« Thoughts on Obama's First SOTU Address | Main | Drive By Reax »

January 28, 2010

Following the Sterling Lead of Media Matters, Andrew Sullivan Beclowns Himself

Andrew Sullivan, blogospheric genius, on the Joint Chief's supposed lack of neutrality during the SOTU address:

Bob Gates applauded the commitment to remove the gay ban in the military. The defense chiefs didn't and stayed in their seats. We're told that that's protocol: the military is not supposed to take sides in these policy debates. So why did they all stand up and applaud when Obama warned Iran of "growing consequences"?

Well Andrew, other than the fact that you're wrong about what the Joint Chiefs all stood up and applauded, you've got a real point there:

The relevant portion of the video begins 30 seconds in. What the Joint Chiefs applauded was this statement:

At April’s nuclear security summit, we will bring 44 nations together here in Washington, DC behind a clear goal: securing all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in 4 years so that they never fall into the hands of terrorists.

Is there a serious domestic policy debate regarding the desirability of allowing terrorists to get their hands on nuclear weapons?

Really? Ensmarten us, Andrew. Do tell, please. We're all positively tingly at the prospect of finding out which "side" in this country thinks allowing terrorists to gain access to nuclear weapons is a good idea?

I don't know about you, but I'm fairly certain I'd prefer the Joint Chiefs not be "neutral" on the inadvisability of handing weapons of mass destruction to foreign whack jobs who have vowed to kill us. As tempting as it must be to reach for that "GOTCHA!" moment if you can't do it without beclowning yourself lying, you're probably doing it wrong.

Posted by Cassandra at January 28, 2010 01:40 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


OUCH! Andie is going to need a lot of makeup to cover that mark, Cassandra.

Posted by: twolaneflash at January 28, 2010 03:30 PM

Perhaps Andy would like the military to be neutral on the issue of the US winning wars.

Losing should be an equally desirable option.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 28, 2010 03:51 PM

Yeah. They applauded Obama when he promised to take care of returning vets and their families too, thereby "taking sides" against millions of Americans who firmly believe we should screw them over and deprive them of the benefits they were promised when they enlisted.

*rolling eyes*

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2010 03:54 PM

Teh spirit of the great and troubled Cyrano guides Andrew's rapier-like wit to parry and feint against the crude and unjust slights of his phantom enemies, until at last he ends his refrain, and with the tip of his keen analysis thrusts home!!! albeit, with the all the throw-weight and accuracy of a laser-guided marshmallow.

Posted by: spd rdr at January 28, 2010 04:04 PM

I will admit that it often seems unsporting to parody Andrew's ongoing debate with sanity.

It seems unfair to pile on to such prodigious self-beclownment.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2010 04:16 PM

What kills me is he gets paid to write marshmallow fluff. I wonder how much he charged for that bit of theatre of the absurd?


Posted by: Cricket at January 28, 2010 04:50 PM

Andrew Sullivan Beclowns Himself

First time I've ever seen you use a redundancy in a header.

Posted by: BillT at January 28, 2010 07:39 PM

Actually, I believe the blurb must have been written by one of his staffers, rather than by Boy Andy hisself.

There were four entire sentences, and not one single mention of Sarah Palin's uterus...

Posted by: BillT at January 28, 2010 07:46 PM

Yes, I'm aware it was redundant, but it's an awkward verb. "Andrew Sullivan Beclowns?"

The verb is commonly followed by "him/herself":

This is not just a word of the day, this is an emerging word. Beclown is a verb, most commonly used in a transitive, reflexive form. To beclown one's self is to make an public idiot of one's self. But it seems to take a little bit more than saying something stupid. Anyone can do that. To truly beclown one's self, it's necessary to close one's eyes to things that could be found in all of five seconds with a search. It's necessary to assume a pompous, self-righteous, self-omniscient, self-omnibenevolent attitude while making the stupid utterance.

A Google search for beclown shows that beclown is a legitimate Scrabble word, but there are no results for "define:beclown"

The first Google search result for beclown is by Australian blogger Tim Blair, who used "beclown" on Monday:

[Doug] Bandow has previously beclowned himself on matters Australian; why is he even published here?

Instapundit writes in an opinion column in the Rocky Mountain News:

Paul Campos has beclowned himself. He did it in the usual way, by arguing loudly about things he does not understand.

reference: http://crosswordbebop.blogspot.com/2007/02/word-of-day-beclown.html

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2010 09:23 PM

Grammar aside, it is an outstanding observation and a brilliant piece of snark that is truthy.

Word. You have ways with it. I just love it when you deconstruct a part of speech and show us the prurient side of it.


Posted by: Cricket-who-is-so-going-to-the-bad-place at January 28, 2010 09:50 PM

There's that "word" again... ;-)

Posted by: camojack at January 29, 2010 03:54 AM

I have suspected for a while now that Andrew Sullivan's middle initial is "S". And his nickname "Jack".

Posted by: Elise at January 29, 2010 09:37 AM

No, no, you are just missing the literary irony and nuance in Sullivan's piece. He's drawing on critical reflexive theory a la the great French journo-philosopher Jaqué Cuse

Yeah, I've been reading historical theory again. [plaintive wail] Is it five o'clock yet?

Posted by: LittleRed1 at January 29, 2010 02:31 PM