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Sullivan's Rewrite

Andrew Sullivan has been slinging the word "Christianist" about with sanctimonious ease for some time now. He never misses a chance to point out a news story and filter it through the "Christianist" lens. He's written a book on the subject. Heck, Sullivan has turned slamming "Christianists" into a veritable cottage industry.

So what does he do when a "Christianist" is booed out of a room by 800 Republicans for attacking a Republican presidential candidate for not possessing sufficient belief in Jesus Christ? He attacks the candidate, Mitt Romney, as a religious bigot.

The coup de grace to Sullivan's "Christianist" meme, of course, would be the nomination of Rudy Giuliani for President. Last week Sullivan confronted the growing body of evidence suggesting Rudy is acceptable, if not preferable, to Republican voters at this point by saying:

My view is that the managers and spokesmen of the base may be misreading the real mood of the evangelical rank and file. They're more pragmatic than their leaders.

This would seem to fly in the face of Sullivan's contention that the Republican party is controlled by "Christianists," whom Sullivan defines as those believing "religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike."

We'll have to wait and see what happens. But I find it interesting that Sullivan isn't more demonstrably enthusiastic of Giuliani's candidacy and the fact that - although it's ridiculously early - he continues to extend his lead over the field. After all, if Sullivan considers himself a conservative, Giuliani should be far and away his top choice in the race across both parties.

Maybe Sullivan's muted praise of Giuliani is Machiavellian: Sullivan is so disliked by conservatives he knows his full throated support for Rudy would actually be harmful to Giuliani's candidacy.

Then again, when Sullivan posts a YouTube of Giuliani in drag kissing Donald Trump and asks "Will it go down well in South Carolina?", you almost get the sense he's trying to stir up trouble for Giuliani, and eagerly awaiting the day Giuliani goes down in flames so Sullivan can stand up and reaffirm his claims about the odious "Christianists."

P.S. If Giuliani wins, will Sullivan take credit (at least some) for having helped "reclaim" the party of Reagan from the "Christianists?"