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Ann Coulter, Extremist

June 11, 2006

I’m a little late to the game on this, but because this is one of those things that everyone and their brother (in Christ) seems compelled to weigh in on, and in view of my previous post, I thought I’d offer my two bits on the latest Ann Coulter controversy.

I’m the first person to advocate expressing your views strongly, and in a colorful, amusing and intelligent manner. Ann Coulter, from the little bits of her I’ve seen and read, seems to often fit that bill. Occasionally she goes over the edge though, and rightfully gets into to trouble, as in this interview with Matt Lauer regarding her new book, Godless:

LAUER: On the 9-11 widows, an in particular a group that had been critical of the administration:

COULTER:
“These self-obsessed women seem genuinely unaware that 9-11 was an
attack on our nation and acted like as if the terrorist attack only
happened to them. They believe the entire country was required to
marinate in their exquisite personal agony. Apparently, denouncing bush
was part of the closure process.”

“These broads are
millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in
their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband’s death so much.”

The first paragraph is defensible. The second is not, and was superfluous to boot. Calling them "broads" is inappropriate, and describing them as "enjoying" their husbands death is utterly heartless. I don’t care what they said about Bush etc. Not because their grief is sacred, but because it is real. It is my grief too, for them and their families. As ConfederateYankee said:

The so-called Jersey Girls have my sympathy for their personal loss,
but they are not qualified to preach unopposed about matters of public
policy.

No one is.

Ann Coulter has a shtick, and it has done well for her market value. It surprises me though that anyone would take her very seriously. That doesn’t give her immunity though for when she uses her gimmick to make what could very charitably be called an extremely cruel and tasteless attempt at dry humor. As in bloodless. The Count may have sharp teeth, but he’s all about the human blood. That is truly sacred.

Rick Moran of RightWingNuthouse has a terrific piece calling her a lout and worse:

I have pretty much ignored Ann Coulter for the last year or so. As
her celebrity has grown – actually since she appeared on the cover of
Time Magazine – she has had to make ever more outrageous and off the
wall statements in order to maintain her position as a “controversial”
commentator. This has often placed her at odds with many of us who,
while generally in agreement with much of her critique of American
liberalism, nevertheless recoil in horror and disgust at her rhetoric.

She
has descended into a black hole of necessity from which there is no
escape; where she is forced to please her rabid base of red meat
conservatives usually by going beyond the bounds of decency and proper
public discourse in order to make a point that could have been made
without resorting to the kind of hurtful, hateful, personal attacks
that have become a hallmark of her war with liberals.

And he’s just getting warmed up.

The Anchoress has a great round-up of posts generally attacking Coulter’s extreme rhetoric, and her worries about current Conservative extremism in general. Insty notes Hugh Hewitt’s condemnation and notes:

My general strategy these days is to ignore Coulter (Ted Rall, too),
and if everyone did that things would be better. But yes, this deserves
to be condemned. Of course, she’s managed to troll Hillary into
condemning her, probably assuring a bestseller slot.

Don’t feed the trolls.

Ace of spades has a great shorter Ann Coulter argument:

I support you to the extent you are an asset, not a liability.

Look up "Lott, Trent."

Thank you.

(Although that’s not quite fair.  Trent Lott was always useless, and always basically a liability.  Still, the point stands.)

I know I’ve been deliberately provocative on this blog and in my comments on Rob Asghar’s, but I don’t think I’ve every been heartless, even towards people I truly have moral contempt for. I think there’s a difference between partisanship or immoderation and extremism. Partisanship speaks to strategy and tactics; extremism speaks to methods and purposes. As always there’s a lot of "taster’s choice" in which is what.

I’m happy with how the blogs I read have responded: outraged condemnation to rhetorical disapproval. I my self am not that worked up over it; I save that all up for people who morally equate Bush and Zarqawi.

As Ace said in an earlier post:

But this nastiness is uncalled for. Even if something is actually
felt deep inside — even if you’re filled with toxic hatred for very
annoying, very presumptuous, very left-leaning women with an
overweening sense of entitlement — most people would find less
abrasive ways to express such an emotion.

Does that mean that Ann is just more honest than us "nancy boys"? 

Not really. A lot of the time the excuse of "I was just being
honest" is just a code for "I’m basically an inconsiderate asshole who
cannot be bothered to modify my behavior in even the slightest fashion
in order to observe basic conventions of social decency."

Hopefully I give a little more than the slightest fashion. But not much. Screw that!

Here’s David Letterman calling Coulter a "bitch" and joking she should get set up with O.J. – (i.e.. be killed). Funny? Inappropriate?

I’d be interested in comments regarding the substance of Coulter’s critique of "grief pimps".

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 21, 2009 8:30 pm

    confession: i know she’s abrasive, but i totally have a crush on Ann Coulter

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