Such is the premise of a piece linked today by GayPatriotWest in which it is speculated that Andrew Sullivan's multi-year funny turn is a matter of avoiding social and entertainment isolation.
It is virtually impossible - in my experience with ex-friends who happen to be gay and live in D.C - to have any sort of social life, let alone a sex life, as a gay man within that community while espousing "conservative" - or indeed anything less than rabidly anti-Bush views. This is a sad commentary on that particular community, but a fact as far as I can see.
My own suspicion is that Andrew has sold his soul to the Devil - so to speak - in order to maintain both friends and sex partners he is unable or unwilling to let go.
Not a bad hypothesis, given that even Andrew himself, as GPW previously pointed out, has ranted about how he "actually risked something for my conservative ideals - friends and some colleagues, estrangement from the gay establishment, and even my job". And it's not as if there's a shortage of other examples.
But, when all this is considered, does it really matter?
I think not.
Whether Sullivan's change of heart is a matter of dedication to his core principles or of excoriation fatigue, I can certainly speculate and postulate upon, but when all is said and done, a Legilimens I am not; even with a study of what Sullivan has said, what I have are little better than guesses, and perhaps not even good ones. As with the practice of outing people, I send thoughts and rationales hurtling out into the mental cosmos like errant comets, but they invariably return into the same tight and regular orbit around a defining point: ultimately, my behavior is determined by my own priorities and decisions, and not those of others.
Given that, even if Sullivan is descending into the depths of Bush derangement syndrome for the sole purpose of scoring, that really is only his issue and his issue alone; I choose not to do so myself, and I see no reason to care what his reason is -- or to indulge in public speculation about it.