PBS Puts On Gay Lefty Andrew Sullivan To Make 'Conservative' Case for Democrats
On Friday night, the PBS news show "Now" wrapped up its last show before the election by bringing on so-called "conservative" blogger Andrew Sullivan to explain why he’s telling everyone to vote Democrat. Apparently, voting Democrat is the right way to get low taxes, small government, and a competent defense. What? That’s odd, considering the show began by quoting this "conservative iconoclast" claiming "We're talking not so much about an election anymore; we're talking about an intervention. We're talking about getting these people to recognize reality."
"Now" host David Brancaccio gave viewers no shred of a clue that would make Sullivan look less than conservative, from being an editor of the liberal magazine The New Republic in the 1990s, to blogging now for Time magazine online, to his rabid support for John Kerry in 2004, to his most obvious crusade -- as a fervent lobbyist for the gay-left agenda. (The screen only read he was a blogger for the "Daily Dish," the title of his blog on Time.com.) It began with a compliment:
Brancaccio: "What is a nice conservative like you doing telling your friends and your readers to abstain from voting next week or worse?"
Sullivan: "I've done more. I've said 'vote Democrat.' Look, I'm an old-fashioned conservative. I believe in small government. I believe in low taxes. I believe in balanced budgets. I believe in individual liberty, personal responsibility, states' rights and a strong competent defense. So, on all those issues, I have no choice but to oppose this president. The only way to get him to acknowledge reality and grapple with reality is by backing the Democrats."
Brancaccio: "But you've thought this through. I mean, you've, like, sat down and really contemplated the notion of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives-- Nancy Pelosi, noted liberal and not exactly a fanatic when it comes to small government."
Sullivan: "Yeah, I know. Eeuw. I'm not happy. I don't – it's not because I believe or agree with the Democrats on a whole range of issues. The only way to get through to Bush will be, unfortunately, to see someone like Nancy Pelosi elevated to Speaker of the House. I'll have to live with that, okay? But this republican congress has increased spending faster than any Democratic congress since F.D.R. I mean, it is the debt of the next generation will have to pay off, was $20 trillion in 2000. By 2004, it was $43 trillion. Now I'm a fiscal conservative. You tell me, could the Democrats be any worse?"
Brancaccio: "But you could vote, from your perspective, for the Democrats as a protest. But do you see them as offering a real alternative? Or do you see them more as kind of a vector to express the anger of voters, your anger?"
Sullivan: "It's enough right now to express anger. It's enough to stay 'stop.' It's enough to say 'use what the Founding Fathers gave us,' which was a system of checks and balances. I don't think it's healthy right now, given the record of this Congress and this president, to have them control all the levels of government. And I think conservatives and liberals, we can join hands in this to try and drag this country back to sanity and the center. That's what this election is about to me."
When someone declares their fervent desire to return politics to a "center" of sanity, the label would not be "conservative." It would be a "centrist" -- but Sullivan is hardly a sane and centered commentator, considering how he's changed many of the conservative positions he used to hold in the last two years. But there was Sullivan on PBS, accusing every other conservative of having no soul: "Sometimes you have to lose in the short term to win in the long term. And conservatives have so lost their soul, so lost their principles, that they need to lose to regain them."
The show ended with a little extra gratitude:
Brancaccio: Well, Andrew, thank you very much.
Sullivan: You're very welcome.
Brancaccio: Andrew Sullivan is a conservative, a blogger, and author of the new book "The Conservative Soul."