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April 22, 2011

Andrew Sullivan Gets Punked

Bear in mind, the world's first and only unlicensed freelance obstetrician is just being more insane than usual today, because Salon called him out as a deranged punk:

[Salon, being quoted:] Sullivan's refrain on this issue is that he does not endorse any conspiracy theory, he is merely asking questions. He simply wants Palin "to debunk this for once and for all, with simple, readily available medical records." He has proposed, for example, the release of "amniocentesis results with Sarah Palin's name on them."

It's worth noting that this posture is identical to the rhetoric used by Obama birthers (for instance, WorldNetDaily Birther czar Joseph Farah employs the "just asking for definitive piece of proof x" line here).

[Sullivan answering:] This is absurd. Obama has produced the most relevant, clear, unimpeachable, if humiliating, piece of empirical evidence that he is indeed a native-born US citizen. In fact, he produced it a long time ago. (I think he was right to do so, and the press was easily within bounds to ask. That's how these things should work.)

And there is a huge difference between someone asking for exactly that kind of proof, however distasteful, and someone continuing to ask for it after that proof has already been produced.

See, in Andrew Sullivan's world, Obama deserves special praise for releasing the COLB, because it is, in his words and his italicization, "humiliating." It was humiliating for Obama to have to produce a run of the mill birth certificate, necessary to produce every time you get a new job (which Obama sought), and of course required, as a minimum level of proof, as to the Constitution's age and natural-born citizenship requirements.

See, that's humiliating. Obama was humiliated having to do that.

So obviously He wouldn't have humiliated himself otherwise, except to go that extra step to appease his fiercest critics.

You know what's not humiliating, though?

The official document of birthplace, that's not humiliating, even though you hand that to a stranger who puts it on a copier machine and adds it to a permanent file every time you change jobs and fill out an I-9.

But what definitely is not humiliating, is, say, demanding that woman who you accuse of being a lying whore with the sexual metabolism of a Tribble release, get this, in Sullivan's won deranged words, "amniocentesis results with Sarah Palin's name on them."

That COLB thing, that's humiliating and invasive, but asking for someone's "amniocentesis records" with their name attached?

That's just a normal, everyday sort of routine bureaucratic transaction.

Other day I wanted to buy batteries at Radio Shack. "What's your address?" they asked, and I told them. Then they asked me "Please produce your mother's amniocentesis tests with her name on them," and of course I likewise produced those.

Sullivan can't quit while he's ahead, though, and, even though his employer has demanded he not explicitly say Palin did not give birth to her child but rather instead hint around that, he can't help himself, and does his typical silly-bitch passive-aggressive gay-gossip insinuation act:

How To Fake A Pregnancy

A teenager tells us how - in a school project. Seven people were in on the hoax. No one outside this seven guessed she was lying. It's remarkable what a prosthetic belly bump can do.

Apropos of nothing, I'm sure.

Be a man. If you're such a brave free-mind, then say what you believe instead of kowtowing to your employers.

Craven bootlickin' bitch.

But anyway, I'm not here to call him names. I'm here to tell you, before he catches on, that he's been

P U N K E D.

See, on the same day he's telling the world what a viable and reasonable and worthy-of-investigation theory Trig Trutherism is, he's simultaneously, between these posts, denigrating Birthers as crazy and hateful.

Shyeah, right? Heh.

But anyway, he gets tipped to someone, he says, who explains the psychological roots of Birtherism, and he links it gladly.

But you tell me -- is he being punked or not? Is it just a coincidence that this applies much more to his Trig Trutherist derangement?

The Psychological Roots Of Birtherism

David P. Redlawsk explains it:

The reality is that “facts” are unlikely to mean much to those who believe in their gut that Obama is not American. Political psychologists call this “motivated reasoning.” It goes something like this: I dislike someone; I learn something positive that should make me feel better about him; instead, I dislike him as much or even more.

Gee, who does that apply to? Hm, Sarah Palin carried a Downs Syndrome baby to term; that should make me feel better about her, instead, I dislike her even more.

[Punking Artiste David continuing:] This is clearly irrational, but our feelings about people are complicated, and we tend to hold on to them even in the face of contradictory information. [!!!!]This is not unique to those who dislike Obama.[!!!]

I don't know how else I can possibly call attention to the words Sullivan is quoting but apparently not actually reading. Maybe he'll catch it this time.

Here's a hint, Sullivan:

Might even apply to those who dislike Palin, for example.

Get it? No? Still nothing?


We are all somewhat impervious to new information, preferring the beliefs in which we are already invested.

Shhhh. No one tell Andy. He's not in on the joke yet.

We often ignore new contradictory information, actively argue against it or discount its source, all in an effort to maintain existing evaluations.

Sullivan is still nodding along, still not getting it.

Reasoning away contradictions this way is psychologically easier than revising our feelings. In this sense, our emotions color how we perceive “facts.”

He's still not getting it. He's quoting this, and if you think he's going to argue with it, you're wrong: He agrees with it.

As far as Birthers go, mind you.

Now, finally, Sullivan answers:

They do; and it's important always to keep this in mind. But there remains something called fact, rather than "fact", and empiricism is our only real recourse in public debate.

Ah. So there are some "facts" that are stupid to challenge. We must be guided by empiricism, not fancy.

By the way, did I mention the very next post is an insistence that Trig was born of some other mother?

That's why producing a birth certificate is dispositive. It should end the discussion. I might add that merely asking a presidential candidate to produce such a certificate does not seem illegitimate to me. It may be maddening or unfair. But that's the price of public life. And the sign of a mature politician is his or her ability to see that and allow the ethic of transparency trump the humiliation of exposure. Obama easily passed this test.

And so on.

Is that not precious? He's sitting there quoting a guy telling him that when we don't like someone, our minds are gullible and start believing any old horseshit about this person (who might not even be Obama, this guy notes), and once we start believing that horseshit, we become immune to facts and new evidence and airily dismiss contrary information, because it's "psychologically easier" that way.

And Sullivan posted this right after his own "Palin faked her pregnancy" post.

Unbelievable. The stupidest, most un-self-aware jackass in the history of the internet doesn't merely beclown himself today, as usual; he beclowns himself Champion.

Sullivan, please diagram the following sentence, noting noun, verb, connecting words, and independent clauses:

AN GALLON OF IRONY SPILLED BUT NOT A DROP SPLASHED UPON HIM.

Thanks. Make sure you send that to me, and I'll send it back with corrections attached.

By The Way: I do have to admit -- Sullivan, if you're reading this (and I know you will, since you are dumb, and vain), there is one bit of evidence against Palin I can't dismiss completely.

I don't think it proves anything, but yes, I admit: This does not exactly show a pregnant Palin.

But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.



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posted by Ace at 08:27 PM

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