Andrew Sullivan, fully Andrew Michael Sullivan

Andrew
Sullivan, fully Andrew Michael Sullivan
1963

English Author, Editor, Blogger, Conservative Political Commentator, Editor of The New Republic

Author Quotes

Critics will no doubt say I am accusing the Bush administration of being Hitler. I'm not. There is no comparison between the political system in Germany in 1937 and the U.S. in 2007. What I am reporting is a simple empirical fact: the interrogation methods approved and defended by this president are not new. Many have been used in the past. The very phrase used by the president to describe torture-that-isn't-somehow-torture ? "enhanced interrogation techniques" ? is a term originally coined enhanced interrogation techniques by the Nazis. The techniques are indistinguishable. The methods were clearly understood in 1948 as war-crimes. The punishment for them was death.

I believe that there are moments in sex that are so awesome that they actually reflect God.

I think sex is completely absurdly demonized in our culture. But in the end, however much sex you want to have, with however many people in how many ways, to be loved and to love is what human beings really want.

In the Cold War, I was pro-American. The world needed a counter-weight to the evils of expansionist, imperial communism. (But I was never an American utopian. There's nothing new in humanity in this country ? just a better system and more freedom, which tends to be the best corrective against sustained error.) After the Cold War, I saw no reason to oppose a prudent American policy of selective interventionism to deter evil and advance good a little, but even in the Balkans, such a policy did not require large numbers of ground troops and was enabled by strong alliances. After 9/11, I was clearly blinded by fear of al Qaeda and deluded by the overwhelming military superiority of the US and the ease of democratic transitions in Eastern Europe into thinking we could simply fight our way to victory against Islamist terror. I wasn't alone. But I was surely wrong. Haven't the last few years been a sobering learning experience? Haven't we discovered that allies actually are important, that fear is no substitute for cold assessment of self-interest, that saying something will happen is not that same thing as it actually happening? That someone could come out of the last few years believing that Teddy Roosevelt's American imperialism is a model for the future is a little hard for me to understand.

Love affairs need immense energy, they demand a total commitment and a capacity for pain. Friendship, in contrast, merely needs tending. Although it is alive, a living, breathing thing, and can suffer from neglect, friendship can be left for a while without terrible consequences. Because it is built on the accumulation of past experiences, and not the fickle and vulnerable promise of future ones, it has a sturdiness that love may often lack, and an undemonstrative beauty that love would walk heedlessly past.

That's what torture does: it creates a miasma of unknowing, about as dangerous a situation in wartime as one can imagine. This hideous fate was made possible by an inexperienced president with a fundamentalist psyche and a paranoid and power-hungry vice-president who decided to embrace "the dark side" almost as soon as the second tower fell, and who is still trying to avenge Nixon. Until they are both gone from office, we are in grave danger the kind of danger that only torturers and fantasists and a security strategy based on coerced evidence can conjure up.

The great thing about blogging is that I don?t have to go to a meeting ? I don?t need to have a policy.

The Tea Party we were told is only about economics; not true. It was always about economics and social issues. They just hid the social issues and now we just see who they really are.

We can and must deter terror; we can and must conduct surveillance; we can and must find terror cells and plotters; and we need to fight them aggressively in the battlefield abroad and prosecute them carefully under the law if they are citizens at home. But the zeal and arrogance of Bush and Cheney have done this at the expense of the heart and soul of Western jurisprudence and constitutional liberty. They must not get away with it. Our inheritance is too precious to squander in a fit of panic, sadism and hubris.

You can tell how strong the friendship is by the silence that envelops it. Lovers and spouses may talk frequently about their ?relationship,? but friends tend to let their regard for one another speak for itself or let others point it out.

Did you really expect fairness on the environmental issue? For a swathe of reporters, this is not a matter of empirical reporting; it's a matter of faith. Bush cannot be pro-environment because he's Bush.

I can barely remember what I wrote yesterday, let alone 10 years ago.

I think there were two great gay Americans obviously, and that was Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman.

In the last few years, we have seen the executive branch declare itself outside the law ? in prosecuting a war on terror. The law against torture has been suspended. The balance between the executive and legislative branch has been dismissed by signing statements and the theory of the unitary executive. The executive has declared its right to suspend habeas corpus indefinitely, to tap anyone's phones without court warrants and to detain and torture anyone it decides is an "enemy combatant." In that sense, we have already left the realm of constitutional government in favor of a protectorate outside the law promising to keep us safe (but never from itself). But this new move to create a de facto dictator for the financial markets, to invest a Treasury secretary with unprecedented powers to buy and sell at close to a trillion dollar level ? with no oversight or accountability: this is a new collapse in democratic life and constitutional norms.

Love is a supremely jealous thing. It brooks no rival and obliterates every distraction. It seems to transport the human being ? who is almost defined by time and morality ? beyond the realm of both age and death. Which is why it is both so irresistible and so delusory.

The barrier to any page on the web is basically zero. It takes no more effort to click on the New York Times website as it is to click on an average Joe?s blog about Peeps.

The important things are not worth knowing because they are useful. They are worth knowing because they are true.

The thing about tech geeks is that they really are creatures of the night.

We currently have a government planning to go to Mars, heal broken marriages, and build bridges to nowhere - and also one that cannot wage a war competently, cannot respond to a hurricane adequately, and cannot enforce borders. Is it too much to ask that it get the basic things right before embarking on grandiose schemes?

You just have to keep going. I mean I think our job, my job, is to keep articulating that I exist and that there are lots of people like me exist and we just have no home.

Don't fool yourself that you're blogging when you're really just putting stuff up online.

I do not believe that the truth can ever be in conflict with God.

I think you earn your reputation for honesty and integrity literally hour-by-hour, and taste for that matter.

In the online world we all work for nonprofits. You are the future of the online world.

Love is about control and loss of control. In love, we give ourselves up to each other. We lose control or, rather, we cede control to another, trusting in a way we would never otherwise trust, letting the other person hold the deepest part of our being in their hands, with the capacity to hurt it mortally. This cession of control is a deeply terrifying thing, which is why we crave it and are drawn to it like moths to the flame, and why we have to trust it unconditionally. In love, so many hazardous uncertainties in life are resolved: the constant negotiation with other souls, the fear and distrust that lie behind almost every interaction, the petty loneliness that we learned to live with as soon as we grew apart from our mother?s breast. We lose all this in the arms of another. We come home at last to a primal security, made manifest by each other?s nakedness? And with that loss of control comes mutual power, the power to calm, the power to redeem, and the power to hurt.

Author Picture
First Name
Andrew
Last Name
Sullivan, fully Andrew Michael Sullivan
Birth Date
1963
Bio

English Author, Editor, Blogger, Conservative Political Commentator, Editor of The New Republic