Andrew Breitbart To Mediaite: Yes, He’s After The ‘Institutional Right,’ Too
Sensing some cognitive dissonance in Breitbart’s reliance on academia in his scholarly dissuasion to trust in academia, I asked him what metric would one use to measure a person’s capability for having a hand in running the country, if not by the amount of work they put into learning about the political system. For example, what’s Sarah Palin got that makes her more worthy of attention than Barack Obama, if not, obviously, a superior degree? The general answer Breitbart provides is that “I’m against academic elites, not education,” and that more reading, not less, is what he advocates. He considers the perception of conservatives as anti-intellectual a left-wing distortion, and me, a victim for admitting that the message from Palin and her ilk is very alienating to right-leaning thinkers that happened to count “elites” as classmates.
Breitbart not only defends Sarah Palin’s record as Governor of Alaska as superior to Obama’s as junior Senator, but also asserts that Palin is a “very intelligent, well-read lady.”
Breitbart isn’t a political thinker by heart; he’s much more of a cultural anthropologist. This makes it far more difficult to identify what counts as “the enemy” to him than first appears. Sure, the terms “institutional left” and “Democratic media complex” encompass most of what Breitbart is out to destroy, but it leads the casual observer to believe that he is merely after the Barack Obamas and George Soros‘ of the world; he’s not. More accurately, Breitbart is out to expose (and take down) what he defines as America’s “elite”– the upper crust of higher class actors, professors, Beltway types, bankers, and “thinkers” that feed off of the egos of one another, to the exclusion and detriment of the rest of the nation. It is an elite status into which one enters by birth or wealth. No number of fancy degrees or cushy jobs can permit you into the “in” group without knowing the right people, or thinking the right thoughts. In other words, he concluded, “elites are not independent thinkers.”
But back to Palin. Breitbart not only defends Palin’s record governing Alaska as superior to Obama’s senatorial record (and points out that the “liberal media” supported her before she took on Obama, which, to the extent that she garnered any attention then, is a fair point), but adds that Palin is a “very intelligent, well-read lady.”
I have heard, time and time again, people on the right praise Sarah Palin for being honest, approachable, and charismatic. This is the first time I have had someone, with a straight face, tell me they believe Palin is “well-read.” When I challenge Breitbart on Palin’s academic background, he asks repeatedly, “does she have a college degree?”
I answer, also repeatedly, “that isn’t enough,” adding that her attacks on the “mainstream media” and “elites” are off-putting to anyone with a more respectable educational background. What’s more, her insistence on employing “folksy” bad English and comments like “it’s quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible” make her sound not just like an intellectual lightweight, but damn proud of it.
Breitbart defends Palin: “She’s down on the floor getting kicked in the face by the left,” he responds–figuratively, I hope– “and you construe her comments against the elites in the worst way possible.”
Similarly, Breitbart adds, attacks regarding her comments on the Bible appear disingenuous because of the Left’s persistent “What would Jesus do?” arguments for socialism. With Breitbart, those he defends are always under assault, and the fault is too blinding on the left to waste much time nitpicking over the faults of those on the right.
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