Though tolerance is not the highest virtue and hypocrisy is not the lowest sin, liberals have a dearth of the former while demanding it and an abundance of the latter while forbidding it.
Washington University's withdrawn speaking invitation to Bristol Palin is a textbook example both of liberal intolerance and hypocrisy.
The university invited Palin to share her views on abstinence during its "Student Sexual Responsibility Week" in February. But when it was disclosed that the school had offered Palin $20,000 to speak, open-minded liberal students objected and the university withdrew the invitation.
Let's look at some of the reasons the university offered for reneging on its invitation to Palin -- reasons that are much more diverse than the university's acceptable range of speaker choices.
The first objection was over the size of the honorarium. While $20,000 is a good chunk of change, it's not like it was a gift. Speakers are routinely paid more on campuses throughout the United States, many of whom couldn't possibly draw the kind of crowds necessary to pay their fees. With Palin's high profile, she doubtlessly could have generated an audience sufficient to cover her honorarium. If that's the case, this objection is unreasonable, especially when schools subsidize other speaker payments. And what does it say about a public institution that it would renege on what we must assume was its legally binding commitment to pay Palin for her appearance?
Of course, the amount of money was probably not the main reason for the student outrage, but just an added irritant to their revulsion that anyone related to Sarah Palin would set foot on their campus, much less at the university's paid invitation.
Soon, other reasons surfaced. One was that Palin is too controversial, a frequent complaint leftists selectively make against conservatives in a variety of venues. But no such student objections were leveled against the appearance at the university of Obama's disgraced "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones, who resigned from his post when it was learned that he had been an avowed Marxist and had publicly denounced Republicans with expletives. And if Palin is controversial for her objectively innocuous views supporting abstinence, how about the Planned Parenthood contingency that will remain on the panel, militantly pushing the pro-abortion position?