When Underlining 'Conservatives Jumping Ship,' Try a Newer One Than Andrew Sullivan

Howard Kurtz’s Media Notes roundup today at washingtonpost.com aims to be about "Conservatives jumping ship," but his first "conservative" jumper is....Andrew Sullivan? The guy who "left" in 2003? Kurtz says conservatives may have been uniting a bit against Obama, but there’s bad news in there somewhere:

The dawn of the Obama era might have erased some of these fissures, but the arguments, at least in some quarters, seem to be getting louder. What might seem like a writerly squabble is, to some, a battle for the soul of a movement.

Then Kurtz quotes almost 500 words of the latest anti-conservative jeremiad of this former editor of the liberal New Republic magazine, in which Sullivan resolutely declares he’s been too wildly inconsistent to be categorizable.

Sullivan can't wear his Kerry and Obama campaign buttons and then valiantly fight for the "soul" of the conservative movement.

Earth to media: Andrew Sullivan is not to be described as a "conservative." He’s certainly not someone you just write up in 2009 with a headline "Conservatives jumping ship," like it happened yesterday. If the word hasn’t fit for six years, perhaps it’s time to move on.

Would Kurtz do a piece called "Liberals jumping ship" and start it with Joe Lieberman? It would be less ridiculous, since Lieberman was actually on a liberal Democrat ticket in 2004.

Kurtz followed up with another 110 words from Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs announcing his exit from the conservative movement (if a bush falls in the woods....). Johnson’s primary obsession as a "conservative" blogger was raging against radical Islam, and apparently now, he’s joining forces with Sullivan raining all his fire on that nefarious old-time radical right-wing Christianity. (Insert film clip here of suicide-bomber nuns from "An American Carol.")

For "balance," Kurtz then added about 100 words from the man he called "Sixties liberal" Tom Hayden. (I don’t think SDS was a "Sixties liberal" group, and neither did they. They were radical leftist revolutionaries.) Hayden has decided Obama’s not liberal enough.

But in the liberals’ case, Kurtz balanced Hayden out with leftist Alex Koppelman of Salon arguing Obama’s never been the "superliberal" Hayden and his allies wanted.

[Loving painting of Sullivan from Big Head DC]

Andrew Sullivan
Tim Graham's picture