Time for "damn tired" nostalgia

Calling himself an "intellectually honest fiscal conservative" (in a post titled "Insta-Hack Watch") Andrew Sullivan attacks Glenn Reynolds as a partisan "hack" (for this post) and contrasts Glenn's "silly posturing about pork" (by which he means the PorkBusters movement) with his own so-called "actual proposals for serious structural spending cuts."

For starters, I remember PorkBusters quite well. Glenn went after the free-spending Republicans with such determination that Trent Lott lashed out, quite vehemently:

Said Lott when asked by an AP reporter about criticism of the project he has long championed and which was just funded in a Senate Appropriations Committee bill to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as additional Hurricane Katrina relief:

"I'll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I'm getting damn tired of hearing from them. They have been nothing but trouble ever since Katrina. We in Mississippi have not asked for more than we deserve. We've been very reasonable."

Remember, this was when the Republicans controlled everything, and guys like Tom Delay were actually saying there was no pork to cut! That prompted this remark from Glenn:
Give it to me, Tom. I'll find some things to cut. Starting with your salary, which you don't seem to be earning . . .
I think it is very impressive that Glenn and a few bloggers were able to rattle them. It is the antithesis of "silly posturing."

But what really baffles me is Sullivan's charge that opposing Republican pork projects constitutes being a partisan hack. What sort of "partisanship" would that be? Republican partisanism? Since when do partisan hacks attack their own party's programs? Could Sullivan mean partisan Democratic hack? A libertarian partisan hack?

Partisanship is defined as "the tendency of supporters of political parties to subscribe to or at least support their party's views and policies," and I don't see how PorkBusters did that in any way. I think Sullivan's charge of hack partisanship at least warrants an explanation of what sort of partisanship he means.

I think it's only fair to point out that I supported PorkBusterswholeheartedly, so I might be said to be guilty of partisan PorkBusterist hackery.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should also point out that yes, I even bought one of the official PorkBusters coffee cups, which I still use.

Photo taken today:


And here's the "DAMN TIRED" rear:

[Hmm... maybe I shouldn't have put it exactly that way. No pun intended, OK?]


I've had the cup for four or five years, and I'm just as much of a hack now as I was then. I'm for slashing as much government spending as possible, especially spending on so-called "entitlements" which I see as the most ruinous in the long term. I think PorkBusters anticipated the Tea Party Movement -- which Sullivan also attacks and derides in a similarly unprincipled manner.

This all begs the question: is Andrew Sullivan an "intellectually honest fiscal conservative" with "actual proposals for serious structural spending cuts"? I don't think it's intellectually honest or fiscally conservative to dismiss pork-cutting advocacy as "silly," and as to his actual proposals, when I clicked on Sullivan's links, I was dumbfounded, even horrified. Both Sullivan's own proposal and that of Bruce Bartlett call for additional taxes -- namely the value added tax. As to entitlement spending, Bartlett pretty much sums up the mentality:

I myself long opposed the VAT on money machine grounds. I changed my mind when I realized that there was no longer any hope of controlling entitlement spending before the deluge hits when the baby boomers retire; therefore, the U.S. now needs a money machine.

In other words, the damned baby boomers will demand lots of money, so we need to create another huge tax scheme to give it to them!

Money machine? I'd call it a pork machine.

It's anything but fiscally conservative. Where does Sullivan get off calling himself that? Factoring in that Sullivan is also on record as supporting confiscatory estate taxes, and higher (a dollar a gallon) gasoline taxes, Sullivan is anything but a fiscal conservative, and he is in no position to call Glenn a hack.

Little wonder Sullivan is winning Ann Althouse's "Who's the bigger partisan hack?" poll. Even though he's winning by 94% to 6%, Glenn is at least conciliatory enough to predict that Andrew Sullivan will change.

Considering that Dick Cheney is solidly to the left of Obama on gay rights, it's high time for Andrew (who once had a reputation for gay single issue thinking) to wake up and smell the coffee.

My "damn tired" cup has now been emptied in his honor.

posted by Eric on 06.13.09 at 12:01 PM


Remind me again why Andrew Sullivan should be taken seriously about anything at all?

Reynolds has been admirably consistent over the years. The same can not be said of Sullivan.

filbert   ·  June 13, 2009 2:18 PM

Gas tax at $1.00 per gallon would still be on the low end of average for developed western world countries.

hugh   ·  June 13, 2009 3:19 PM

Filbert is on to it.

Why in the name of all that is wholly would an intelligent being know what Sullivan drooled, much less care?

Larry Sheldon   ·  June 13, 2009 5:26 PM

I can't believe I did that.

Why in the name of all that is HOLY would an intelligent being know what Sullivan drooled, much less care?

Larry Sheldon   ·  June 13, 2009 5:30 PM

"Gas tax at $1.00 per gallon would still be on the low end of average for developed western world countries."

a talking point masquerading as informed opinion

n   ·  June 13, 2009 9:02 PM

I LOVE outspoken people with confused political identity.

I might be bucking up some wrong tree here, but personally? It seems to me, we should WISH for a nation of said people. They keep the ball moving...here...there...nearly anywhere.

Unfortunately, we've have become a nation of cheerleaders and line backers.

Penny   ·  June 13, 2009 10:28 PM

Intellectual consistency is not Sullivan's strong suit.

He can't figure out which side he is even on most of the time.

He belongs to 'no party or clique' because no one will have him.

Ken McCracken   ·  June 14, 2009 5:25 AM

I challenged Mr. Sullivan on his claim of Reynolds's partisanship around April 15, during the spending protests. Sullivan wrote back that Reynolds "never seriously attacks" the GOP; I suppose in his mind the word "seriously" erases every criticism Reynolds has made, and continues to make, of GOP knuckleheads like Lott et al. Sullivan, as Ann Althouse's readers have figured out, has flipped 180 degrees so hard that it will create some serious cognitive problems should he ever have to admit in public how disingenous he's become in the last 4-5 years.

Mark   ·  June 15, 2009 10:22 AM

We need to forgive Andrew - he has been spending months doing exhaustive research on the important issue of who is Trig Palin's mother.

Rollo_Tomasi   ·  June 15, 2009 11:43 AM

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