Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Right Responds to Ann Coulter (sort of)

A couple of bloggers on the right have posted about Ann Coulter's pig trough performance on the Today show. It's very sad that so many of those in the blogosphere who so love to criticize liberals, Democrats, and leftie bloggers for their callousness, rudeness, and vile personal attacks treat the Empress of Unhinged, Unreasoning Hatred with either shrugs or chuckles.

But credit where it's due: Confederate Yankee and Rick Moran (of Rightwing Nuthouse) at least address what Coulter said -- and, to differing degrees, have voiced their disapproval of her loutish style of public debate.

CY's criticism is actually pretty weak; he implies, rather than states outright, that her attack on the 9/11 widows was inappropriate, to say the least; but he titles his post "Shooting Messengers" and spends most of it defending what he calls the "meaning of her commentary."

Rick's piece, however, is quite strong: He calls Coulter a "conservative lout"; recoils in "horror and disgust at her rhetoric"; and actually says that Coulter should apologize to the women she attacked.

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.

Make no mistake. Ann Coulter is a brutish lout, a conservative ogre who should be denied a public platform to spout what any conservative with an ounce of integrity and intellectual honesty should be able to see as unacceptable. To descend to the level of your opponents in order to criticize them is not an excuse. And for such a gifted wordsmith, Coulter does not have the excuse of ignorance.

I have been told not to take what she says so seriously, that this is her "shtick." I, like the Queen of England, am not amused. ...
This rhetoric is not designed to advance debate or even make any kind of a salient point about the political activism of grief stricken parents like Cindy Sheehan and the anti-Bush September 11 widows. The remarks were designed to hurt other people's feelings in a deeply personal and entirely inappropriate way. ...

The anti-Bush 9/11 widows are not immune from criticism for their political positions nor even for the tactics they use to advance those positions. But to say that they are "enjoying" their status as widows is so far beyond the pale that anyone who makes such a statement deserves the most severe censure possible. And the networks who use Coulter as some kind of "Spokesman" for the right should be told in no uncertain terms by as many of us as possible that she doesn't speak for any conservatives that we want to be associated with.

Coulter owes those women an apology. Failure to give it only reveals her to be a shallow, bitter, bitch of a woman whose hate filled mouthings will eventually lead to her destruction.

Apart from the snide "descending to the level of [her] opponents" (I challenge Rick to name Ann Coulter's equivalent on the left) and the tired old "anti-American left" canard (if anyone is anti-American, it's those individuals who question the patriotism of Americans who actually use their constitutional rights even when the government says they can't or shouldn't), these are pretty strong words, and justifiably so. Coulter deserves every one of them.

Rick's readers (at least on this post) are a whole 'nuther story, however. I'm getting a bit weary of the laziness of right-wingers who cannot debate without resorting to strawman arguments. Witness this comment by reader Mohseni Said:

Coulter has a valid point. You cannot use your victimhood status to silence debate.

When in tarnation did the Bush-opposing 9/11 widows do this? Never, that's when.

And this one, in Confederate Yankee's piece:

The point, of course, was simply this: personal tragedy does not bestow omnipotence upon the bereaved.

Who the hell said it did?

Well, according to CY, Maureen Dowd.

But guess what? Maureen Dowd was not the target of Coulter's venom on the point that "personal tragedy does not bestow omnipotence upon the bereaved." The 9/11 widows were:

LAUER: So grieve but grieve quietly?

COULTER: No, the story is an attack on the nation. That requires a foreign policy response.

LAUER: By the way, they also criticized the Clinton administration.

COULTER: Not the ones I am talking about. No, no, no.

LAUER: Yeah they have.

COULTER: Oh no, no, no, no, no. They were cutting commercials for Kerry. They were using their grief to make a political point while preventing anyone from responding.

LAUER: So if you lose a husband, you no longer have the right to have a political point of view?

COULTER: No, but don't use the fact that you lost a husband as the basis for being able to talk about, while preventing people from responding. Let Matt Lauer make the point. Let Bill Clinton make the point. Don't put up someone I am not allowed to respond to without questioning the authenticity of their grief.

One tiny little problem: The Jersey Girls did not try to prevent anyone from responding.

Matt Lauer actually pointed this out to Coulter. Notice her response:

COULTER: That is the point of liberal infallibility. Of putting up Cindy Sheehan, of putting out these widows, of putting out Joe Wilson. No, no, no. You can't respond. It's their doctrine of infallibility. Have someone else make the argument then.

LAUER: What I'm saying is I don't think they have ever told you, you can't respond.

COULTER: Look, you are getting testy with me.

See? She really can't respond.


Ozyman said...

In my opinion, Ann Coulter brings out the worst in us. Ann does short pithy one-liners of hate it better than anyone. Her career, like many other right-wing hate-media stars and a few on the left, is all about character assassination and out-of-context cherry-picked facts and quotes.

She is smart, as is Rush and O’Liely, but they, like some here, scream unfair for dishing out a little of what these media whores do everyday in their hateful books and shows. They don’t want debate, don’t kid yourself.

The Left does have its own, but they don’t do as good a job, because their heart is less into it, in general, being more concerned with “fairness”. The Right does it better, understanding power better, going for the gut better. It’s the difference between the Gore campaign and the Bush mafia in Florida.

This silly argument about the widows is just typical. Coulter is over-the-top rude and hypocritical, spouting false or misleading facts and impressing the vast stupid Middle with her quick (though shallow) tongue and her physique.

Politics is full of hypocritical cant on both sides of the political divide, it’s just that Coulter and her fellow travellers take it to the extreme, and then have the constant gall to accuse more reasonable people of the craziness that she’s the master of. Her kind of America, like her psyche, is ugly.

Pug said...

Ann Coulter really is a despicable human being. That said, however, the more she appears on shows like The Today Show, the better.

This pathetic, filth-spewing being should be exposed to as wide an audience as possible because to a vast majority of normal Americans she is repulsive.

Her body language reveals how uncomfortable it makes her when someone like Matt Lauer reads her own disgusting words back to her on national television.

An interviewer with any sense of decency whatsoever needs only quote from her writing and ask her to explain. Sean Hannity and John Gibson won't, but when she hits the networks with their audience of millions, she doesn't come across well at all.