I always love when pundits use words like “intellect” as a sword to avoid common sense. Despite my many personal disagreements with the late Edward Paul Abbey, he once made a very good point:
When the philosopher’s argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense. But men of intellect will believe anything – if it appeals to their ego, their vanity, their sense of self-importance.
This quote reminds me of men like John Avlon (or his buddy, David Frum). For far too long, pundits like these have used their platforms to slander conservative rock stars like Governor Palin.
In an article he has over at CNN, Mr. Avlon says the following: (Emphasis added)
“On the flip side were conservative populist luminaries like Sarah Palin, who took to Facebook, her only dependable perch these days, to write this: “We already know that President Obama likes to ‘speak softly’ to our enemies. If he doesn’t have a ‘big stick’ to carry, maybe it’s time for him to grow one.” Once again, Palin proved that she doesn’t have the temperament or the intellect to be within a thousand feet of the Oval Office.”
First, how does Governor Palin’s statement prove or disprove intellectual quality? It’s called common sense — the same kind liberals avoid. As such, they open the door for writers like Avlon who use Governor Palin’s strong influence to gratify their own egos.
Second, who’s got the “dependable perch” here? Do writers like Avlon and his pals spend their days slamming Sarah Palin and the Tea Party because their “perch” is “dependable?”
To the contrary.
Remember Kathleen Parker? She was the columnist who paraded around as a “conservative” and came out to slam Governor Palin during the 2008 election. It was that moment which gave her a “perch.” It even got her a show on CNN. How did that turn out for the long term? Parker once said the following about Avlon:
“Americans who are fed up with the Ann Coulter/Michael Moore school of debate and are looking for someone to articulate a commonsense, middle path, may have found their voice in John Avlon.”
“Middle path” = pandering to a liberal audience. It seeks to win their praise by using the politics of personal destruction against effective conservatives like Governor Palin who come with an actual record of success and resolve. But the praise and attention they get for selling out is only temporary. To sustain influence for the long haul, you’ve got to be fearless and take the same shots the Governor takes all the time from people who laughably attempt to condescend to her.
It’s why Palin’s “perch” is solid. We know it because NBC’s Today called her up to boost their ratings. We also know the power rankings at Mediaite show Governor Palin as the number one television commentator. Avlon’s buddy, David Frum is at number 57 in the same category. Mr. Avlon is nowhere to be found on the list.
When you throw in the fact that Kathleen Parker’s “perch” is virtually non-existent at this point (a fate suffered by most Palin-bashers), you wonder what kind of “intellect” and “temperament” would lead another to follow the same path.