The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan this weekend called Mitt Romney "the most dreadful candidate since John Kerry."
Appearing on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Sullivan must have forgotten that in 2004 he endorsed Kerry over George W. Bush (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Let’s go to the larger question now. This may not be resolved before we get to Tampa, boiling hot down there in the end of the summer. With no decision going into the room, what's that mean for the Republicans to beat Obama?
ANDREW SULLIVAN, DAILY BEAST: Oh, it’s obviously not great. Although, you know, they can always reset. They can find some glamorous VP and try and do a Palin moment in September if they can.
MATTHEWS: That’s really what it’s about. It’s not a third man situation.
SULLIVAN: Now, I think it’s because Romney is probably the most, he’s the most dreadful candidate since John Kerry just in terms of ability to deliver. His speeches are vacuous. He has no real connection with other human beings. I mean, this is a candidate that’s a zombie at this point.
I guess Sullivan forgot that on October 26, 2004, while working for The New Republic, he published a piece called "Why I Am Supporting John Kerry: Risk Management" (link goes to Free Republic, TNR link no longer functioning):
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush administration has shown itself impatient with and untalented at nation-building. Moreover, the toll of the war has left the United States with minimal international support, one important ingredient for the successful rebuilding of nations. If Bush is reelected, even Britain will likely shift toward withdrawal in Iraq, compounding American isolation there and making it even harder for a new Iraqi government to gain legitimacy. In the essential tasks of building support for greater international help in Iraq--financially, militarily, diplomatically--Kerry is the better choice. No, other countries cannot bail us out or even contribute much in the way of an effective military presence. But within Iraq, the impact of a more international stamp on the occupation and on the elections could help us win the battle for the hearts and minds of Iraqis. That battle--as much as the one on the battlefield itself--is crucial for success. I fear Bush is too polarizing, too controversial, too loathed a figure even within his own country, to pull this off. [...]
Does Kerry believe in this war? Skeptics say he doesn't. They don't believe he has understood the significance of September 11. They rightly point to the antiwar and anti-Western attitudes of some in his base--the Michael Moores and Noam Chomskys who will celebrate a Kerry victory. I understand their worries. But they should listen to what Kerry has said. The convention was a remarkable event in that it pivoted the Democratic Party toward an uncomplicated embrace of the war on terror. Kerry has said again and again that he will not hesitate to defend this country and go on the offensive against Al Qaeda. I see no reason whatsoever why he shouldn't. What is there to gain from failure in this task? He knows that if he lets his guard down and if terrorists strike or succeed anywhere, he runs the risk of discrediting the Democrats as a party of national security for a generation. He has said quite clearly that he will not "cut and run" in Iraq. And the truth is: He cannot. There is no alternative to seeing the war through in Iraq. And Kerry's new mandate and fresh administration will increase the options available to us for winning. He has every incentive to be tough enough but far more leeway to be flexible than the incumbent. [...]
Domestically, Kerry is clearly Bush's fiscal superior. At least he acknowledges the existence of a fiscal problem, which this president cannot. In terms of the Supreme Court, I have far more confidence in Kerry's picks than Bush's. In 2000, Bush promised moderate, able judges; for the last four years, he has often selected rigid, ideological mediocrities. Obviously, Kerry's stand against a constitutional amendment to target gay citizens is also a critical factor for me, as a gay man. But I hope it is also a factor for straight men and women, people who may even differ on the issue of marriage, but see the appalling damage a constitutional amendment would do to the social fabric, and the Constitution itself. Kerry will also almost certainly face a Republican House, curtailing his worst liberal tendencies, especially in fiscal matters. Perhaps it will take a Democratic president to ratchet the Republican Party back to its fiscally responsible legacy. I'll take what I can get.
And when you think of what is happening in the two major parties, the case for a Kerry presidency strengthens. If Bush wins, the religious right, already dominant in Republican circles, will move the GOP even further toward becoming a sectarian, religious grouping. If Kerry loses, the antiwar left will move the party back into the purist, hate-filled wilderness, ceding untrammeled power to a resurgent, religious Republicanism--a development that will prove as polarizing abroad as it is divisive at home. But if Bush loses, the fight to recapture Republicanism from Big Government moralism will be given new energy; and if Kerry wins, the center of the Democratic party will gain new life. That, at least, is the hope. We cannot know for sure. [...]
Kerry has actually been much more impressive in the latter stages of this campaign than I expected. He has exuded a calm and a steadiness that reassures. He is right about our need for more allies, more prudence, and more tactical discrimination in the war we are waging. I cannot say I have perfect confidence in him, or that I support him without reservations. But not to support anyone in this dangerous time is a cop-out. So give him a chance. In picking the lesser of two risks, we can also do something less dispiriting. We can decide to pick the greater of two hopes. And even in these dour days, it is only American to hope.
See anywhere in that endorsement where Sullivan said Kerry was dreadful?
No. Neither do I.
In reality, Andrew Sullivan has no clue what he believes or supports anymore.
He has discovered in recent years his bread is better buttered by bashing Republicans whilst praising Democrats.
Indeed, he's supported a liberal in the past two presidential elections.
After eight years of continued attacks on virtually every conservative in the country, why should it be at all surprising when Sullivan finds any Republican dreadful?
The real shocker would be if he didn't.
*****Update: NewsBuster Jack Coleman smartly observed that Sullivan was for Kerry before he was against him.