Delusions of Grandeur

One of my favorite bloggers, Lance Mannion, has up a lovely post about Andrew Sullivan.

I haven’t had a credit card for years, because I actually live like a fiscal conservative.

We’re sure you do, Andrew. But you know what else you live like?

A man with a six-figure income and no children.

Getting a little tired of being told by the well-to-do strolling down Park Avenue that the rest of us hoi polloi need to share in some more sacrifice and tighten our belts another notch.

Sullivan also thinks we need to raise the age of retirement. Again not advice we want to hear from someone who can go on vacation for weeks at a time seemingly whenever he wants and who has a job he can do and do well until he’s 90, if his health allows.

One of the things that drives us nuts about Sullivan is that it’s all so personal with him. I don’t mean he thinks it’s all about him. I mean that sometimes—a lot of times—he doesn’t seem able to imagine that not everybody in the United States is a gay ex-pat Brit living in Washington, D.C. whose big disappointment in life recently was being turned down for a mortgage on a second home.

Yeah. Sullivan didn’t get to buy a summer house in Provincetown. The heart heart bleeds.

Because Lance is a much nicer person than I am, his post doesn’t end there and it has some interesting ideas about why many of us keep reading Sullivan (despite Sullivan’s frequent wrongheadedness, weird man-crushes on people who would set him on fire if they could (Paul Ryan, anyone?), inexplicable belief that Margaret Thatcher was anything but a vile and termagant harridan who should have been murdered in a ditch with “Section 28” engraved on her forehead with a stanley knife, and the fact that when he goes on holiday he apparently turns his entire blog over to the tender mercies of a room full of particularly flatulent monkeys).

ETA: For the avoidance of doubt, I’m reposting my comment from the Balloon Juice thread:

I like Sullivan. I read his blog every day, and a lot of the time I find it fascinating and entertaining and thought provoking. On the issues he believes in, he is an effective and committed advocate.

Plus he sent a couple of thousand readers my way one day, for which I will always be grateful.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to point out that, with disappointing regularity, he comes across as an entitled dick.

5 Comments on “Delusions of Grandeur”

  1. Thank you very much, Sarah. I had to stop myself from going on about what drives me nuts about Sully. I didn’t mention what John has pointed out over at Balloon Juice, that Andrew thinks Megan McCardle is a great thinker and he persists in writing about economic issues even though he’s practically innumerate. And I didn’t dare let myself get started on the Bell Curve. But the main thing I enjoy about his blog is that he’s aware and interested in the fact that a whole world exists outside of American Presidential politics and it’s as full of as much enjoyment as sorrow, and even though he thinks it’s populated mainly with people like him, I don’t think he thinks it revolves around him, which makes his blog a gateway out of the politically wonky blogosphere and into that other world. Plus, he’s generally cheerful and optimistic and we can all use a daily dose of cheerfulness and optimism.

  2. heydave says:

    I’m dumbfounded as to why he seems to get away with saying stupid shit, the way he often does.

    It’s as if the general populace is just happy that the odd little creature didn’t fling its poo and masturbate in front of the busload of school kids…. this time.

  3. harlana says:

    Sarah, I don’t know how to contact you so I’m posting here. Thank you again for the unemployment post. I really hope we could have those now and then, so we can give the unemployed our support and they can support each other in this like-minded (well, sometimes!) community at BJ and perhaps even network a bit, so important in these times.


    • Hello dear – It’s not a problem at all, and given the response I suspect we could easily do it monthly and get away with it.

      By the way, my email is listed on the “About” page on here, even if Mr Cole can’t get off his arse long enough to put me on the front page contact list.

  4. Cheez Whiz says:

    Someone on Balloon Juice described Sullivan as “an excellent prose stylist” which I think sums up his appeal perfectly. He is a very good writer whose judgement sadly does not measure up to that standard. An excellent prose stylist can write an impassioned denunciation of torture or bigotry, and then turn about and write a well-composed apologia of magical realism economics that makes absolutely no sense.

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