Norman Podhoretz, writing in The Wall Street Journal, examines the hostility that Sarah Palin has provoked both among liberals and among conservative intellectuals, while noting "the tremendous enthusiasm" she has aroused among rank-and-file conservatives:
"[Ordinary conservatives] rightly see [Palin] as one of them, only better able and better positioned to stand up against the contempt and condescension of the liberal elites that were so perfectly exemplified by Mr. Obama's notorious remark in 2008 about people like them: 'And it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.'"
Later in his piece, Podhoretz quotes Christopher Buckley's claim that the conservative movement is "being overrun by the unsightly hordes of Wal-Mart untermenschen typified by the loathesome 'Tea Party' rabble" with their "base enthusiasms and simian grunts."
"I fear [writes Podhoretz] that the attitude satirically exaggerated here...is what underlies the rejection of Sarah Palin by so many conservative intellectuals. When push came to shove, they could not resist what [Buckley] calls Mr. Obama's 'prodigious oratorical and intellectuals gifts' and they could not resist attributing Sarah Palin's emergence as a formidable political force to 'the base enthusiasms and simian grunts' of 'the loathesome Tea Party rabble.'
"As for me, after more than a year of seeing how those 'prodigious oratorical and intellectual gifts' have worked themselves out in action, I remain more convinced than ever...that I would rather be ruled by the Tea Party than by the Democratic Party, and I would rather have Sarah Palin sitting in the Oval Office than Barack Obama."
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