Monday, November 10, 2008

ode andrew sullivan

i suppose it started with palin. i hadn't been reading andrew sullivan past what he'd write which would then be linked by matthew yglesias or ezra klein or something. from what i gather, he used to be considered a conservative blogger. but conservatism has morphed into something that most people don't seem to recognize.

what sullivan is, is a man with a brain who uses that brain to think. period. he's a guy who, whatever his conservative leanings, has mind enough to consider some world beyond the partisan pandering spit out by the likes of malkin.  and so i'm not sure for how long he's disapproved of bush and his administration. at what point he "saw the light" but dude when nuts on sarah palin. and i thank him for it. she was, and is, an uneducated, inexperienced, compulsive-lying, disaster. and though i've always had my opinions against gay republicans ("what business do they have being republicans? talk about voting against your own self-interest!"), i haven't known him since before he was speaking in favor of my candidate and against the GOP ticket.

on top of the fact that he's a beautiful writer, i most appreciate the thoughtfulness of his posts which also a fair amount of sensitivity. he's not just an analyst. he's a guy with feelings and he lets his readers glimpse that on a regular basis.

all of this is an introduction to the fact that this post on prop 8 is what kept me from having a total breakdown on tuesday night. as elated as i was about obama's win, i knew it was coming. the approval of prop 8 was a bit of an unexpected result. i have some family there and as an attorney i've spent a lot of time reading 9th circuit cases. all of that has forced into me a belief that california is a wildly progressive/liberal state. and yet, the voters dealt a blow to me that i felt deeply. to the point where i'm still so upset that i tear up at the thought of it. and i'm not even gay (though having some 30 close gay friends may influence my opinions when it comes to gay rights).

and he continues today with his soothing voice and actually, a prescient email from a reader:

One, mildly Oakeshotian, point I don't think is being made enough: one of the pleasures of the week is that it holds out the promise of not having to be obsessed with politics. It is unnatural, it seems to me, to have to care passionately every day about the workings of the central government: only in totalitarian societies, where a knock on the door may come at any time, or in authoritarian ones, where each sneeze of the King has to be analyzed for its potential consequence, does there exist a need to keep the government of the country forever in the forefront of your mind.

One of the blessings of liberal democracy, in theory, is that we delegate the common fate to the most able , intelligent and motivated people among us, and, though we keep an eye on them and make them subject to recall and revision, we can cede our trust to them to do a more or less decent and able job most of the time. We trust them.  For the first time in years, we can say now: the government is in the hands of skillful  people with a sense of the real; we can live the  live sin front of our eyes without worrying that some horror is happening behind our backs.  It would be a mistake, I think, for us all to carry on past the election and into the New Year with the same level of obsessive attention that this year, and the years before, have forced on us.  Good government gives us back our lives.

Amen to that my friend. Amen to that.

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