The Playboy of the Western Coast
It's Week 3 of the Andrew Sullivan Hammock Watch and the stand-in is Dan Savage; check out Mike Power's handy summary of his salient characteristics. Sullywatch may be more qualified than us to discuss the continuity or lack thereof between Sully and Savage, but Savage is clearly keeping up one Sully tradition: the invocation of Irish heritage to explain the thinking behind certain posts. Savage was being a bit cavalier about the space shuttle return (and frankly, given the incessant coverage of the flight, we sympathise) but decided he had gone too far:
I hope no one felt my comments about NASA and the Space Shuttle yesterday were in any way disrespectful ... Making dark comments about the likelihood of an unhappy outcome is the way we Irish Catholics deal with anxiety, dread, and uncertainty. It’s our special pact with God: If we expect the worst, obsess about it, worry about it, drink about it, indulge in black humor, and honestly convince ourselves that something awful is going to happen, then God will step in and prevent said awful thing from happening just to mess with our heads. But you have to sincerely expect the worst, not just go through the motions. It's when you expect good things to happen or keep happening—when you presume upon God—bad things happen. Remember what happened when the Irish presumed upon all those potatoes?
A bad omen for the current "You'll never beat the Irish" Ireland, then. But if you think he's replaced being cavalier about the space shuttle with being cavalier about the Famine, remember that at least, unlike Republican spinner Ed Gillespie, he's not using the Famine to sell Dubya's tax-cuts.
UPDATE: He's at it again today: MY SECRET SHAME: A confession: I had three beers last night. For most Irish Catholics this would not be a big deal. My brother Billy pours three beers over his cornflakes in the morning.
We know he's going for laughs here, but seriously, I think our fellow occupants of Britain and Ireland are fairly fond of their booze too. And how will Andrew feel about the revolutionary chic of Dan's shebeen?