Thursday, November 13, 2003

Not that there's anything wrong with that

Reading Andrew Sullivan's blog today, we couldn't tell whether or not he was upset at Gore Vidal. But he did accuse Vidal of trotting out a "nativist slur" with reference to himself. We assumed that this was one of those occasional references that people make to Sullivan being from England, although now a naturalised American citizen. But through the essential Sullywatch, we learned once again the basic blog lesson: always follow the link. Sullywatch reproduces the offending item:

[Discussion of what the Founders of the USA would have thought of Dubya] So you’d find Hamilton pretty much on the Bush side. But I can’t think of any other Founders who would. Adams would surely disapprove of Bush. He was highly moral, and I don’t think he could endure the current dishonesty. Already they were pretty bugged by a bunch of journalists who came over from Ireland and such places and were telling Americans how to do things. You know, like Andrew Sullivan today telling us how to be.

Sullywatch then notes the curiosity of being identified by association with the Irish as being a slur. As we posted about last week, Sullivan made a weird comment that seemed to link England's represession of Catholicism (with obvious disproportionate effects on Ireland) with the post 9/11 crackdown in the US. And yet there are other times where he seems to like mentioning his Irish Catholic background (via his parents), perhaps as some kind of populist credential --- much like fellow conservative spinner, Ed Gillespie.

But one question to our thousands of readers might help provide insights into Sullivan's ambiguity: In which country, England or the USA, is being labelled Irish more likely to be an insult? Perhaps he's not quite as New World as he thinks.