Q&A Friday #42: In Defense Of Ann Coulter
Question: “Why is it that some right-wing bloggers and commentators are so pompous and lofty when it comes to Ann Coulter? She’s known for her satirical style and verbal jabs, so what’s wrong with using those techniques to make a highly valid point? Must we be such goody-two-shoe panzies all the freakin time? Jeeez.” — miketx7
Answer: First of all, let me say that Ann Coulter regularly engages in way over-the-top rhetoric against liberals. She can be very mean spirited, brutal, and savage. So much so, that I’ve disagreed with a number of comments that she’s made and at times, despite the fact that I adore her, have even criticized her harshly. So, if some “right-wing bloggers and commentators” are tough on her, I fully understand that.
But, and this is one hell of a big but….
Coulter is also brilliant, incisive, does excellent research, and has the guts to say things that other people won’t. For example, although I think she went too far in saying that, the Jersey Girls were “enjoying their husbands’ deaths,” her larger point was absolutely correct: they’re exploiting the deaths of their husbands for political purposes. Same goes for Cindy Sheehan, who has ruthlessly exploited the death of her son for politics’ sake and has gotten her 15 minutes of fame along with a pocketbook full of cash as a result.
Do I wish Coulter had phrased what she said about the Jersey Girl a little differently? Yes, I do. But, on the other hand, would her comments ever have generated a debate if she hadn’t been as acidic as she was? Probably not. Chairman Ann would also probably point to the fact that she’s had 5 straight best selling books as evidence that her methods are very effective.
It’s also worth noting that for all the hullabaloo what Ann Coulter has said, comments that are just as rude & vicious as the ones Ann makes are the rule, not the exception on the left.
It’s not the least bit unusual for liberals to call conservatives racists, Nazis, theocrats & fascists. They compare George Bush to Osama Bin Laden, call him a a chimp, and proudly talk about how much they hate his guts. They accuse black Republicans of being Uncle Tom’s, they throw pies at conservative speakers on college campuses, and they send the most racist, misogynist hate mail you’ve ever seen to minority conservatives like Michelle Malkin. They claim conservatives hate poor people and want old people to die in the streets. They accuse Republicans of wanting to lock liberals in camps, rigging the elections, invading Iraq just so Haliburton can make a few extra bucks, and of engineering 9/11 for political gain.
Then, despite the fact that this is just standard, run-of-the-mill discourse on the left, they turn around and complain that Ann Coulter is being mean to them? Maybe it’s just me, but I think I can live with that.
PS: I will say this though: conservatives should remember that Ann Coulter is a uniquely talented individual who’s still charming despite the fact that she can be as mean as a junkyard dog with a sore tooth. Conservatives who try to emulate Ann’s level of ferocity usually just end up making themselves look bad.