Andrew Sullivan Should Be Deported

Sully’s Clinton-hatred has reached its expected nadir: he now scoffs at those who would urge caution in violently harming the junior senator from New York. His most recent Moore Award nominee is Shakesville’s Melissa McEwan, who posted this seemingly unobjectionable tract:

Again here last night in comments, wherein a commenter said (with regard to the “when he hears the senator’s voice, he’s overcome by an urge to punch her in the face” quote highlighted in my Feminism and Humanism piece): “I want to punch Clinton the person, not Clinton the woman.”

These are not separable identities.

I see this notion everywhere—that some violent urge toward Hillary Clinton isn’t aimed at “Clinton the woman,” but at some other magical version of her where her sex and gender have been erased, presumably along with the entire cultural context of womanhood. The semantic contortions invoked to extricate “Hillary Clinton the person” from “Hillary Clinton the woman” are an attempt to do an end-run around that context, to create a space outside of reality, where Hillary Clinton exists in some sexless, genderless limbo and people can talk about wanting to injure that non-woman without all the icky negative images injuring actual women conjures for most decent people.

The worst part about this argument is that it denies Hillary Clinton her womanhood to justify violence against her.

If you need a refresher on Andrew’s pithy award system, the Moore Award “is for divisive, bitter and intemperate left-wing rhetoric.” How exactly McEwan’s post fits this description is puzzling, to say the least. One simply can’t construct metaphysical distinctions out of thin air in order to justify violence. This isn’t a particularly left-wing idea, nor is it in any way divisive, bitter, or intemperate. McEwan found a poorly constructed argument for violence and tore it apart; how is this in any way the rantings of a loony leftist?

The only explanation I see for such a designation is that Andrew Sullivan has lost his mind. His visceral contempt for Hillary Clinton has fully ravaged any semblance of rationality in this man, leaving only a hateful misogynistic wreck. To think that not punching Clinton is an idea only a radical leftist could get behind is only the latest example of the witless depravity that is The Atlantic’s blogger-in-chief.

UPDATE: Keeping in the spirit of Blog Fodder for John Day, Sully’s next award nomination praises the honesty of Michael Savage.

UPDATE part deux: Welcome Shakesville readers!


7 comments so far

  1. jonolan on

    This is actually the end result of feminism. There’s nothing especially wrong with wanting to punch out Hillary, just the normal level of “wrongness” associated with wishing to harm someone.

    Women have equality now, remember? It’d be for more misogynist and sexist to not want to punch out Hillary because she’s a woman.

    I do agree though that the apologist rhetoric is stupid in the extreme.

  2. LadyVetinari on

    Jonolan: uh, no, because (as Melissa McEwan points out) a lot of people want to punch out Hillary BECAUSE she’s a woman and she has traits that would go uncriticized and even unremarked upon in a man.

  3. Meg on

    Great piece, and LOL at the awesome update! I can’t believe that anyone still reads Andrew Sullivan–he’s wrong on practically everything.

    And jonolan? Way to miss the point entirely. I’d suggest you follow the link to Melissa’s very informative post.

  4. jonolan on


    Now that’s a different point. Where we differ is on the belief or disbelief that Andrew Sullivan wants to hit Hillary because she’s a woman.

    As for Melissa’s article, I did read it and if you re-read it and my comment you’ll find we said similar things.

    I’d like to punch Hillary – and I don’t care if she’s a woman or not.

  5. John Cain on

    Jonolan, I don’t see how punching politicians you disagree with is ok, whatever their sex.

  6. jonolan on

    No, it’s not OK. But punching Hillary should be no worse than punching McCain or Obama. That is what I meant by “the end result of feminism.”

  7. Tafka PB on

    As the target of Melissa’s post, I can tell you how it’s divisive.

    It’s divisive, because I made a joke, playing upon the quote in your post, wherein some male person said he wanted to punch Ms. Clinton in the face when he hears her voice.

    I attempted to play with that quote, and joked that I wanted to punch Clinton the person and not Clinton the woman. The fact that I generally don’t want to punch anyone, nor would I likely ever have the chance to punch Ms. Clinton was part of the joke.

    The comment appeared in a post about a zombie eating Chris Matthews’ brain. And again, the comment started as a joke, pointing out that a female blogger wished violence (though cartoonish) on a man.

    The rest, as they say is history.

    Melissa chose to take me to the woodshed, and I was made to feel as though I had actually committed a horrible act of violence against ALL women, by making a joke.

    Of course, most of the commenters over at Shakesville refused to believe that it was a joke, when I attempted to explain that it was. (“That’s what they all say,” was a general refrain.) And, even if it was, jokes that use “misogynist frames” are still a form of violence against women.

    That’s where I got off the train.

    In the shitstorm that ensued, the consensus seemed to be that any comment (serious or joke, literal or parody) about ANY woman that even hinted at violence (actual or imagined) was a form of violence against all women and perpetuated the patriarchical society in which we all live, in which women are constantly brutalized by violent assholes like me.

    I privately e-mailed Melissa, apologized for the comment that started it all, and tried — in vain — to explain that it truly was just a play on the previously quoted “face puncher.” Instead of replying or accepting my apology, Melissa wrote a second post, attempting to teach poor, dumb little me that it didn’t matter if I was a misogynist or not, the fact that I used “misogynist frames” made my comment unforgivable, and it didn’t matter if it’s a joke.

    It’s divisive, because I’d be willing to bet that Melissa, her readers and I would probably agree on 95-99% of all issues politically. (So, what? sveral commenters asked. Now, I was just trying to say “I’m one of the good ones!” Another poor excuse for my horribly misogynist language, thoughts and fantasies.)

    It’s divisive, because, unbeknownst to Melissa and her readers, I have spent my entire professional life as a civil rights worker. My clients have included women who were victims of sex discrimination, victims of domestic violence, victims of sexual harassment, single mothers who were discriminated against because they had children. In fact, in the 12 years I spent working civil rights complaints and investigations, I’d say that 65-75% of my clients were women.

    But, no matter. I wrote that I wanted to punch someone in the face, and that someone was a woman. It didn’t matter that I said that her sex had nothing to do with it. It didn’t matter that I was attempting to make a joke using words from a statement attributed to someone else.

    It’s divisive, because for the first time in ym adult life, this little dustup actually made me sit up and question what the fuck is going on. I’ve spent my entire adult life fighting for progressive policies and equal rights for all people, and suddenly I’m a “fauxgressive?”

    Melissa’s readers trounced me like I’ve never been trounced before, not even like the rightwing crazies when I’ve dared to make comments at places like Little Green Footballs or Free Republic. I was attacked by the people that I thought I was fighting with. Over a stupid joke.

    And, of course, by the end of the day, Melissa had posted a photo opening up “The Fat Ugly Bitch Bar,” (a misogynist frame if ever I’ve seen one) and more than 500 people put in their “drink orders.” Many of those 500 were the same people who essentially called me the scum of the earth for making a joke.

    It’s divisive, because it has divided me from you. I will never take anything Melissa says seriously any more. She took a joke and turned it into red meat for her followers.

    This kind of shitstorm is what makes progressive poeple like me sit up and think, “Are they really fucking complaining about that? I mean, really? With the country going to shit — wars, jobs, energy, pollution, housing, etc. — THIS is what gets their motor running?”

    Well, count me out. I don’t know if that’s what Sullivan meant, but it certainly divided me from Shakesville, and from the people who attacked me.

    I already have a strong feeling as to what your reply to this will be, so if it’s going to simply be more telling me why I was wrong and why Melissa was right, don’t bother.

    – T

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