I never understand what sends him off on these tears. I kind of think he actually wants me to be pro-torture, though he certainly knows better. Sullivan’s certainly not above torturing the record to get the answers he wants, though to be fair he more often simply ignores it.

But while Sullivan is calling me a “traitor” and a “torture-monger,” I think that Tom Maguire was right to note that McCain is not, in fact, against torture in all circumstances. He’s merely against a rule allowing torture, assuming that if circumstances are exigent enough — the infamous “ticking bomb” scenario, for example — people will engage in torture anyway. (This is also Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton’s position. I said something similar once, but as a descriptive, not a prescriptive statement — I didn’t say I was ready to authorize it, but then, I’m not running for President. Anyway the worst you can say about me is that I agree with Sullivan’s hero, McCain, who as Maguire notes, doesn’t live up to Andrew’s expectations. But then, who does, for long? And, in the update, see Tom Maguire’s response to Sullivan.) If Sullivan thinks it’s an injustice to point this out about McCain, then what kind of injustice is Sullivan doing to me?

A sad and predictable one, I guess, made sadder by Sullivan’s failure even link my post, allowing him to put a rather dishonest spin on my alleged beliefs. I’ve tried, honestly, not to get in these pissing matches with Andrew, but apparently he can’t help himself with this stuff. But to be clear: I’m against torture. I’m also against moralistic, dishonest, self-righteous preening about torture. Andrew is a repeat offender in the latter category, and it’s gone beyond embarrassing to pathetic.

Various people in and out of the blogosphere have wondered exactly when, how, and why Andrew lost it. But lost it he has.