Andrew Sullivan logic and the Virginia Marriage Amendment

If I were to use Andrew Sullivan’s logic, I’d vote for the Virginia Marriage Amendment today.

From the post quoted by Sullivan:

The invasion failed at every level: if securing Israel was part of the administration’s calculation—as the record suggests it was for several of his top aides—the result is also clear: the strengthening of Iran’s hand in the Persian Gulf, with a reach up to Israel’s northern border, and the elimination of the most powerful Arab state that might stem Iranian regional hegemony.

From Sullivan, after quoting this drek:

Yes, there’s the usual anti-Semitic undertow here. It’s Buchanan’s posse. At the same time, on the simple facts on the ground, is any of this even debatable at this point? Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, we have to repudiate this administration’s disastrous incompetence, or face even greater perils than we have been exposed to already. Tomorrow’s the day. Do not be silent.

So, if I vote for George Allen, who supports the Marriage Amendment, then I can use the same logic. I guess I can call it Sullivan logic. Sure, the marriage amendment is anti-gay, which means Allen is a little anti-gay, but that’s the usual conservative undertow here. The more important issue is that I support the war in Iraq, and so does George Allen. I can just ignore that little anti-gay bigotry, just as Sullivan is ignoring the anti-Semitism of the Buchanan crew.

After all, I’m not gay. No one in my family is gay. The Marriage Amendment doesn’t affect me. Just like Sullivan isn’t Jewish, so a little anti-Semitism by the Buchananites doesn’t affect him. Right?


Anyone else with me on this one?

No, I’m not going to vote for the Marriage Amendment. I am most decidedly voting against it. But Sullivan logic says that I should.

It’s going to be a tough decision for me today. Vote for myself, or vote for Allen. Sully’s pushed me a tad more towards Allen. I had no idea anyone could make me not vote for myself, but then, I’m not a big fan of excusing bigotry. Now the big question is, if I vote for Allen, is it excusing bigotry, or is it payback for Sullivan excusing anti-Semitism?

Decisions, decisions.

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25 Responses to Andrew Sullivan logic and the Virginia Marriage Amendment

  1. j.a.m. says:

    To vote for U.S. Senator based on a position he will have no role in enacting over the course of his term — in fact, a question that will be settled by the people on the very day you cast your vote — is a bit far-fetched. As for the premise that anyone who supports the proposed marriage amendment is a bigot, that’s just repugnant.

  2. Xrlq says:

    I think your version of Sullivan logic makes a lot more sense than Sullivan’s. After all, the marriage amendment will either pass or fail on its own today, irrespective of either Senator’s support or opposition. Once it passes/fails, there’s not a damned thing Senator Webb/Allen can do about that. So there’s a good reason to ignore the marriage amendment while deciding which Senator to vote for. I don’t know that the same can be said for Pat Buchanan and his ilk, whose anti-Semitic tendencies are more of a recurring theme.

  3. Jack on Track says:

    But remember, that Mr. Fickle was for the war before he was against it. He only became anti-war, anti-bush etc. after Bush came out against gay marriage. He ties everything politically and philosophically to his sexual orientation and urges. Not to invoke that old hare but I really believe this guy does think with his P***s

  4. Vote for the war, i.e. for Allen, or down the line the marriage amendment will be just another might-have-been issue.

  5. Paul says:

    Just vote your conscience !

  6. Andrew K says:

    I think you misinterpreted AS’s line on anti-semitism. The only reason he mentions it is to point out the probably impurity of paleo-con motives. It is the repugnant underbelly of the opinion.

    Andrew’s point isn’t that it should be tolerated our of hand, only that it paleocon opinions should be looked at in light of that negative aspect. Thus, not giving too much credibility or power to the opinions of a small cabal of anti-semites who happen to agree with him at this moment.

    Here, you are unfairly portraying his caveat as if it were the entire point of the post, when it is in fact a moderation of it.

    I also think that Sullivan would agree with some measure of compromise on gay marriage (he’s said as much- supporting states rights and civil unions as steps in the right direction) in order to keep big government, nanny state, socialist policies of Democrats, and lately a lot of Republicans, from overwhelming the country.

  7. kstamos says:


    Just read Sullivan’s post again. Where does he say that he supports Buchanan as a person or his political ideology? All he says, is that in this specific piece, all the arguments Buchanan makes are hardly debatable at this point.

    Can you offer some answer on that?

  8. Andrew K says:

    multiple typos recognized. apologies.

  9. Yes, he did say he supports the Buchananites, right there in the beginning of his post:

    Virtually the entire conservative movement is now disowning this administration and this Congress. I welcome every single one. Here’s the latest bunch of right-wingers urging a vote for the Democrats:

    He then goes on to quote the folks at The American Conservative, Buchanan’s mouthpiece (which, in this very issue, has yet another tongue-bath of Walt-Mearsheimer).

    That is an unqualified acceptance of the Buchananites. This is not, “Gee, they’re anti-Semitic, so even though I agree with them on Bush, I’m not happy that they’re part of this.”

    He didn’t say a thing about Buchanan in his post, by the way, nor did I. Although I do ascribe all of the things he and I wrote about Buchananites to Buchanan himself.

    And I fully expect Pat’s posse to come out of the woodwork on this one. They do every time their patron saint is pointed out for the bigot that he is.

  10. Jim O'Sullivan says:

    Who’s Andrew Sullivan?

  11. Larry G says:

    I voted for you this morning. I even think my handwriting was legible. I hope you will join me in voting for you. Don’t let annoyance with other bloggers stop you from voting for the best candidate, i.e., you.

    Your ardent supporter, Larry G

  12. j.a.m.: Actually, since George Allen lives in Virginia, as a voter, he has the exact same influence on the Marriage Amendment as I do.

    As for the bigotry charge—well, the amendment is pretty specifically anti-gay. I don’t see how you can spin being anti-gay as not being bigoted. I don’t mean it in the sense that I think people who vote for the bill want to kill gays. But it’s bigoted.

    The definition of bigotry is intolerance. An amendment that does not allow gays to marry is not exactly a model of tolerance.

    I’m sorry you don’t like the word, but it happens to fit.

  13. Sarah G. says:

    Hey Meryl, vote Yourish. It’s the write thing to do!

  14. The moment Sullivan brings up gay marriage, change the channel. Turn the page. Click to somewhere else.

    You’re not going to get a rational argument.

    If Liberals have Bush Derangement Syndrome, then Sullivan has Gay Marriage Derangement Syndrome.

    You won’t get an argument based on the merits and positives (and negatives) of the concept. You’ll just get a tangled web of loose connections worthy of Mel Gibson in Bird On A Wire.

    One day, I wish he’d just sweep all that aside and lay out the argument for it cleanly and without political garbage or connections.

    And you know what? He’d be preaching to the choir, because I’m already convinced it would do more good than harm. But I think his looking through Gay Marriage Colored Glasses is annoying at the least and deranged at the worst.

    Maybe I should look get the prescription changed on my Zionist Colored Glasses? (Or at least consider bifocals)

  15. Old Grouch says:

    My glasses have cat noseprints all over them. What does that mean?

  16. Rich says:

    “The definition of bigotry is intolerance. An amendment that does not allow gays to marry is not exactly a model of tolerance.”

    Meryl, since you are unwilling to tolerate “bigotry,” what does that make you? If you push people enough, almost everyone is intolerant of something (e.g. cannibalism, forced child sex slavery, etc.). According to your definition, they are all bigots. (No, I’m not equating homosexual marriage to child sex slavery; it’s an argument from the absurdity of the unqualified premise.) Why do you get to decide by fiat that it is OK to be intolerant of some things, but not OK to be intolerant of others? I expect you have reasons for thinking homosexual marriage is no big deal, but to call all opposed to granting it legal and societal sanction bigotted, without providing a reasoned defense of why it should be tolerated, or an attempt to hear those with whom you disagree, smacks of the very vice you criticize.

  17. Rich, you’re playing semantics with the term. Let’s look at the full definition, shall we?

    1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

    Regardless of whether you go by the nature or nurture argument regarding homosexuality, intolerance of homosexuals is bigotry. Either you’re against someone doing something that they have no control over (nature), or you’re against someone doing something that they want to do (nurture) because you disagree with it.

    Yes, everyone is intolerant of something. Being intolerant of intolerance, however, is not bigotry. It’s, well, the opposite of bigotry.

  18. Joe Baby says:

    Is marriage simply whatever people want it to be?

    Heck, what if my wife wants to marry the moron next door with the mullet — does she even have to inform me?

    Isn’t there a societal interest that kids grow up in a house with one man + one woman?

    Is it bigoted to even ask these questions?

  19. Gabriel Hanna says:

    The definition of bigotry is intolerance. An amendment that does not allow gays to marry is not exactly a model of tolerance.

    Meryl, doesn’t that mean that an amendment banning polygamy would be anti-Muslim bigotry?

    Society accepts all kinds of restrictions on marriage. There is an age restriction that varies from state to state; in some states first cousins cannot marry; no state allows incestuous or polygamous marriages.

    Currently gays and lesbians have exactly the same marriage rights I do–they may marry one person of the other gender at one time. They have little to no interest in doing so, true. But I can’t marry anyone I want to any more than they can.

  20. Joe, marriage is whatever society has historically declared it to be. Feel free to look up a history of marriage, but I’m pretty sure that marriage today is different from what it was two thousand years ago, or even one hundred years ago. Organized religion changed marriage a great deal. Marriage during pagan times was a very different thing than it is today. But I’m not actually talking about religious marriage. I am talking about civil marriage, which the government can, and does, regulate

    Gabriel: The amendment is specifically targeting gay marriage. Though it may not explicitly say so, the statement that marriage is only between a man and a woman is effectively saying that Virginia will not permit gay marriage.

    I know that society accepts all kinds of restrictions on marriage, and I agree with most of them. But I don’t agree with them on gay marriage.

    If a bill was brought before the state banning polygamy in Muslim marriages, then yes, it would be anti-Muslim bigotry. You are building a straw man there and also conveniently distracting from the issue. The issue is not polygamy, which is already illegal. Gay marriage is not illegal. It is simply not legally recognized by the state. This bill would keep it that way in perpetuity.

    My point is this: Society changes. Women were not allowed to initiate divorce proceedings, and were not given custody of the children.

    Need I remind you that women in America have been voting for less than a century?

    Things change. Society changes. Marriage laws change.

    I voted against the marriage amendment half an hour ago.

    I wound up not voting for George Allen, though. I stayed true to my campaign and wrote myself in.

  21. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Things change. Society changes. Marriage laws change.

    No sensible person could deny this. But this isn’t what you are arguing.

    You are saying that anyone in favor of the status quo is a bigot. This defines “bigotry” down to the point of meaninglessness–before gay marriage became an issue in the last few years, everyone must have been a bigot.

    I couldn’t care less whether or not gay marriage is made legal, but I care deeply about how it is made legal.

    If a supermajority votes to keep it illegal until such time as a future supermajority votes to make it legal; I have no problem with that.

    The constitutional amendment prevents gay marriage from being introduced by judicial fiat. It is not unrepealable. When a supermajority of your fellow citizens feel the same way you do, it will be repealed.

    A constitutional amendment was required to permit women the vote–it is not unreasonable, or bigoted, that gay marriage would require one too.

  22. Wow. You think it was okay that a supermajority was required to give women the vote? It was an injustice that should have been fixed by judicial or presidential fiat, just as ending slavery was fixed by fiat.

    Sometimes, the status quo is bigoted. Denying basic humanity to black slaves was bigotry at its worst. Denying the vote to women was bigotry as well–men insisted that women were unable, emotionally and intellectually, to process the information needed to vote. Puh-leeze. How much more intolerant can the status quo get?

    Putting an amendment to the state constitution that explicitly forbids homosexual marriage is most definitely intolerant. Voting for it is a reflection of the voter’s intolerance as well.

    Again, I’m sorry that you don’t like the term, but it happens to be the truth. Apparently, nearly two-thirds of Virginia voters are bigoted against homosexuals.

  23. chsw says:

    Today, write-ins for Meryl. Just wait until 2008!


  24. Denying the vote to women was bigotry as well–men insisted that women were unable, emotionally and intellectually, to process the information needed to vote. Puh-leeze.

    That reminds me of a tv news report I saw just before the 2000 election, on changing voter demographics. They interviewed three “soccer moms”. These women were Republicans but hd switched over to vote for Clinton in 1996, but were now planning to switch back and vote for Bush.

    One summed up her reasons as the she saw Dole as “old & tired” but GWB as “young & vital”. The other made similar statements.

    I thought “So, basically, for the last two elections at least, they choose the better looking candidate. Isn’t that why we didn’t want to give women the vote in the first place?”

  25. So much for extreme left-wing progressivism.

    What an incredibly sexist remark, Jamie.

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