I'll concede right off that it's dreadfully unfair to cull one brief passage from Andrew Sullivan's extensive endorsement of Ron Paul to criticize, but this particular passage is, to me anyway, so abnormally blinkered for Sullivan, I just cannot help myself:
I see in Paul none of the resentment that burns in Gingrich....
None? To my eyes and ears, Rep. Paul is a seething bundle of nothing but genuine resentment, while Newt Gingrich is little more than an opportunistic punk who collects fabricated resentments like assistant humanities professors collect social injustices -- that is, largely for appearances.
Not Paul. This man feels the pain of modernity and suffers from deeply unwanted progress. His isn't a mind of ideas; it's an erasure, a blotting out of reality merely to return to some fantastically simple time that never was -- as well as a delusional journey to a carefree time that never will be. At its core is an unfathomable resentment of collective caring: all collective caring, for the elderly, the poor, the disabled -- fuck 'em, fuck 'em all, let their friends and families, if they have any, care for them; and for Christ's sake (?) don't bother the rest of us about these burdensome losers.
Paul masks his resentments with an avuncular style, which is what appeals -- singularly, I think -- to so many among the alienated young. His libertarianism is a seductive fraud of smiling simplicity and grinning freedoms: if enacted, it would enslave tens of millions to searing concentrations of vast, unregulated and unredistributed private wealth, which ultimately is a program for nothing more than violent unrest and reaction.
"None of the resentment that burns in Gingrich"? Again, Newt Gingrich burns with nothing but love and adoration of Newt Gingrich. He's a fat monument to disinterested egotism. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is a true-believing, resentful apostle of the very worst kind of "utopias": the absolutely, eternally impossible -- and altogether inhumane -- kind.