Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One More Thing...

...about the Palin wars among pundits. Can pundits PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, stop over dramatizing and claiming the mantle of martyrdom for themselves every time they get criticized by other pundits over their columns? Christopher Buckley, a man whose only accomplishment seems to be adopting the 1/2 of his father's views that get him access to conservative circles while allowing him to swim among the trendy in New York, offered his resignation to National Review from the TEMPORARY position they gave him while one of their good columnists, Mark Steyn, was on a sabbatical. He did this because he wrote a profoundly silly column that essentially argued that someone as smart as Obama can't possibly be as leftwing as we think he'll be once he gets into office. For accepting this offer, NR is criticized, despite the fact they they publish at least two serious critics of Palin (Parker and Frum), and that Buckley still sits on their board. Buckley went on to write a self-serving blog post praising his own courage and criticizing the right-wing monsters who wouldn't allow him to publish "a reasoned argument". I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not his original piece can be called such with anything but an attitude of great charity.

Meanwhile Kathleen Parker seems to have forgotten the fact that NR is still publishing her column, as she eulogises her fellow victim of the hard-hearted uniformity on the right. This is, of course, after she spent a column lamenting how mean everyone has been to her. Listen, I'm sorry that Parker received so much angry mail over her column on Sarah Palin. Anyone who sends the vitriolic attacks she claims to have received needs a good lesson in civility and the appropriate means for addressing women taught under the gentle tutelage of a big man with a baseball bat. Seriously. If you tell someone their mother should have aborted them, I have little concern over what happens to you afterwards. You have foregone your right to civility at that point.

However, part of me also wants to point out one simple fact to Kathleen Parker, Chris Buckley, and all the other pundits who have gotten their feathers ruffled over the years. You are well-paid and highly prominent for one very simple reason. Because you publicly argue through controversial political issues. While it may seem fairly basic, apparently you've forgotten that if you express controversial opinions on current events, some people will get upset with those opinions. That's why not everyone who writes well does so for a living, and why those of you who do, get paid. Sarah Palin's skin seems to be thick enough to take your sometimes fair, and sometimes unfair, criticisms of her. "The McCain campaign knows that Obama isn’t a Muslim or a terrorist, but they’re willing to help a certain kind of voter think he is. Just the way certain South Carolinians in 2000 were allowed to think that McCain’s adopted daughter from Bangladesh was his illegitimate black child." So if this inexperienced rookie from Alaska who isn't qualified for the big chair can take her medicine with grace, why should you be exempt?