Having been on the road a lot lately, I've had little time to keep track of the psycho-dramatic peregrinations of Andrew Sullivan. One of the most hysterically laughable aspects of Sully's recent blogging is how he engages in psychological projection, accusing others of his own most obvious faults, to wit:
I've heard it before from a source very close to her - a source who also told me that Palin was obsessed with this blog for much of the campaign.
Right. Dr. Andrew Sullivan, M.D., OB-GYN, excecutive director of research at the Atlantic Memorial Center for Republican Obstetric Investigation, accuses Palin of being obsessed with him. (Really rather reminiscent of Charles Johnson accusing me of attacking him.)
Sullivan devoted gigabytes of pixels to pushing Trig Truther attacks on Palin, establishing himself as the de facto Emperor of Trig Trutherland. A public figure under relentless attack from any source must obviously pay attention to the attacker, but the uterine-obsessive Sully engages in a perverse rationalization, suggesting that her necessary attention proves that she was "obsessed."
Having ridden his lunatic hobby-horse to self-indulgent glory -- the rodeo hero of Palin-haters everywhere -- now Sully goes for the championship buckle by issuing a ridiculous "challenge" to Palin. (Note the Charles Johnson-like gadfly approach: Sullivan arrogates to himself the authority to decide what subjects Sarah Palin must address.)
What should Palin do about Sully? For now, do nothing. Or, rather, don't do much. Late last week, Professor Donald Douglas contacted me about the latest Johnsonoid eruption. Had I seen it? Was I going to respond?
I told the professor that I was too busy reporting the final stop of the Tea Party Express in Orlando (and working with Barbara Espinosa of American Freedom blog) to pay much mind. However, when I posted my video-photo-blog of the Orlando rally, a "Glenn Beck for President" sign gave me a chance to throw an elbow at Johnson. Just a love-tap, you see, so he doesn't get the idea I'm oblivious to his vile mendacity.
There's a right way and a wrong way to deal with the annoyances of a gadfly. The important thing is to maintain the strategic initiative: You decide when, where and how to respond. Do not feel compelled to respond to every attack, for to do so would be to allow your antagonist to determine the terms of engagement, to force you to fight on the field of his choosing, to decide the tempo of the battle. If he gets to make the rules, he'll win the game.
Having confidence in your own ability to win and knowing your adversary's habits, study his tactical dispositions and wait for the opportunity to strike him where he is weakest. When you strike, strike suddenly, throwing every available force at the point where the opponent is weakest, and keep up the attack until you have completely routed him.
Sarah Palin can afford to ignore Andrew Sullivan, trusting conservative bloggers like Dan Riehl and Ace of Spades to counter him. During her book tour, she should occasionally employ "Andrew Sullivan" as a punchline, goading him into new attacks by making him aware that she regards him as a laughingstock. Eventually -- this is a prediction, and you can take this one to the bank, governor -- Sully will make an attack that is demonstrably false. And then . . .