your error by accusing me of trying to attract bigots to my site, despite clear evidence that I sought to put the kibosh on any and all discussion extraneous to a debate over the issues. I am perfectly happy to have dissent on my site. What I won’t tolerate is being lied about. Goodbye.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus, Pejman. Show mercy on the poor lad. A mighty takedown.

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