A number of blogophiles have watched with dismay as Andrew Sullivan–the brilliant Brit who made “gay-Catholic-conservative” his hyphenated image in his adopted land–has moved from hawk to dove and, with the extreme intellectual make-over, to endorsing John Kerry for president.

Like many observers of Andrew, I worry that that Andrew has let a single issue–gay “marriage”–influence him on unrelated matters. At any rate, as somebody who’s always been a huge Andrew fan, I must say that I liked old Andrew better than new Andrew. 

While Andrew often made the case for the Iraq war better than anybody writing about politics, John Leo of U.S News and World Report has taken a look at Andrew’s endorsement of Kerry and found it wanting. The endorsement was built on Andrew’s sense that “9/11 has changed things–even within the Democratic Party” and that the war on terror “has to be a bipartisan affair”; Andrew buys Kerry’s claim that he will kill Osama with his duck hunting rifle–no, Maureen Dowd made that up in one of her rare forays into genuine humor. But Andrew does accept Kerry’s claim that he won’t give up on the war. He argues that electing Kerry “would deny the Deaniac-Mooreish wing a perpetual chance to whine and pretend that we are not threatened.”

Leo’s column is worth reading, but here is the essential part: 

“Many of the doubts that hover over Sullivan’s case for Kerry are rooted in the value system widely shared among Democrats: Most people are basically good; wars are caused not by evil motives but by misunderstandings that can be talked out; conflict can be overcome by more tolerance and examining of our own faults or by taking disputes to the United Nations. As a personal creed, these benign and humble attitudes are admirable. As the foundation of a policy to confront terrorists who wish to blow up our cities, they are alarming.”