Andrew Sullivan: Stalker

Andrew Sullivan, the Atlantic columnist and former supporter of President Bush who turned away a couple of years ago, reminds me of the psycho ex-girlfriend stereotype, the one who can’t accept that the man in her life is gone. To all outward appearances, the Iranian presidential election was rigged, though I’d attach the caveat that we don’t have all of the facts yet, and what we do have has been filtered through a lens of hope for change in Iran.

To Mr Sullivan, there’s really no need to wait for more facts to come in, and he jumps into the condemnatory fray, eager to cast Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad into that most despicable of roles, that of Karl Rove!


The Rovian Islamist

Ahmadinejad’s bag of tricks is eerily like that of Karl Rove – the constant use of fear, the exploitation of religion, the demonization of liberals, the deployment of Potemkin symbolism like Sarah Palin:

Ahmadinejad made an advertising movie of himself and his family which was very effective among the masses. His simple life is similar to low income people. This is despite the fact that during his first term some people acquired a lot of wealth because of Ahmadinejad’s bad economic decisions, housing prices during the last four years tripled, industrial production decreased, many factories closed and unemployment increased. Import of goods such as rice, tea, sugar, and Chinese goods mostly helped the importers who are Ahmadinejad’s biggest supporters. It’s interesting that several of his ministers are very wealthy including his mister of the interior.

An increase in the price of oil and a $280 billion revenue allowed Ahmadinejad to not only raise people’s salaries but also to give cash, goods and even gold coins to the people who came to greet him whenever he visited a town or a village; just like the Qajar kings. Many of the agencies under the supervision of the supreme leader helped him in this matter.

The armed forces, specially the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij are Ahmadinejad’s supporters. Their penetration in the villages and small towns, and the fact that they are often from the lower income classes, played a major role in Ahmadinejad’s victory like the previous elections.

Think of this regime as Cheney and Rove in a police state setting, and you see what’s been going on. (Of course, Rove and Cheney live within a democratic system utterly unlike Iran, and there’s no evidence they would violate democratic norms as Khamenei just did. But their demagoguery, abuse of the state, dedication to conflict abroad, co-optation of the armed forces, and manipulation of rural and religious voters all have parallels in Red State Iran.) We keep expecting to see some kind of shame or some attempt at rational dialogue. They have nothing but contempt for that kind of talk. If they’re going to lie, it’s gonna be a Big Lie. Like this sham of an election.

Perhaps this was a deadline-pressure article on Mr Sullivan’s part, because it’s just not well-written, not up to his usual standards of Trig Palin trutherism. But, please, please, please, won’t somebody tell Mr Sullivan that George Bush and Dick Cheney and Karl Rove are out of office? He’s exhibiting journalistic stalkerism by this point.

I’d point out here that, even setting aside Mr Sullivan’s Bush/ Cheney/ Rove obsession, the comparison he made is wholly strained. As much as Mr Sullivan might not like to admit it, President Bush and his Administration allowed four free and democratic national elections to occur during their time in office, elections in which they and their party could have lost power, and in the 2006 and 2008 elections, did just that. Mr Sullivan couldn’t have found a more apt comparison, such as, say, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, with opposition media stifled, political opponents harassed and “president for life” status sought?

C’mon, Mr Sullivan, it’s time to move on. Bush Derangement Syndrome is just so last year. For a professional writer like yourself, it’s really time to get some new material.

(Hat tip to Donald Douglas for the reference.)

24 Comments

  1. “Mr Sullivan’s Bush/ Cheney/ Rove obsession” – don’t forget the Palin family. He was blaming her for the Letterman attacks last week and called her downs syndrome child a ‘prop’.

  2. “As much as Mr Sullivan might not like to admit it, President Bush and his Administration allowed four free and democratic national elections to occur during their time in office, elections in which they and their party could have lost power, and in the 2006 and 2008 elections, did just that.”

    Allowed? Really, Dana! Is this what you really meant? Cheney/Bush had no choice, since it is the law of our land, although admittedly, they found it convenient to break the law when it served their purposes.

  3. Yes, Perry, I meant to use the word “allowed.” To be the kind of Fascists some of our friends on the left have alleged, we’d have seen some efforts by the Bush Administration to avoid those elections.

  4. OK, that makes more sense. Thanks.

    Anyway, I think Sullivan’s point is that A-Train’s campaign tactics mirrored those of Rove, not necessarily that the fascist-style vote faking was Bush-like, and he says as much in his article. I’d say that’s not entirely true – A-Train’s an economic populist, and a lot of his appeal among poor, rural voters is due to that. To me, he’s a blend between a John Edwards-style populist and a Bush-style nationalist pumped up on steroids flaxseed oil from BALCO.

  5. Sullivan became increasingly disturbed (and disturbing) with his sick obsession over Palin and her uterus during the campaign. A disgusting little man who refuses to see or understand that he’s quickly becoming irrelevant the more he exposes how mentally off-balance he is. After his stalking of the Palins, it’s not surprising he’s after Bush-Rove,and would unbelievably attempt to compare A-jad’s “bag of tricks” with Rove. It just never ends.

  6. Dana: “To be the kind of Fascists some of our friends on the left have alleged, ….”

    Dana, you are probably referring to my 1 O’clock positioning of Bush on the Patrick Sean O’Sullivan circular graphic ( http://commonsensepoliticalthought.com/?p=6113 ).

    Let me just say this: My point was that the Bush administration had some elements of fascism, of theocracy, and of libertarianism in his governance style; therefore my positioning of him did not mean that I label Bush as a fascist. Thus we see the drawback of both labels and graphics, as both can be quite imprecise.

  7. …with Rove. It just never ends.”

    That’s right, ‘other Dana’, Rove has made sure that he never ends. His latest is that the Bush administration is not at all accountable or responsible for the problems inherited by Obama. Hogwash!

    How can any serious-minded observer take this man seriously, without lots of pent-up anger with his Machiavellian approach to politics?

    In my view, this man himself, with the help of Rush et al and the Swift Boaters, through his/their lies and propaganda, is/are hugely responsible for the excesses of the Cheney/Bush administration, because he/they succeeded in hiding and obfuscating so much of the truth, as well as in engineering the really nasty reelection campaign that proved successful by just a squeek!

  8. Sullivan needs grist for his ideological opinion mill. He takes it where he can get it, even if he has to go back in time for it.

    What’s he going to do attack the One?

    The ever shriveling David Letterman, and the slavering, tingling, Chris Matthews – transported in an ecstasy of barely sublimated homoerotic lust for The One – find themselves in much the same situation.

  9. Well, as I noted here, in the update, some people may have jumped the gun on the assumption that the Iranian election was stolen, Mr Sullivan being prominent among them:


    The Iranian People Speak


    By Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty

    The election results in Iran may reflect the will of the Iranian people. Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin — greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election.

    While Western news reports from Tehran in the days leading up to the voting portrayed an Iranian public enthusiastic about Ahmadinejad’s principal opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, our scientific sampling from across all 30 of Iran’s provinces showed Ahmadinejad well ahead.

    Independent and uncensored nationwide surveys of Iran are rare. Typically, preelection polls there are either conducted or monitored by the government and are notoriously untrustworthy. By contrast, the poll undertaken by our nonprofit organizations from May 11 to May 20 was the third in a series over the past two years. Conducted by telephone from a neighboring country, field work was carried out in Farsi by a polling company whose work in the region for ABC News and the BBC has received an Emmy award. Our polling was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

    The breadth of Ahmadinejad’s support was apparent in our preelection survey. During the campaign, for instance, Mousavi emphasized his identity as an Azeri, the second-largest ethnic group in Iran after Persians, to woo Azeri voters. Our survey indicated, though, that Azeris favored Ahmadinejad by 2 to 1 over Mousavi.

    Much more at the link. I’m glad that I tempered my remarks with caveats that we don’t have all of the facts.

  10. Even that poll, though, makes the numbers A-Train reported look a bit fishy. The TFT poll cited A-Train leading 34-14, but with a reform-minded 27 percent still undecided. They also claimed that the poll indicated a likely runoff between A-Train and Moussavi, as neither would crack the 50% threshold needed to avoid the runoff. In short, Ahmadinejad may have gained a plurality, but to claim that he got 66% of the vote strains credulity.

    What I think this protest might represent, though, is some pent-up frustration that most Iranians have with their authoritarian system of government. That same poll said that 77% of Iranians want a more open government where they could choose the Supreme Leader by vote… (Interestingly, the same percentage of Iranians want better relations with the US.)

    PDF of the poll here.

  11. In my view, this man himself, with the help of Rush et al and the Swift Boaters,

    The Swift Boat vets exposed Kerry as a Neidermeyer, a guy who would stab his own troops in the back in order to advance his political career.

  12. Perry said:
    “In my view, this man himself, with the help of Rush et al and the Swift Boaters, through his/their lies and propaganda, is/are hugely responsible for the excesses of the Cheney/Bush administration, because he/they succeeded in hiding and obfuscating so much of the truth, as well as in engineering the really nasty reelection campaign that proved successful by just a squeek!”

    Apparently Hillary, Obama, Kerry, Frank, all the Dems in Congress, The Main Stream Media, academia, the Supreme Court, Soros, Letterman, every lefist commedian, Michael Moore, et al were all fooled by the guys they were calling “stupid” for 8 years.

    Wow! Looks like Bush, Cheney, Rove and Rush are actually fuckin’ geniuses!

  13. One of the more ridiculous things I heard from a friend, back when the evil Bush was still in power, was this: Bush / Rove / Cheney will engineer some ‘crisis’ like maybe a terror attack. Then, they would declare a state of emergency in order to cancel the 2008 elections. Lastly, and this was my favorite, he was going to put his picture on the money – US currency would be reprinted with Bush on the front, while he was still alive. It must be sad to be so paranoid.

  14. Jeff wrote:

    In short, Ahmadinejad may have gained a plurality, but to claim that he got 66% of the vote strains credulity.

    Seems to, doesn’t it, yet there are just so many unknowns here. How reliable was the polling? Do we know if it was really done scientifically? How were the actual votes counted?

    What gives me pause is that so much of the information we are getting is being filtered through biased sources. It seems like everyone has an axe to grind on this one.

    I’d like to think that this will lead to some sort of Iranian revolution which will throw the mad mullahs out of power, but the fact that that is what I’d like to see does not mean that I’m going to accept one side’s story on what ought to be factual data, without more support.

  15. Bag O’Douche Sullivan is just another sack of crap who’s need to be accepted by someone outweighs his rational thought process. Funny how you can call Bush and Rove, Ackmanjubbidubbi but make a correlation between President O’dumbo and Marxism/ Fascism/ Socialism and you’re just another fear mongering racist…It must be a tortured existence to be so friggin retarded… (please accept my sincere apology if you or a loved one is truly mentally handicapped)

  16. Oh God. I just read the first mind-numbing page of that Op-Ed News article. Why is it axiomatic that conspiracists cannot or will not write concisely? Truth can be told in simple terms. Why must conspiracists post thousands and thousands of words about whatever subject they feel deserves their attention? The only converse I can think of is Bugliosi’s book that uses 1500 pages to debunk the JFK myths, and that debunks 40 years worth of conspiracies.

  17. I had taken my darling bride’s (of 30 years and 27 days) car to work today, to change the oil and filter in the go-rage, and she had a rock station tuned on the radio. THis song came on, and I realized that it was the perfect stalker song, and thus, I dedicate it to Andrew Sullivan.

    He couldn’t live without Sarah Palin to cyber-stalk, an obsession only occasionally reduced by going after President Bush and his staff.

    The official video can’t be embedded, but you can watch it here.

  18. Carlitos asked:

    Why is it axiomatic that conspiracists cannot or will not write concisely?

    Because we feeble-minded dolts cannot understand their brilliance if it isn’t explained in minute detail.

    Besides, if it was simple, could it really be a conspiracy? :)

  19. I suppose that growing up in a place where politics was a contact sport between factions of one party has given be an outlook different than the dry study of political science.

    Hardball works and there is nothing wrong with going negative as long as it involves issues and the truth.

    Remember that Abe Lincoln was the Karl Rove of the Whig Party before his switched. He wrote the book on precinct organization.

    Playing the game up close provides an interesting insight that you cannot hope to get from second- and third-hand reports.

  20. they may be out of office, but they are still out in front of their Party. Rove on Fox and Cheney on all the channels as well. They are still and integral part of their party and aren’t letting go.

    I don’t see an issue with talking about these guys. Obama has only been in office for six months and he still has 4 months to go before anything is his fault.

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