Sullivan Coming Around
I’ve always said a few things about Andrew Sullivan: smart and a good writer, but sadly, roughly equal parts misguided and disingenuous. Today, in a scathing analysis of the Bush administration, he displays the first two characteristics admirably. Here’s a sample, but the rest is similar and well worth reading:
There has also been, it’s safe to say, a remarkable recklessness in Bush’s approach to governance. Was it really necessary to insist that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to detainees in the war on terror? When Osama bin Laden was isolated in the Afghan-Pakistani border, was it wise to deputize the campaign to capture him to Afghan warlords? When so many people warned that the hardest task in Iraq would be what happened after the fall of Baghdad, was it sensible to junk all the carefully-written government reports for reconstruction and go in on the fly? Was it wise to brag in the days after the first military victory in Iraq that it was “Mission Accomplished”? When the Iraqi insurgency was gaining traction, was it sensible to apply the methods in Guantanamo Bay to the hundreds of petty criminals and innocents hauled into Abu Ghraib? At almost every juncture, where prudence might have been called for, Bush opted for winging it. Whatever else his methodology is, it can scarcely be called conservative.
Sullivan’s conclusion is a hair’s breadth short of an endorsement:
Put all that together, and I may not find myself the only conservative moving slowly and reluctantly toward the notion that Kerry may be the right man – and the conservative choice – for a difficult and perilous time.
So conservative semi-endorsements of Kerry now include Sullivan, Bruce Bartlett, Dan Drezner, and Jacob Levy. Alleged liberals siding with Bush include Zell Miller, Chris Hitchens, and Ralph Nader (Bartlett, Drezner, and Sullivan have strong conservative credentials to this day; Miller and Hitchens haven’t really been liberals for at least 3-5 years.) If I’m missing anyone, on either side, please expand my lists in comments.