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Once Upon a Honeymoon: Andrew Sullivan’s Obama Love is Still Blind

Posted on February 4 2010 11:03 am
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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Andrew Sullivan, who once wrote the essential politically incorrect essay, “What’s so bad about hate?” to refute the idea of codifying “hate crimes,” is ironically now the poster child for what can be so bad about love—blind love, that is.

The press honeymoon is getting a little sour; and “conservatives” who endorsed Obama like Christopher Buckley and David Brooks are becoming increasingly critical– and even Obamagirl has jumped ship! Andrew Sullivan’s enthusiasm for Barack Obama has not waned—even to the point of refusing to admit he is in any political trouble.

A few weeks ago, even Chris Matthews’s leg quit tingling momentarily and he called Sullivan a romantic when it came to Obama and asked him if he were still a man of the Right.  Sullivan, against all reason, insisted he is.  This week, he just as illogically insisted that that “everyone” believed Obama’s State of the Union speech and sees through the Republicans, despite the evidence of every poll and major special election:

SULLIVAN: …everybody in this country understands Obama’s the best thing we’ve got.

You’d think a guy who called himself a “gay conservative” for a decade or more would be the last person in the world to fall for the “everybody thinks like me” fallacy.

On this week’s Chris Matthews Show, Sullivan’s fervent declarations of love for Obama and insistence that he was in no political trouble were so out of left field, that they even left CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Kramer speechless…

Check out this exchange, in which even Chris Matthews cannot keep up with Sullivan’s Obamania, and even wild man Jim Kramer can’t get a word out:

Mr. SULLIVAN: Last week he was the only adult in the room. I think people see that. I think the Republican Party is utterly uninterested in governing. They’re interested in killing his presidency.

MATTHEWS: So wrong.

Mr. SULLIVAN: I think the Democrats are so useless in getting to—their act together that everybody in this country understands Obama’s the best thing we’ve got.

MATTHEWS: I’m completely…

Mr. SULLIVAN: He’s a reasonable, centrist person. That’s why a lot of us who are more independent and conservative wanted him, because we thought he was the one person to get past this stupid politics, this old ideology…


Mr. SULLIVAN: …and actually talk about the problems. And the truth is the health reform is actually a sensible, centrist solution to this problem. And my view is if he lets that go, then his promise is over.

MATTHEWS: OK. And this is—this is the reality, though.

Mr. CRAMER: (Unintelligible)

And pretty much the only person left in the United States who is stimulated by the “stimulus package” is Andrew Sullivan—all the while, still insisting he’s a “conservative.”

Mr. SULLIVAN: Not easy partners? They [the Republicans] gave the man NO votes on a modest stimulus package in his FIRST MONTH!

Ms. O’DONNELL: I understand what you’re saying…

Mr. SULLIVAN: This was an act of premeditated obstructionism and oppositionism with NO respect for the interests of this country and with CONTEMPT for the election result. What I don’t understand about these Republicans, they seem—they seem to be TOTALLY amnesiac about their own responsibility for our current situation, utterly able to wipe their own slate clean and then attack, attack, attack. I—the chutzpah of these people just takes my breath away!

On a panel of Matthews regulars which includes Newsweek’s ultra-liberals Howard Fineman and Katy Connolly, left wing columnists Joe Klein and Clarence Page, and MSNBC’s White House spin machine Norah O’Donnell, only Andrew Sullivan saw a politically rosy scenario for Barack Obama.

MATTHEWS: Can President Obama get political credit for his jobs push he’s making right now? We put it to The Matthews Meter, 12 of our regulars. If unemployment stays up there around 10 percent until the elections this November, could President Obama still get credit for his jobs push, all this talk about jobs?

11 say no, it won’t work. Just one says yes. That’s you, Andrew.

Mr. SULLIVAN: Yes, because I think people see that he’s sincere, he’s trying. And they also understand there’s no magic wand.

Even Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow admit these days that the President has political troubles.  One can dismiss their argument that the President is in trouble because he did not push far enough to the Left; but at least they can read election results.

And while one can question the political savvy of the President advocating for gays in the military while at his lowest point politically (an issue which hurt Bill Clinton while he was riding high after his first election); one thing is for certain—it will keep Andrew Sullivan singing his praises for at least the rest of this term.

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