Some of the stuff that Andrew Sullivan says -- especially his Trig Trutherism -- is utterly absurd. And some of the things that Pat Buchanan says teeters on the edge of "beyond the pale". But that said, i don't want either of them silenced.
And in a defense of Buchanan's right to speak, Sullivan makes it clear that disagreement on ideas does not equal personal animus.
Sixteen years ago, when I came out as HIV-positive and quit TNR's editorship, Buchanan, who had sparred relentlessly in public with me over gay equality, wrote me a personal hand-written note. He wrote he was saddened by what he heard - which was then regarded as an imminent death sentence - and wanted to say how he would pray that I would survive, if only so we could continue to argue and fight and debate for many more years. He was one of only two Washingtonians who did such a thing. I was moved beyond words. But he knew I loved a good argument as well. Over a gulf of ideological and philosophical difference, we could debate reasonably.
He's a complicated man and I will not defend for a second his views on many things. But he is also a compassionate and decent man in private and an honest intellectual in public. It says everything about the polarization of our discourse and the evolution of cable news into rival sources of propaganda that this ornery figure, still churning out ideas and books while others his age are well in retirement, is now banished.
Sullivan is right on this one. There is a real loss to public dialogue when contrary views are silenced by various media outlets -- or in life in general.