The Corner

Bachmann Smart, Media Dumb

Seems like only yesterday when Michele Bachmann was supposed to be dumb. Come to think of it, it was yesterday, until about 8:30pm anyway. I found out how silly it was to think of Bachmann that way late last year, when I heard her speak at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend. I was sitting at a table full of professor types. We kept turning to each other and saying, “This woman is sharp, not at all the dunce she’s been portrayed as.”

Liberalism nowadays may be the last great holdout of old-fashioned prejudice. By telling themselves they’re against group hatreds of all kinds, and dismissing their opponents’ arguments as nothing but bigotry in disguise, liberals grant themselves license to despise. They swear, mock, and hate with a clean conscience, never guessing they’re turning liberalism itself into an outpost of bigotry in reverse. The flip side of liberal guilt is this hidden license to hate.

The greatest targets of this wave of liberal bigotry of late have been Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. By joining the pariah class of conservatives, Palin and Bachmann turn themselves into legitimate outlets for the left’s suppressed prejudice against women. That yields shock when Palin’s emails show her to have been a good governor and an admirable person, or when Bachmann shines in debate.

The liberal mavens of the media have enabled these slurs on Palin and Bachmann. What a pleasure to see these two women expose their tormenters as fools.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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