Thursday, January 5, 2012

The continuing curious lies of Andrew Sullivan on the economy...

Before his abandonment of conservatism, Andrew Sullivan used to mix things up on a regular basis with Paul Krugman.  Back then (and still to this day), Krugman's positions was never objective when it came to his op-eds.  Good things always were due to Democratic and progressive-liberal policies.  Anything bad was due to Republicans and conservatives.

"intellectually dishonest, shamelessly manipulative and propagandistic in his arguments..."

While he would deny it, Sullivan has over the years completely morphed into Paul Krugman's partisan style.   Ever since his epiphany and crisis of faith about George Bush and the Iraq War a little more than half way through Bush's first term, virtually everything bad that has occurred to the economy is George Bush's fault (I suppose Sullivan would blame Sarah Palin for the 2008 economic meltdown if he could, but Sullivan has not yet figured out a way to tie it into Alaska gubernatorial politics yet).

And because he is taking the fight to conservatives, the left rarely ever calls him on anything anymore.  But occasionally, even left leaning publications cannot ignore Sullivan's insanity.  Of course it later turned out that Andrew Sullivan was not telling the truth about The Dish being a "one man political blog."  But why let facts get in the way of his ego?

Andrew Sullivan's continuing mantra is that economic crisis is George W. Bush's fault and but for Barack Obama, things would have been far far worse.  He takes regular pot shots at Glenn Reynolds and others, claiming that all data contrary to Sullivan's view is "bullshit."  As Sullivan noted yesterday:
But yesterday Reynolds reprinted the graph with the same bullshit analysis. Proof of an out-and-proud propagandist, who cannot even address the single point of a criticism.
This circular on Sullivan's part.  Sullivan also ignores the other six graphs Reynolds referenced.  I guess this is not surprising.  As others have noted, Sullivan lacks a understanding of economics and history.

That is not to let President Bush off the hook. Bush, Rove, Alan Greenspan, and some Republicans certainly played a role and share some responsibility in what happened, and Bush has to take responsibility because it happened on his watch.  There is plenty of bipartisan responsibility to go around.  But Sullivan's blaming of Bush, Paulson and Republicans is disingenuous given that Bill Clinton relied on Rubin, Geithner, and Summer (all tied into Goldman Sachs as Paulson was) in his term, and Barack Obama is again relying on Geithner and Summer now.  Wall Street players are Barack Obama's and the Democratic Party's biggest supporters.   As noted by Kevin Williamson, Wall Street players are promoting policies that benefit their positions currently, by having key people embedded throughout the Obama Administration. Williamson's critique of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's past business experience is particularly well stated (and scathing).  Sullivan is completely silent on such issues.  

The biggest players and contributor to the economic meltdown were Freddie and Fannie Mac.  Democrats in the center of this crisis agree that the problem arose in the housing markets.   And the biggest player and contributor to the meltdown were Freddie and Fannie Mac:

In "Reckless Endangerment," Morgenson and Rosner offer considerable censure for reckless bankers, lax rating agencies, captured regulators and unscrupulous businessmen. But the greatest responsibility for the collapse of the housing market and the near "Armageddon" of the American economy belongs to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to the politicians who created and protected them. With a couple of prominent exceptions, the politicians were Democrats claiming to do good for the poor. Along the way, they enriched themselves and their friends, stuffed their campaign coffers, and resisted all attempts to enforce market discipline. When the inevitable collapse arrived, the entire economy suffered, but no one more than the poor.
How Democrats Nearly Destroyed The Economy.

If we were going to pick the two most responsible for the mess we are in, it would be Chris Dodd (D) and Barney Frank (D).  
Fannie Mae lied about its profits, intimidated adversaries, bought off members of Congress with lavish contributions, hired (and thereby co-opted) academics, purchased political ads (through its foundation) and stacked congressional hearings with friendly bankers, community activists and advocacy groups (including ACORN). Fannie Mae also hired the friends and relations of key members of Congress (including Rep. Barney Frank's partner).
As Newt Gingrich noted on October 11, 2011, what occurred with Dodd and Frank may have gone beyond mere mistakes of policy:
“Well in Chris Dodd’s case, go back and look at the Countryside deals,” Gingrich insisted. “In Barney Frank’s case, go back and look at the lobbyists he was close to at Freddie Mac. All I’m saying is that everybody in the media who wants to go after the business community ought to start to go after the politicians who have been at the heart of the sickness which is weakening this country.”
Back in 2004, Sullivan promoted John Kerry's candidacy because he claimed the Democrats would never spend as recklessly as Bush (with the influence of Karl Rove) had done (that the guy he promoted for president has subsequently been found to have engaged in self serving insider trading and tax avoidance has not seemed to have bothered Sullivan).  Many conservatives spoke out against Bush's spending and the Medicare Prescription Drug Expansion at the time.  And of course, most of the Democrats in Congress supported it, which is how it managed to become law.

Is Andrew "The Conservative Soul" Sullivan promoting a Paul Ryan approach to government spending and entitlements?  Is Sullivan calling the Obama administration out the way he called out the Bush administration?  No, Sullivan is silent on the massive deficit spending being done by the Obama Administration, or, using the excuse it is all Bush's fault and Barack Obama just has to do the heavy lifting.  But wait a second, didn't the head of the DNC claim that the Democrats and Barack Obama own the economy now?  How long can we blame George Bush for the situation we are in?  Well, from Sullivan's perspective, at least through the 2012 election I suppose.  

Rather than periodic attacks on Glenn Reynolds, perhaps Andrew Sullivan could examine his own "conservative soul" and reflect on how he lost it and how he can get it back?  

Prior Post:  Andrew Sullivan is confused on the economy.

Update:  Welcome Instapundit readers.  

Kudos for Sullivan for creative insult writing:  In The Dish today Sullivan (or perhaps one of his employees) wrote this:  "Gingrich is a festering white-head of loathing. Which is why his smile looks so terrifying and false."  

More evidence of delusion.  Sullivan has a post today entitled:  "Iran:  "The Sarah Palin of Nations"  Not as witty as the Gringrich snark above, but it shows when it comes to Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan cannot quit her.  

Update II:  Barney Frank, Serial Liar


  1. Barney Frank: Dodd is my co-pirate.

  2. Sullivan needs to cop to his dementia and be eased out of the public eye.

  3. Sullivan's conversion can be timed to the moment that W supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

  4. I have to think hard to pay Sullivan a compliment and perhaps this is the wrong place and forum, given that I intensely dislike his unprofessional treatment of Palin.

    With that preamble, I do like the way that he fosters and mentors interns. This is actually quite a scholarly tradition and resembles the way a professor would mentor students--at least in the old fashioned way. I know chemistry professors who have dozens and dozens of students with who they maintain a network of contacts. If blogging were to be taken as a scholarly pursuit (as Reynold and Althouse could do), that aspect is missing in their respective "lone-wolf" gigs. You could make an argument that Reynolds fostered and mentored Althouse, but it's still weak.

  5. chickenlittle, I thought Socrates said that sort of mentoring between teacher and intern was not a good idea? Oh wait, you mean in Sully doing the blog.


  6. @EBL: It's like the "blogfather" tradition. Some academics take it very seriously link. Others find it off-putting and too pedigree.

  7. In The Dish today Sullivan (or perhaps one of his employees) wrote this...

    Oops! Looks like I picked the wrong day to compliment him on his mentoring.

    Congrats on your Instalaunch!

  8. Holy Cow! So to speak.

    You got a link from the instanerd.

    He was always too scared of my blog.

    This is great. You really deserve it.


  9. Yeah, Troop, but you're getting your own TV show--on mainstream cable!

  10. For what it's worth, Prof Reynolds sent out a query and discovered well over one hundred claimants as his blog-children. But that was c.2006, and is probably no longer relevant.


  11. Thanks for your kind words. And I give thanks for the nod from GR. Mostly just me in the right place at the right time, but I still appreciate it.

    Pretty good for a cow.


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