Sullivan Redeems Himself

Andrew Sullivan today posts a whole string of superb comments on the controversy over Sen. Rick Santorum’s anti-gay, anti-sexual freedom remarks, which he refuses to retract. Sullivan is doing here exactly what he did with Trent Lott just a few months ago. This is where I admire Sullivan most: he can be like a pit bull, and he makes his aruments air-tight. (Where I don’t admire this tendency so much is when he shifts from eloquence to shrillness, which he did during the pre-Iraq invasion months. I basically agreed with him, but he was still shrill)

This is just one snippet, but you have to see all of his posts:

The point is that Santorum is proposing a politics that would essentially abolish domestic sexual privacy – for all of us, if we deviate from “correct” sexual practice. Many social conservatives, I think, may oppose same-sex marriage or gays in the military, but most don’t want to send the cops into bedrooms across America to jail gay citizens. They may disapprove of adultery, but still not want the police investigating. They see the difference between what is publicly normative and what is privately permitted. They adhere, like the vast majority of fair-minded people, to the very American notion of live-and-let-live. Even Bill Kristol has publicly said he opposes anti-sodomy laws. But Santorum, in these remarks, clearly doesn’t. What he disapproves of mustn’t only be denied public recognition; it must be criminalized. If you think I’m exaggerating, read his full comments. They are not a relic of a bigoted past, as Trent Lott’s were. But they are an expression of a bleak future, in which tolerance and privacy are subject to the approval of “moral” majorities and enforced by the police. If that truly is his view, he needs to explain it further. And the Republican party has to ask itself if it wants an unconservative extremist as one of its leaders.

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