What’s With Sully?

Noted conservative hack, Andrew Sullivan, posted this on Thursday:

LET THE KIDS PAY FOR IT: I’m talking about this $170 billion foray into space. After all, the next generation will be paying for a collapsed social security system, a bankrupted Medicare program, soaring interest on the public debt, as well as coughing up far higher taxes to keep some semblance of a government in operation. But, hey, the president needed another major distraction the week before the Iowa caucuses, and since he won’t be around to pick up the bill, why the hell not? Deficits don’t matter, after all. And what’s a few hundred billion dollars over the next few decades anyway? Chickenfeed for the big and bigger government now championed by the Republicans. This space initiative is, for me, the last fiscal straw. There comes a point at which the excuses for fiscal recklessness run out. The president campaigned in favor of the responsibility ethic. He has governed – in terms of guarding the nation’s finances – according to the motto: “If it feels good, do it.” I give up. Can’t they even pretend to give a damn?

Later that same day, he added this:

AND WHEN IN DOUBT, LIE: Leave it to Rick Santorum to say the following: “I would just suggest we stayed within the budget targets the President has set forth. They are substantially less than what the increases were under the Clinton administration. They are, I would argue, fiscally responsible.” Here’s the truth: If you take defense and entitlement spending out of the picture altogether (and they have, of course, gone through the roof), Bush and the Republican Congress have upped domestic spending by a whopping 21 percent in three years…

Astounding! I completely agree with both posts. But Sully was only experiencing a brief moment of clarity. On Friday, he returned with a very disingenuous and specious account of Gen. Clark’s pre-war assessment of the steps America should take to deal with Saddam Hussein. (To see why Sully’s argument is specious, see Kleiman, Marshall, Drum, or Columbia Journalism Review’s new blog.)