Andrew Sullivan Agrees With Klein's Sedition Comments; Says Beck, Limbaugh and Fox Control GOP
The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan said this weekend he agrees with Time's Joe Klein about Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin being almost seditious in their opinions of the Obama administration while also claiming that the Republican Party IS Fox News.
"I'm more with Joe than I am with the Fox News Republican National Committee coalition machine, sort of this great machine spewing out an alternative reality to reality every, every minute of the day," said Sullivan on the most recent installment of the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show."
"[T]his essentially is accusing the President -- duly-elected president -- of being illegitimate and even treasonous to what the United States is."
When NBC's Kelly O'Donnell pointed out that most people "think there is a different standard between the politics of entertainment and the politics of policy," Sullivan replied, "I'm tired, I have to say, of this notion that someone like Beck and [Rush] Limbaugh can be excused because they are entertainers, as if that is an excuse for saying substantively what they're saying and for controlling the Republican Party" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Well, Andrew, Joe Klein wrote in his blog this week after that show, "Let me be clear, dissent is not sedition, but questioning the administration's legitimacy in a manner intended to undermine or overthrow it certainly is." Your thoughts?
ANDREW SULLIVAN: I'm more with Joe than I am with the Fox News Republican National Committee coalition machine, sort of this great machine spewing out an alternative reality to reality every, every minute of the day. Look, dissent is great and important, and I, I believe -- I'm a free speech absolutist. But this essentially is accusing the President -- duly-elected president -- of being illegitimate and even treasonous to what the United States is. And it's, it's important to recognize that is what they are saying, it's what they believe. Sarah Palin's own husband was part of a secessionist movement. There's been secession movements in the south. This is a replay, you know, this is Confederate history month. This is about the moment when America's divides go right up to calling the government not wrong, but illegitimate.
I guess Sullivan was asleep last decade when large segments of the Left in this nation said George W. Bush was an illegitimate president as a result of the Florida recount debacle while routinely calling him and members of his administration treasonous for invading Iraq AND for -- in their warped view of the world!!! -- "outing" Valerie Plame.
Of course, amnesia is an important part of being a deluded member of the media. As witnessed moments later in this discussion, so is ignorance:
KATTY KAY, BBC: I think, here's the new thing, that we've always had dissent, and it's right and proper there should be so. The difference with this administration is when you get groups like the birthers, and people have said it to me this week, who have questioned the legitimacy of this president because of his birthplace and his nationality. Is there something that was very interesting that Sarah Palin said and chose to say, "Now I'm not calling anyone un-American," because the talking points now say you cannot say that anyone is un-American?" But that's the question. Is there something about Barack Obama, where he comes from, where he was born, where he's lived, who he is, his biography, his race, that is somehow calling into question his legitimacy? And that is what I think's worrying. Is it a big part of even the Tea Party movement? I don't know what the numbers are, but they have a loud megaphone in cable television and on the internet and that's what makes them different from previous fringe groups.
"I don't know what the numbers are?"
You don't, Katty? Did you miss the recent New York Times/CBS News poll of Tea Partiers which found only 30 percent of the movement believes Obama wasn't born in America which isn't all that different than the 20 percent of the entire nation that feels the same way?
As such, it is not "where he was born, where he's lived, who he is, his biography, his race, that is somehow calling into question his legitimacy." It is his actions and his policies that are upsetting so many Americans.
Sadly, Obama-loving media members just can't understand that.
To her credit, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell offered some sanity to this discussion:
KELLY O'DONNELL, NBC: When I talk to voters, though, I think there is a different standard between the politics of entertainment and the politics of policy. I think a lot of people will look at people like a Beck or a Limbaugh or any of the other names...
O'DONNELL: Well, she seems to be moving toward more of a media figure than an elected official. They expect a different standard of office-holders than the people who earn tens of millions of dollars and attract an audience.
SULLIVAN: Look, I'm tired, I have to say, of this notion that someone like Beck and Limbaugh can be excused because they are entertainers, as if that is an excuse for saying substantively what they're saying and for controlling the Republican Party. Look, who in the Republican Party have actually pushed back against Beck or Limbaugh or these other nut-cases? I mean, that's the truth. And because there's no resistance in the Republican Party, the Republican Party is Fox News. That's, that's the head of the Republican Party.
Although maybe not so, for Sullivan during this installment was more of a blithering idiot than normal.
In the first segment, he actually said that Obama's "genius" is in "making his opponents destroy themselves" while claiming voters view all the various pieces of legislation enacted since January 20, 2009, as a sign that this President "is actually getting stuff done."
In Sullivan's warped view, the Republicans might do well in the upcoming midterm elections, but they're destroying themselves as a Party due to Obama's machinations.
I guess no one has shown Sullivan recent polls finding Obama's popularity plummeting along with support for his healthcare reform bill; at the same time, the views of the Tea Party and support for the GOP continues to advance.
There goes that ignorance thing again.
Readers are advised that the Washington Post's David Ignatius also didn't agree with the sedition views being expressed by Sullivan and Kay.