Andrew Sullivan, the Atlantic's prolific and impassioned political blogger has long defied labeling. He considers himself a "lower case c" conservative and carries a unique identity (he is British, gay and a wayward Roman Catholic). Though he supported the presidential campaigns of Republicans Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole and George W. Bush, he also supported John Kerry and Barack Obama. In recent years, he has grown more frustrated with the Republican party. Yesterday, he made it official:
There has to come a point at which a movement or party so abandons core principles or degenerates into such a rhetorical septic system that you have to take a stand. It seems to me that now is a critical time for more people whose principles lie broadly on the center-right to do so - against the conservative degeneracy in front of us.
In a final kissoff, he names a slew of grievances with the American conservative movement:
I cannot support a movement that holds torture as a core value.
I cannot support a movement that holds that purely religious doctrine should govern civil political decisions and that uses the sacredness of religious faith for the pursuit of worldly power.
I cannot support a movement that is deeply homophobic, cynically deploys fear of homosexuals to win votes, and gives off such a racist vibe that its share of the minority vote remains pitiful.
I cannot support a movement which has no real respect for the institutions of government and is prepared to use any tactic and any means to fight political warfare rather than conduct a political conversation.[...]
Does this make me a "radical leftist" as Michelle Malkin would say? Emphatically not. But it sure disqualifies me from the current American right.
To paraphrase Reagan, I didn't leave the conservative movement. It left me.