Andrew Sullivan: Rachel Maddow Needs To Not Sound “So F*cking Condescending”

On last night’s Real Time on HBO, host Bill Maher brought up Rachel Maddow’s much-hyped “reveal” of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns this week.

Maher reiterated his respect for Maddow saying she needs to be on the air but called the two pages of Trump taxes a “big nothing-burger,” and that the exposure probably helped Trump.

He said, “This is probably the best tax return he’s ever filed, which makes me think this came from Donald Trump!”

Former Congressman Barney Frank and journalist Andrew Sullivan chimed in with my favorite exchange of the evening:

Andrew Sullivan: “There was a giant cloud of smug above Rachel Maddow when she was doing that. Liberals have to be careful not to sound so fucking condescending and smug… and start actually engaging the other side and persuading people.”

Barney Frank: “Andrew, I think you might want to teach by example on that last part…”

The highlight of the show, though, was Maher’s interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

As I’ve noted several times on The Randy Report, Tapper continues to be my favorite journalist on TV these days as his patience with Donald Trump’s lies grows ever thin.

The subject of Trump comes up as Maher mentions, “You certainly sound different from the many years I’ve watched you.”

Pointing out that “politicians lie. It wasn’t invented on January 20th,” Tapper goes straight to the heart of the matter:

“I’ve never really seen this level of falsehood. Just quantitatively. It’s not just ‘If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor,’ it’s conspiracy theories based on nothing that have members of his own party distancing themselves from him,” said Tapper. “And it’s combined with an attempt to discredit the entire fourth estate, the entire media, we’re all fake news except for Fox And Friends.”

When Maher points out that Trump supporters may see Tapper’s reporting as proving the media is biased against the president, Tapper says, “I don’t buy into that paradigm. The truth of the matter is that there’s no bias when it comes to facts and there’s no bias when it comes to decency. It is empirically indecent to make fun of the disabled. You don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican or Independent or socialist or libertarian. That is just indecent. My children know better than that.”

Watch below:

Andrew Sullivan: Electing Hillary Clinton President Is “The Only Adult Thing To Do”

During an appearance this past Friday on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Andrew Sullivan, who has spent years being hyper-critical of the Clintons announced that he is “passionately in favor” of electing Hillary Clinton president, adding, “it’s the only adult thing to do.”

Sullivan continued, “This is not a time to express your Libertarianism. This is a time to stop this monster.”


Hell Freezes Over: Andrew Sullivan “I’m With Her”

Andrew Sullivan

Yes, that was a pig that just flew by.

And if you check the temperature in Hell, I’m sure it’s somewhere southward of 32 degrees.

Andrew Sullivan, longtime critic of Hillary Clinton, shared this with his readers this week:

Some readers think I’ve been too negative, even cynical, tonight. Believe me, I am utterly uncynical about this election. I’m worried sick. We need to put behind us any lingering beefs, any grudges, any memories from the past – and you know how I feel about the Clintons’ past – in order to save liberal democracy. The only thing between him and us is her. So – against all my previous emphatic denials – I’m with her now. As passionately as I ever was with Obama. For his legacy is at stake as well.

Here’s how I’d put it. I’m in the final stages of becoming a citizen of this country. I love this country with all my heart. And I want to help save it from the darkest, foulest demagogue I’ve ever come across in a Western democracy.

The Clintons are flawed people. But they are our last hope. That’s all I need to know.

In case you’re not sure why this would register as a “big deal,” Ben Cohen at The Daily Banter breaks down some of the backstory here.

The once conservative Sullivan spent literally decades obsessively going after the Clintons and bought into virtually every conspiracy about them on the market. As previous Banter writer Mark Ames argued, Sullivan’s right wing screeching in the 90’s was largely responsible for wrecking President Clinton’s universal health care legislation.

On Real Time with Bill Maher last year Sullivan was distraught with the prospect of Clinton going head to head with Donald Trump:

“Who’s up against this guy?” he asked rhetorically. “This unbelievably useless, terrible candidate of Hillary Clinton who has shown no… has she ever given a speech that you were inspired by? Does she have any retail skills? Is she able to come across on TV?”

“She’s a talent-free hack.”

I think what’s important here is when you couple this with the speech last night of former Republican/Now-Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Democratic National Convention, we’re seeing important political folks from across a broad spectrum coming out to support Hillary.

It’s worth noting that there are five living U.S. presidents – three Democrats, two Republicans – and NONE of them are supporting Donald Trump.

Think on that.

(h/t  LGBT activist Aaron Baldwin)

Quote of the day: Andrew Sullivan

Results from the latest Pew poll regarding marriage equality

From Andrew Sullivan’s essay today on the ever-rising support for marriage equality:

“Simply put: it’s extremely hard to oppose marriage equality when you know someone who is gay. It requires you to hold a position that clearly treats the human being in front of you as inferior – or at least it sure can feel that way.

“This doesn’t mean there isn’t a reasoned, theological argument that gays should be denied equal treatment under the law. It simply means that even if you hold that principled position, you will increasingly feel like an isolated asshole with gay friends, family members and colleagues.

“And few actively want to be an asshole.”

Andrew Sullivan on Fox News war with the Pope

Andrew Sullivan has written an interesting piece addressing the Fox News doctrine that opposes the Pope’s recent statements about materialism and the Catholic Church.  Here’s just an excerpt:

“It has been fascinating lately to watch Fox News go after the Pope for reiterating long-standing Catholic and Christian doctrine about the false god of materialism. By echoing Jesus’ insistence that you cannot know the kingdom of Heaven if you are bound up in wealth and possessions, the Pope drew charges of Marxism (which is anathema to Christians for the same reasons that unrestrained market capitalism is) and engaging in politics (from a channel that has long insisted that Christianity cannot and should not be relegated to the private sphere).

[snip]

“When you absorb the constant racial undertones on Fox, and its constant worship of the god of money, when you absorb their long list of fears about the ‘other’, whether immigrants or gays or the poor, when you recall their glee at the torture of human beings, or their passion for the death penalty, you can’t help but wonder if they are not one of the most powerful forces against Christianity in our culture. They have competitors out there, but Roger Ailes is never satisfied with being Number Two, is he?”

Things that make you go “hmm…”

(h/t JMG)

Andrew Sullivan – “There’s time”

From Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast regarding Democrats freaking out over changing poll numbers:

“Look: there’s time. I’ve sat through a few very very flat Obama performances in my time as well. He is often best when up against the wall. If a campaign can flip this quickly it can flip back again, with good management. Biden needs to take Ryan’s multiple contradictions apart and speak directly to the struggling middle class he can relate to. Obama needs to get off his fucking pedestal and get some work done: have crisp answers to what he wants to do; sharp exposures of Romney’s constant inconsistencies and lies; and a reminder of how massive a task he faced four years ago and how he has largely helped us turn the corner. The next Romney-Obama debate requires an Obama come-back of heroic proportions.”

Newsweek: “Why Gay Marriage Is Good For Straight America”

Andrew Sullivan writes an excellent and heartfelt article for Newsweek Magazine regarding marriage equality and his own marriage.

They call it the happiest day of your life for a reason. Getting married is often the hinge on which every family generation swings open. In my small-town life, it was far more important than money or a career or fame. And I could see my grandmother’s point: the very lack of any dating or interest in it, the absence of any intimate relationships, or of any normal teenage behavior, did indeed make me seem just a classic loner. But I wasn’t. Because nobody is.

“In everyone there sleeps/A sense of life lived according to love,” as the poet Philip Larkin put it, as well as the fear of never being loved. That, as Larkin added, nothing cures. And I felt, for a time, incurable.

[snip]

Yes, the main stumbling block was religion. But we were not talking of religious marriage and were more than eager to insist, as in New York state, on the inviolable religious freedom of churches, mosques, and synagogues to retain their bans on gay marriage. We were talking about civil marriage—and in that respect, religious tradition had long since ceased to apply.

Civil divorce changed marriage far more drastically for far more people than allowing the small percentage who were excluded to be included. And no one doubted an atheist’s right to marry, outside of any church or any religion, just as no one doubted the marriages of childless couples, or infertile ones. In fact, every single argument against marriage equality for gays collapsed upon inspection. And when the data showed that in the era of gay marriage, straight marriage had actually strengthened somewhat, divorce rates had declined, and marriages lasted longer, even those who worried about unintended consequences conceded that the argument was essentially over.

I recommend reading the whole article.