Alarming News

September 29, 2004

I wish he would just be straight about it.

Andrew Sullivan has lost it over gay marriage. Like I’ve said in the past, I don’t necessarily blame him as it’s his key issue. He compares two ads, one against Marilyn Musgrave, and one against John Kerry and calls them both ‘over the top’.

Marilyn Musgrave is a Republican Congresswoman running for re-election in Colorado. The ad against her has her sneaking up on a soldier, in a warzone complete with shooting and fires, and pickpocketing him. It’s so over the top that it can only hurt the not-too-bright 527 running the ad.

The ad against John Kerry, however, merely states Kerry’s actions on gay marriage. It notes that he signed a letter supporting gay marriage in Massachusetts and that he voted against the Defense of Marriage Act. Whatever you think of gay marriage, the group Americans United to Protect Marriage is only noting what John Kerry has done on this one issue.

The fact that Andrew Sullivan can compare the demonization of Musgrave to a plain statement of the facts on Kerry shows how he is unable to see clearly when the issue of gay marriage is involved.

Posted by Karol at 02:00 AM |

I suspect Sullivan is still seeing red over the RNC ad in WV and Ark which said that Kerry and the Dems would ban the Bible, but yeah he’s off the mark here. However in this age of identity politics, it should come as no suprise that he can not over gay marriage.
Has Sullivan actually come out for Kerry ?

Posted by: Von Bek at September 29, 2004 at 8:55 am

Sullivan was very close (if he didn’t actually do it by implication) to endorsing Kerry several weeks ago. He seems to be moving away from a positive endorsement of any kind given his dissatisfaction with Kerry.
As for the Kerry ad – no, it’s not outrageous like the embarassing Musgrave ad, but can you say with a straight face that it does not strongly imply Kerry actually supports gay marriage? Is it “over the top?” Probably not, it is after all true. It is, however, very misleading; and I don’t think Sullivan’s post (as opposed to the catchy headline) tries to make it out to be anything more than that.

Posted by: Alceste at September 29, 2004 at 10:35 am

How is it misleading to talk about what Kerry has actually done on gay marriage? Kerry is against gay marriage the way he is against the war in Iraq, wishy-washy with no concrete stands. If his actions make it seem that he is for gay marriage, even if his mouth says that he isn’t, I don’t see a problem with pointing them out.

Posted by: Karol at September 29, 2004 at 11:28 am

Oh, Sullivan loathes Kerry too. I expect he’ll endorse neither of them.
And can you blame him for paying a great deal of attention to gay marriage? He wrote a book about it ten years ago, before anyone was even talking about the issue.

Posted by: Stephen Silver at September 29, 2004 at 11:30 am

Stephen, I don’t blame him being into gay marriage. I do blame him making things up to cover up that fact. Look at both ads and tell me Sullivan is being honest.

Posted by: Karol at September 29, 2004 at 11:41 am

Thanks for the info, Alceste.

Posted by: Von Bek at September 29, 2004 at 11:57 am

Look, Kerry is (unfortunately) against gay marriage as a legislator. He has taken no action in his legislative career that would indicate support of gay marriage. He is, however, also against efforts to ban it on a national level and legislative efforts to ban it in his state of residence. Please identify the conflict in this position. For that matter, please identify what Sullivan “made up” in his post. You think Kerry is “wishy washy” (as I suppose the entire Democratic party would be on this issue – in this case, “wishy washy” also is pragmatic – frankly, a good thing when compared to the Republican platform’s take on the issue).
The Kerry ad is clearly intended to make people believe that Kerry is a supporter of gay marriage. I don’t see how this is anything other than misleading. You ask how it can be misleading to use what Kerry has actually done, but using the truth in a context that implies something other than fact seems to me to be the definition of misleading. If they used stuff he hadn’t done, that would be lying (which no one accuses them of doing).

Posted by: Alceste at September 29, 2004 at 12:11 pm

Alceste, Sullivan was dishonest when he tried to compare these two very different ads. If gay marriage wasn’t his pet issue, he wouldn’t have gone near the Kerry ad.

Posted by: Karol at September 29, 2004 at 12:23 pm

Karol, your rationale that those are things Kerry did therefore you can make an add about it, is the exact same rationale that you should use for the Musgrave ad, no? Did she not do those things the ad claims?

Posted by: PAUL at September 29, 2004 at 2:43 pm

Yeah, Paul, she snuck up on a soldier and took money out of his pocket.

Posted by: Karol at September 29, 2004 at 2:51 pm

So your problem is the visual presentation of the ad and not with the message of the ad? Fair enough, it was over the top but I think it was cool seeing a women in a pink dress do those things.
I think you are missing Sullivans point for the reason he calls the ads over the top. It’s not because of the visual, it’s this:
“Taking minor votes and making them seem like someone’s entire philosophy is classic negative campaigning, but it’s often grotesquely unfair.”

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