When I look back at my worst and most excruciating public statements, they most often suffer from a lack of proportion and perspective. For example, I once told a conservative gathering that the “two greatest threats to America were jihadists overseas and university radicals here at home.” Shortly after I made that idiotic statement, I deployed to Iraq and saw jihad up close. I’m deeply opposed to campus intolerance, but to mention university activists in the same context as al-Qaeda was silly and offensive, and it undermined my credibility.
But surely French's reasoning is fallacious.
If A and B are the two greatest threats to X, it does not follow that A and B are equally threatening to X. Arguably, the two greatest threats facing the USA are radical Islam and the leftist destruction of the universities. And arguably the former is worse. French's statement is clearly not idiotic.
But he also calls it offensive. Why offensive? Was French trying to offend his audience? No. Can anyone take offense at a person who sincerely asserts what he believes to be true even if what he asserts is mistaken? Well, yes, in the Age of Feeling. In this emotion-driven time people regularly take inappropriate and unreasonable offense at opinions they do not share. There was nothing objectively offensive about his remark.
What I am suggesting is that there is something residually liberal about French despite his skillful exposition of the conservative line on guns and other topics. A good scribbler, but a Never Trumper. And then there was that asinine defeatist remark of his about the border wall being a "pipe dream."