Sunday, June 11, 2006

Why I am down on Ann Coulter.

As I mentioned yesterday, I would like to take one of these and bring it right across Ann Coulter's forehead:

I skimmed her new book today at the book store. I'm not going to buy it because I'll be damned if I am going to put money in her (Louis Vuitton) purse. If I want to see strident propaganda I'll get from the library.

I wonder if she is really a ladyboy?

What bothers me the most about Coulter is that she is guilty of exactly what she accuses her opponents of doing, namely being intolerant of opposing ideas. It seems to my uneducated brain that she has decided to take this "tough broad" approach to everything political and laugh all the way to the bank. The people who agree with her, sop up what she has to say and those who don't fall into the trap of wrestling with a pig. The pig likes it and all you do is get dirty.

Which brings me back to the baseball bat. In my gut its what I want to do to morons those who espouse ideas I do not agree with. Its why I could not be President of the United States. Too much compromise and cajoling inolved. I just want to be able to impose my will on people and have them be unable to do anything about it.

Except of course life does not work that way, and jail is not an experience I want to try. So it means I have to work hard to keep my temper in check and look at the things that people are saying based solely on the facts that I can ascertain. I don't have to agree with her, but you win more arguements with a quiet and firm tone than you do with shrieking.

Because it's on facts, where most of Coulters diatribes tend to fall apart. Consider what happened after she wrote this in 2001:

Airports scrupulously apply the same laughably ineffective airport harassment to Suzy Chapstick as to Muslim hijackers. It is preposterous to assume every passenger is a potential crazed homicidal maniac. We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now.

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war. [Town Hall,September 14, 2001]

She got a lot of criticism for that and she tried to explain her way out of it. Consider what happened when she did and submitted the response to a conservative publication, The NRO:

In the wake of her invade-and-Christianize-them column, Coulter wrote a long, rambling rant of a response to her critics that was barely coherent. She's a smart and funny person, but this was Ann at her worst — emoting rather than thinking, and badly needing editing and some self-censorship, or what is commonly referred to as "judgment."

Running this "piece" would have been an embarrassment to Ann, and to NRO. Rich Lowry pointed this out to her in an e-mail (I was returning from my honeymoon). She wrote back an angry response, defending herself from the charge that she hates Muslims and wants to convert them at gunpoint.

But this was not the point. It was NEVER the point. The problem with Ann's first column was its sloppiness of expression and thought. Ann didn't fail as a person — as all her critics on the Left say — she failed as WRITER, which for us is almost as bad.

Its the same with her latest charge about the "Jersey Girls":

In her latest book, Coulter criticizes the four New Jersey widows who pushed for an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The women also backed Democrat John Kerry's presidential candidacy in 2004.

"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," Coulter wrote.

Evidently, the widows' sins are that they pushed for an independent commission to investigate 9/11 intelligence failures, they are critical of the Bush administration and they endorsed Sen. John Kerry for president. Even though, both sides of the aisle said that the 9-11 commission was "fair and balanced" . And that the Republicans have been equally quick use those widowed or deprived of a relative in the war / and or 9-11 if it suited their agenda.

There are some conservative commentators who are un comfortable with her approach. She has been asked more than once if she is concerned that her stridency will keep people from hearing the correct message. Consider the following from Captains Quarters, hardly a hotbed of liberalism:

However, if one ever needed proof that the political spectrum resembles a circle where the extremes meet, this should provide it. In fact, it reminded me of another pundit whom the Left lionizes and the Right reviles: Ted Rall. Why Rall? Three years ago, Rall made essentially the same point in one of his crude cartoons and got rightly panned for it. It became one of the reasons that the Washington Post ended its association with Rall in 2004.

Whether Rall or Coulter says it, impugning the grief felt by 9/11 widows regardless of their politics is nothing short of despicable. It denies them their humanity and disregards the very public and horrific nature of their spouses' deaths. The attacks motivated a lot of us to become more active in politics in order to make sure our voices contribute to the debate, and it is impossible to argue that the 9/11 widows (and widowers, and children, and parents) have less standing to opine on foreign policy than Ann Coulter or Ted Rall.

Its a free country in the US, but having lived for a while overseas makes me a little more sanguine about that. Ann needs to be careful what of what she says and how she says it. In Singapore if she had attacked the PAP she would already have been sued for libel. I think sometimes she underestimates the value of the freedom she has been given, and as I have pointed out before, she is just wrong in painting the media as some monolithic bogeyman.

Which probably leads to the obvious question:

If Ann Coulter were an overweight, 50 year old hag, with curly hair and ankle hose would she be as popular? Same goes for Michelle Malkin, would she be working in Neptunes?

Or pehaps this would be more likely.

Maybe she really wants that...................


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