Over at The Douche, ex-journalist Andrew Sullivan writes the following:
“So far as I can tell, this president has done nothing illegal, unethical or even wrong.”
He’s reacting to a column by Peggy Noonan that describes the IRS scandal as “the worst Washington scandal since Watergate.” You can either agree with that or not, but you cannot so glibly dismiss, as Sullivan does, the systemic implications of each of these assaults on the American public. “But how exactly is all this a crippling scandal for the president?” Sullivan asks, employing the singular rather than the plural, and apparently unaware that The White House is in panic mode. “He is not involved in any of these issues directly.” (Sullivan is still stuck on the “low-level” talking point; he’s willing to be outraged so long as that outrage doesn’t extend beyond the borders of a regional IRS office.) Then: “I guess what I’m saying is that my own confidence in this president’s integrity and abilities is completely unfazed by these unconnected stories.”
I won’t quote anymore of this nonsense, lest people begin to suspect they should actually read it. To paraphrase a character from the movie The Paper, how stupid does Sullivan think we are? What does he think we get when we put two and two together? Three? Three and a half? The notion that no high-level official had any knowledge of, or guiding hand in, the IRS scandal is risible. It simply can’t be believed by anyone with some knowledge of politics and history.
Like Glenn Greenwald, Sullivan’s main rhetorical trope is a cranky self-righteousness, according to which we mere non-Sullivans are all just hateful little machines reflexively performing our hateful little duties. Let this creepy self-worship turn you off from him forever.