Ann Coulter: An Embarrassment to Conservatives

pizza
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Post by pizza » Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:31 pm

Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be, I've had contact with all sorts of people through the years, including every stripe of political animal that exists -- liberals of all sorts included. I doubt that anything Coulter or anyone else says will cause me to accept a distorted view of liberalism. Neither Coulter nor anyone else speaks exclusively for the right; there are many conservative commentators and analysts who offer excellent, well - reasoned articles and opinions. Just pick up any copy of Commentary at random to see what I mean.

There is plenty to be fearful of without exaggeration. It wasn't peaceful Eskimos who flew planes into office buildings and openly threaten our civilization with destruction. Only fools and knaves refuse to acknowledge reality and claim otherwise.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:34 pm

Teresa B wrote:Some people handle this sort of grief quietly and others seem to need a coping mechanism that involves crusading against the perpetrators--whether the perps are the right ones, or various people/institutions that are in their path. These people do not have a balanced worldview, but a highly skewed one that can blind them to virtually everything except the crusade.
I can't understand this. Whatever happened to the virtue of suffering in silence? I'm weary of these kinds of mourners. I've had to put up with them since the early 60s. I'm sick of every conceivable misfortune being turned into an activist cause. Some things are not amenable to politics, but that truth seems to have escaped countless millions.
I don't believe financial gain is their primary motive
Probably not, but how come they always seem to start out to do good and end up doing very well indeed? It's undeniable that there's money to be made milking misfortune like the Jersey Girls and thousands of others do. I can't believe they are ignorant of the fact. Every time I detect one of these victicrats looming on the horizon, I flee in the opposite direction. I don't care what their cause is I don't want to hear it. I tithe so I don't have to listen to serial whiners.
Coulter may have valid criticism, but in my book she negates it with all the vicious invective. Of course she knows sensationalism sells, and she probably practices her cobra impressions in front of a mirror every night.
I agree. Controversy, as Prince noted, is always good for bidness.

Good post, Teresa!
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:53 pm

Donald Isler wrote:Liberals are caricatured, as usual.
We have many discussions here that prove her points. The facts about the T-shirts are verifiable. People who have denounced homosexuality or questioned whether secularism is in fact a religion have been hounded here by people who disagree. I can mention names if you like. What she describes is so predictable, especially if the people should accidently find themselves in the public eye. I suppose somewhere there is a liberal or two who still thinks homosexuals should stay in the closet and sick ones should be subject to the same Public Health discipline that anyone infected with a communicable disease would be, but, hey! It's a civil rights issue, don't you know? They'd never be permitted to speak out without calling down the wrath of the activists.
stereotyping
Nice to see that very good serviceable word again. Stereotypes are not wicked perverse signs of psychosis. They are very useful generalizations based on experience whose limitations should be recognized before use. We all engage in stereotyping everday to our betterment. It means we learn from experience.


(as none of the people she mentions at all resemble any of the many liberals that I know)
Wanna bet? If you think that, it's because you've never disagreed with your like-minded friends on any issues that would cause the syndrome to manifest itself. Just for fun, next time you have a group of friends over, tell 'em you think homosexuals are a danger to social order and that you support the marriage protection amendment. See how fast they jump on you. I have put up with this kind of liberal behavior for the last 15 years.
I would say that the right must have a monopoly on prostituting itself.
Sheer blindness, Donald, because you agree with the liberal agenda. You think if you agree with the policy positions, the left doesn't prostitute itself. The ends justify the means.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:54 pm

Donald Isler wrote:There is just no excuse for the viciousness, and the type of vocabulary Coulter uses to describe people
So! What do you think of Carville?
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:59 pm

Alban Berg wrote:Tell me, pizza, how does calling Lilith a "twit" (whether true or not) strengthen your case?
This is probably a rhetorical question, but in case you haven't noticed, Lilith can dish it out, and I must say I don't recall her ever complaining about getting it in return. Speaking from the standpoint of a site administrator and a bystander and a participant, I tend not to worry much about folks who can take care of themselves in these flame wars. The ones I worry about are the gentle folk who get hounded mercilessly for perfectly innocent statements. Neither Pizza nor Lilith qualify.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:01 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:Thanks Teresa, you expressed the situation perfectly.

Its depressing how stupid most conservative thought is becoming. Coulter, Hannity & 90% of talk radio has become a mirror image of the thoughtless, dogmatic politically correct left wing that they rail against.
I agree. We have become so charmed (?) by the sight of two gladiators whaling on each other that the ideas have become secondary if not tertiary.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:07 pm

Donald Isler wrote:It's obvious what the "fear factor" here is about. The right exaggerates things to create an enemy they hope others will believe in, because they think it will increase support for them.
You have just proven Krauthammer's point:

"To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil." - Charles Krauthammer
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:41 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Donald Isler wrote:It's obvious what the "fear factor" here is about. The right exaggerates things to create an enemy they hope others will believe in, because they think it will increase support for them.
You have just proven Krauthammer's point:

"To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil." - Charles Krauthammer
On RMCR, I see that constantly. Anyone who supports the war is evil or a fascist in the eyes of some on the left.
We're not dealing with a made up enemy.

What I think the administration can be faulted for is not getting the nation as a whole involved enough so that they understand the importance of the larger war. I saw a show the other night about how Ike constantly stressed to the American public that every one of them had a responsibility to represent America well in the ideological war against the Soviets. Americans travelling abroad were given brochures on how to deal with hostile questions from people in other countries who may be more sympathetic to the Soviets.
While I'm not in any way suggesting that a Democrat wouldn't have done the same thing or that Democrats in Congress share no blame, instead of making this a true national effort, Bush overly politicized the war in a partisan sense.
There shouldn't be anywhere near the number of people out there thinking we're not facing a real enemy. I know Ike didn't have the same kind of media to contend with, but Bush just plain hasn't done enough to sell the war and make the nation feel like they all have a stake in it.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

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Post by DavidRoss » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:58 pm

Dan Ferguson wrote:David,
You presume Coulter's got something otherwise she wouldn't say it. The bitch says anything because she knows the more offensive she gets the more books she sells. I wouldn't buy a book of hers at Goodwill, nor check it out of any library.
I’m not presuming anything, Dan. In this thread Coulter is called, “inhumane, full of anger and hate, an insecure child (who will) do anything to get attention, a real twit, not even pretty (?), vicious, mean-spirited, scum, cruel, venom-spewing, a political clown, venomous, anorexic, brain-starved, a deluded fool, lowlife, bitch, self-aggrandizing, and indecent.” But not one of the posts aiming such invective at Coulter disputes the substance of her criticism of the “Jersey girls;” they merely express displeasure at her own invective and her “insensitivity” for attacking widows (the latter point ironically illustrating the very principle which Coulter finds most politically objectionable about the widows’ behavior).

Again I ask: are Coulter’s claims groundless, or are these women capitalizing on their husbands’ deaths for the sake of fame, fortune, or politics? Isn’t this the real issue, rather than Coulter’s unseemly rhetoric and questionable diction?
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
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Post by Lilith » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:59 pm

"but Bush just plain hasn't done enough to sell the war and make the nation feel like they all have a stake in it."

Amen to that. Although I think no matter what he did he would have had difficulty selling this debacle to me, you are correct. He has asked for no sacrifice from the American people- in fact, he cut taxes. Imagine that - a war, a disastrous hurricane, etc and he cut taxes. Has he asked for your son or daughter - or your neighbor's son or daughter? No. Its a voluntary force. So nobody really feels this war, like you felt Vietnam.
I might not have agreed with the war, but I would have had far greater respect for Bush if he had asked the American people to sacrifice something, anything little, just something for the war effort.

(Maybe it would have even unified us more? Who knows)
Last edited by Lilith on Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:06 pm

Lilith wrote:I would have had far greater respect for Bush if he had asked the American preople to sacrifice something, anything little, just something for the war effort.
I agree. Nobody except the brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have fought this war half the way it should be. And with the idiotic ROEs the administration has foisted on them, it's a wonder anyone goes to fight.
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Post by Teresa B » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:06 pm

Thanks, folks who liked my post. I tend to agree that there are liberals and conservatives alike who are unnecessarily nasty, and I guess those who publicly express opinion are fair game in the gladiatorial arena.

I am probably an old softy, but I do think, no matter how tiresome the whininess of victims gets, they can be cut some slack due to the circumstances. Corlyss, I agree that self-reliance and the ability to think rationally despite personal tragedy are surely preferable, but unfortunately rare virtues.

And re: pizza's post on Coulter's diatribe--since when does Darwinism = liberalism = a new religion? Last I knew, Darwinism was an explanation for the evolution of species. I have some liberal opinions, but I don't consider my belief in evolution by natural selection "liberal", or religious, for that matter, any more than my belief in plate tectonics.

All the best,
Teresa
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Post by Teresa B » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:07 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Lilith wrote:I would have had far greater respect for Bush if he had asked the American preople to sacrifice something, anything little, just something for the war effort.
I agree. Nobody except the brave men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have fought this war half the way it should be. And with the idiotic ROEs the administration has foisted on them, it's a wonder anyone goes to fight.
Ditto.

Teresa
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Post by Werner » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:45 pm

Corlyss, somewhere on a previous page, you compared Eisenhower to Bush, saying (if I remember corectly) that Bush failed to alert the nation to the enemy.

So there seemed to be no enemy we're facing, as compared to Eisenhower's presentation of the facts in his day.

Of course, putting Bush in the same spot as Ike comes as close to sacrilege as you can get in a liberal (pardon the expression) democracy. Just shows you how low the Republicans have sunk.

The truth - visible to all but the terminally prejudicial - is that we have an enemy indeed - a vicious, dogmatic and determined one. What I - and other non-rightist misguided ones - object to is that in this instance we did not realize the nature of the enemy and what it takes to face him, but we went off half-cocked, half-assed, and delusional as to the obstacles we would face - all of which we - or our leaders - had a duty to discover before setting off on a campaign, not after.

Coulter, Krauthammer, O'Reilly, Corlyss, and Pizza - and so many more - try to mask that with rhetoric - but there is no excuse for it.
Werner Isler

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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:49 pm

Teresa B wrote:since when does Darwinism = liberalism = a new religion? Last I knew, Darwinism was an explanation for the evolution of species. I have some liberal opinions, but I don't consider my belief in evolution by natural selection "liberal", or religious, for that matter, any more than my belief in plate tectonics.

All the best,
Teresa
Personally, I have always tried to live my life by the principles of Ohm's Law

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:52 pm

Werner wrote:Corlyss, somewhere on a previous page, you compared Eisenhower to Bush, saying (if I remember corectly) that Bush failed to alert the nation to the enemy.
It wasn't me, Werner. Yes. I agree that Bush has been a dismal failure in the bully pulpit department, in leading and forming opinion and informing us, the public. I shouldn't have to work so hard to assemble arguments for what we are doing with his policy. I'm retired. I have the time to do it. Others are busy and need to hear from the White House on these matters much more often than we do.
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Post by Lilith » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:11 pm

"I would have had far greater respect for Bush if he had asked the American people to sacrifice something, anything little, just something for the war effort.

Corlysis, Teresa B & Lilith all agree ..... heavens, if this were Tues (06-06-2006) I would have had to considered whether the world really WAS going to come to an end. (And I salute Barry for bringing it all up)

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Post by BWV 1080 » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:19 pm

Lilith wrote:

Corlysis, Teresa B & Lilith all agree ..... heavens, if this were Tues (06-06-2006) I would have had to considered whether the world really WAS going to come to an end. (And I salute Barry for bringing it all up)

all together now:

Kumbaya my lord, Kumbaya...

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Post by Teresa B » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:24 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:
Lilith wrote:

Corlysis, Teresa B & Lilith all agree ..... heavens, if this were Tues (06-06-2006) I would have had to considered whether the world really WAS going to come to an end. (And I salute Barry for bringing it all up)

all together now:

Kumbaya my lord, Kumbaya...
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Teresa
Last edited by Teresa B on Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Teresa B » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:25 pm

BWV 1080 wrote: Personally, I have always tried to live my life by the principles of Ohm's Law
:wink: As long as you stay current...

Teresa
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Post by Madame » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:07 pm

DavidRoss wrote:I know nothing about any of this except for what I’ve read in this thread. No one seems to deny Coulter’s charges, but some object to her vilification of people cashing in on the tragedy of 9/11 for the sake of fame, fortune, and political capital. Apparently Coulter thinks that’s what they’re doing, regards it as despicable, and minces no words in denouncing them for it. Surely there must be more to the story than this…are Coulter’s accusations wrong? Are those now claiming outrage over her words equally outraged by their own or others’ equally harsh characterizations of Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, even Coulter herself, both now and in the past?

Self-righteous hypocrisy in the service of ideology is shameful, regardless of which part of the political spectrum it comes from. If we cannot stop hating each other so much, simply because we disagree on the most effective means to achieve our mutual goals, then I fear America is doomed. How long can a nation so divided by irrational hatred stand as a nation? If even the clear and present danger posed by an aggressive, implacable foe has us tearing at one another’s’ throats instead of uniting against the common threat, then our enemies are right to despise us as stupid, decadent, and weak.
The reaction to anything Coulter writes is in part based on her hateful vitriol and her stupid statements over the years. Personally, I think people should ignore her and let her die on the vine, but she counts on this reaction to sell books (though I really wonder WHO would spend good money, unless it's her backers buying up the inventory to make her look like a best-selling writer :) ). I've always referred to her as a "shock jock", like Hannity, Rush, Carville, et al, they are entertainers, but not to be taken seriously

Here are a few of Coulter's gems upon which she has built her "career":

My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America's self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant

Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy

We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors

In the corporeal world, international law is whatever the United States and Great Britain say it is

The Great Satan is wearying of this reverse hegemony, in which little pipsqueak nations try to impose their pipsqueak values on us. Aren't we the ones who should be arrogantly oppressing countries that unaccountably do not have the death penalty?

The swing voters---I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don't have set philosophical principles. You're either a liberal or you're a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster

Liberals hate America, they hate "flag-wavers," they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam (post 9/11). Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now.

God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.

I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am

When we were fighting communism, OK, they had mass murderers and gulags, but they were white men and they were sane. Now we're up against absolutely insane savages

Learning difficulties are a cover for rich parents with dumb kids...That's why 'Pinch' Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, is alleged to have dyslexia - because he's retarded

Which brings me to this week's scandal about No Such Agency spying on "Americans" I have difficulty ginning up much interest in this story inasmuch as I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East, and sending liberals to Guantanamo.

I think [women] should be armed but should not vote...women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it...it's always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care


It would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. In fact, in every presidential election since 1950 - except Goldwater in '64 - the Republican would have won, if only the men had voted


Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment

The Episcopals (sic) don't demand much in the way of actual religious belief. They have girl priests, gay priests, gay bishops, gay marriages -- it's much like The New York Times editorial board. They acknowledge the Ten Commandments -- or "Moses' talking points" -- but hasten to add that they're not exactly "carved in stone."

Juan Gonzales is "Cuba's answer to Joey Buttafuoco," a "miscreant," "sperm-donor," and a "poor man's Hugh Hefner"

The presumption of innocence only means you don't go right to jail

On Princess Diana's death: "Her children knew she's sleeping with all these men. That just seems to me, it's the definition of 'not a good mother.' ... Is everyone just saying here that it's okay to ostentatiously have premarital sex in front of your children?"..."[Diana is] an ordinary and pathetic and confessional - I've never had bulimia! I've never had an affair! I've never had a divorce! So I don't think she's better than I am

"Let's say I go out every night, I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me. I'm not married"

"Anorexics never have boyfriends. ... That's one way to know you don't have anorexia, if you have a boyfriend."



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Post by Werner » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:08 pm

Corlyss, we do have something in common, don't we? You're retired, and I'm retired - so we have time to settle the affairs of the world.

Why don't they listen to us (if we could agree)?
Werner Isler

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Post by RebLem » Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:08 am

Teresa B wrote:Thanks, folks who liked my post. I tend to agree that there are liberals and conservatives alike who are unnecessarily nasty, and I guess those who publicly express opinion are fair game in the gladiatorial arena.

I am probably an old softy, but I do think, no matter how tiresome the whininess of victims gets, they can be cut some slack due to the circumstances. Corlyss, I agree that self-reliance and the ability to think rationally despite personal tragedy are surely preferable, but unfortunately rare virtues.

And re: pizza's post on Coulter's diatribe--since when does Darwinism = liberalism = a new religion? Last I knew, Darwinism was an explanation for the evolution of species. I have some liberal opinions, but I don't consider my belief in evolution by natural selection "liberal", or religious, for that matter, any more than my belief in plate tectonics.

All the best,
Teresa
The irony is that after the Scopes trial, John T Scopes was employed by oil companies, mostly in Venezuela, employing what he knew about the evolution of the earth and geology to find oil. The upshot of that is that today's troglodytes have enough gas and oil to drive to the courthouse to file their silly little lawsuits.

I challenge anyone to find an oil company that employs only "scientists" that don't believe in evolution. Maybe that's why Bush's oil company failed, come to think of it.
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Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:07 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Alban Berg wrote:Tell me, pizza, how does calling Lilith a "twit" (whether true or not) strengthen your case?
This is probably a rhetorical question, but in case you haven't noticed, Lilith can dish it out, and I must say I don't recall her ever complaining about getting it in return. Speaking from the standpoint of a site administrator and a bystander and a participant, I tend not to worry much about folks who can take care of themselves in these flame wars. The ones I worry about are the gentle folk who get hounded mercilessly for perfectly innocent statements. Neither Pizza nor Lilith qualify.
The issue is neither whether the target of an attack can take it or dish it out him/herself, nor whether the epithet is deserved. The issue is solely what using this kind of epithet says about the maturity and character of the disagreeable individual who continually resorts to such tactics, and on that point I stand by all I've previously stated.

To borrow Shakespeare:
POLONIUS My lord, I will use [the players] according to their desert.

HAMLET God's bodykins, man, much better: use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.

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Post by DavidRoss » Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:40 am

Madame wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:I know nothing about any of this except for what I’ve read in this thread. No one seems to deny Coulter’s charges, but some object to her vilification of people cashing in on the tragedy of 9/11 for the sake of fame, fortune, and political capital. Apparently Coulter thinks that’s what they’re doing, regards it as despicable, and minces no words in denouncing them for it. Surely there must be more to the story than this…are Coulter’s accusations wrong? Are those now claiming outrage over her words equally outraged by their own or others’ equally harsh characterizations of Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, even Coulter herself, both now and in the past?

Self-righteous hypocrisy in the service of ideology is shameful, regardless of which part of the political spectrum it comes from. If we cannot stop hating each other so much, simply because we disagree on the most effective means to achieve our mutual goals, then I fear America is doomed. How long can a nation so divided by irrational hatred stand as a nation? If even the clear and present danger posed by an aggressive, implacable foe has us tearing at one another’s’ throats instead of uniting against the common threat, then our enemies are right to despise us as stupid, decadent, and weak.
The reaction to anything Coulter writes is in part based on her hateful vitriol and her stupid statements over the years. Personally, I think people should ignore her and let her die on the vine, but she counts on this reaction to sell books (though I really wonder WHO would spend good money, unless it's her backers buying up the inventory to make her look like a best-selling writer :) ). I've always referred to her as a "shock jock", like Hannity, Rush, Carville, et al, they are entertainers, but not to be taken seriously

Here are a few of Coulter's gems upon which she has built her "career":

My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America's self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant

And so on (excerpt cut for brevity's sake)
Judging from these decontextualized quotes, it seems that it’s Coulter's provocative rhetoric you find objectionable. Do you object to similar hyperbole when used by “liberal” commentators to underscore their points? I’ve seen an awful lot of vicious rhetoric maligning Bush in the past couple of years but don’t recall equal "outrage" over that. I personally find Maureen Dowd far more offensive, because she really seems to mean what she says, her vicious remarks are simply nasty and lack Coulter’s wit, she presents unsupported opinion as fact, and because the New York Times provides a platform encouraging the credulously ill-informed to take her seriously, unlike the other “shock jock” entertainers you list.

You've still failed to address the question I’ve repeatedly asked: whether the substance of Coulter’s accusation is true. After five pages of attacks on Coulter, characterizing her as a “vicious, inhumane, anorexic lowlife bitch,” I’ve yet to see these attackers refute her charges regarding the “Jersey girls.” Sigh. We’re never going to have the kind of meaningful dialogue that can lead to a national consensus on important issues if we cannot rise above the level of shouting schoolyard taunts at those who see things from a different point of view. Despite the noble experiment of public education and the unprecedented access to information offered by radio, television, and the internet, we seem to be getting less civil and more ignorant with each passing day. How sad that we’ve grown so degenerate that folks like Coulter and Dowd represent the level of public discourse in America today.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Post by Ralph » Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:17 am

I haven't seen any columns by Maureen Dowd or any other liberal commentator that sink to the ad hominem level of Coulter. If they exist they are equally worthy of condemnation.

And while I disagree with Bush's policies and question both his intelligence and judgment, I would and do find sniping attacks on his wife and daughters distractive, irrelevant and plain wrong.

Coulter has a constituency but it doesn't get larger through her intemperate and largely witless remarks. I noticed this morning that Barnes & Noble is selling her new book at a 40% discount (plus 10% more for discount card holders), a sure sign that they expect low sales and quick relegation to the remainder table.

The real problem with the Ann Coulters of either political side is that they demean the process whereby intelligent discussion and debate can take place. There's no depth to their musings and no insight into the complexity of divisive issues.

As to "the Jersey Girls," their positions and statements are open to full frontal attack. But insensitive and callous personal remarks by Coulter divert the very careful attention their public posture invites.

Cruelty in politics is nothing new. "Infamous Scribblers," a fine, recently published book, highlights George Washington's fury and impotence at dealing with a press that often focused more on personalities than policies. Every generation has seen many pilloried for their positions by adversaries who won't or can't deal with issues.

I think it's important to counter the Ann Coulters of America not to silence them but to make people aware of their shallowness and, in her case, calculated heartlessness.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Fri Jun 09, 2006 9:38 am

Ralph wrote:I haven't seen any columns by Maureen Dowd or any other liberal commentator that sink to the ad hominem level of Coulter. If they exist they are equally worthy of condemnation.
Maureen Dowd is a satirist, and her style does not eschew personal attacks. But there are two essential differences between her and Anne Coulter:

- Dowd is far wittier.
- Dowd is not partisan, having skewered the Clintons with as sharp a verbal rapier as she now applies to W.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:26 pm

Alban Berg wrote:
Ralph wrote:I haven't seen any columns by Maureen Dowd or any other liberal commentator that sink to the ad hominem level of Coulter. If they exist they are equally worthy of condemnation.
Maureen Dowd is a satirist, and her style does not eschew personal attacks. But there are two essential differences between her and Anne Coulter:

- Dowd is far wittier.
They all want to be Jan Stewart. That was one reason I quit reading NR 20 years ago after a brief trial subscription. There were a couple of reasons for WFB's adoption of the witty stylish put-down, but believe me, not everyone is WFB and most of the time they just sound lame, not witty.
- Dowd is not partisan, having skewered the Clintons with as sharp a verbal rapier as she now applies to W.
I find that so difficult to believe I am straining here, Al. I don't read either of them, so I never was exposed to her Clinton diatribes. But as far as I'm concerned, she's an empty headed twit. And I use the term without any hint of the endearment that Ralph does.
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Post by Werner » Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:32 pm

Well, you missed something, Corlyss. I've been reading Dowd for a good many years, and I can attest to her scalpel with the Clintons. And through it all, she's witty, knowledgeable, and fun to read. And, as I forwarded to you some months past, she can be sensitive, as shown in that piece I sent you about her mother.

Which reminds me - no conection at all - that today would be my mother's 111th birthday, and 40 years since her death. Time does fly, and spares none of us.
Werner Isler

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:37 pm

Werner wrote: as I forwarded to you some months past, she can be sensitive, as shown in that piece I sent you about her mother.
Yes, that was quite touching. Added a nice personal dimension.
Which reminds me - no conection at all - that today would be my mother's 111th birthday, and 40 years since her death. Time does fly, and spares none of us.
Nice you remembered. Mine will be 90 on the 16th. I would have liked your mom - Geminis are my favorite people in the universe.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:34 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Werner wrote: as I forwarded to you some months past, she can be sensitive, as shown in that piece I sent you about her mother.
Yes, that was quite touching. Added a nice personal dimension.
Which reminds me - no conection at all - that today would be my mother's 111th birthday, and 40 years since her death. Time does fly, and spares none of us.
Nice you remembered. Mine will be 90 on the 16th. I would have liked your mom - Geminis are my favorite people in the universe.
Holy simoly! (sp?) My mother is 85 today. (I bet she'll outlive me, too.)

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:41 pm

Alban Berg wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Werner wrote: as I forwarded to you some months past, she can be sensitive, as shown in that piece I sent you about her mother.
Yes, that was quite touching. Added a nice personal dimension.
Which reminds me - no conection at all - that today would be my mother's 111th birthday, and 40 years since her death. Time does fly, and spares none of us.
Nice you remembered. Mine will be 90 on the 16th. I would have liked your mom - Geminis are my favorite people in the universe.
Holy simoly! (sp?) My mother is 85 today. (I bet she'll outlive me, too.)
Happy Birthday, to the redoubtable Mrs. Berg! She learned ya good. :wink:
Corlyss
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Alban Berg

Post by Alban Berg » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:59 pm

Werner wrote:Well, you missed something, Corlyss. I've been reading Dowd for a good many years, and I can attest to her scalpel with the Clintons. And through it all, she's witty, knowledgeable, and fun to read. And, as I forwarded to you some months past, she can be sensitive, as shown in that piece I sent you about her mother.

Which reminds me - no conection at all - that today would be my mother's 111th birthday, and 40 years since her death. Time does fly, and spares none of us.
Only one sample chosen more or less at random:
Liberties; All Shook Up
By MAUREEN DOWD (NYT) 751 words
Published: August 16, 2000

LOS ANGELES - Only a man with an impressive wingspan could have done it. And only a man who had lassoed Arafat and Barak, and Gerry Adams and David Trimble, would have tried.

But the president was determined.

On stage in Monroe, Mich., yesterday, Bill Clinton spread those long arms of his and firmly encircled the shoulders of Hillary and Tipper, who were doing their darndest not to look at each other or get anywhere near each other.

Like an accordion player squeezing out a mighty chord on ''Lady of Spain,'' Mr. Clinton slowly pulled the two blondes into the TV frame -- as Al Gore growled at the crowd in a simulation of excitement -- to get that essential picture of One Big Happy Family. But in a moment, the two women managed to escape his embrace and sidle back as far stage right and stage left as they could manage.

Because of course this is not One Big Happy Family.

This quartet represents the most extraordinary collection of festering resentments and seething jealousies and co-dependent plotting that has ever darkened the White House -- with the possible exception of when Richard Nixon dined alone.

The miracle was not that the baton got passed, but that nobody got hit with it.

Those few moments on stage in Monroe took weeks to negotiate, with excruciating disagreements over the last few days about exactly how to choreograph the symbolic moment between the two couples.

The Gore team had nightmares that the president would do a fake handoff, and say ''You got it!'' when the crowd chanted ''Four more years!''

Tipper, who, out of the four of them, always has the hardest time hiding what she is feeling, is clearly steamed that Elvis never had any intention of leaving the building, and that Hillary has turned Beverly Hills into the sixth borough.

The convention should be celebrating the vice president's role in creating a fat, happy country. But the undercurrents here could suck down a battleship.

Poor Gore.

For years he paid a facilitator to come into his Senate office and the new Clinton/Gore White House and coach him and his staff on ''group dynamics.''

But no New Age psychobabble, no touchy-feely sessions in group dynamics, can help you manage the tectonic plates of Bill and Hillary's dysfunction.

Just as Al Gore hits town to party, the trellis of competing ambitions and interlocking needs and dueling grievances has left everyone exhausted.

Bill's mad at Al because Al chose Joe Lieberman, a Democrat who outdid plenty of Republicans in sewing a scarlet ''A'' on the president's polo shirt. Bill's also mad at Al because Al has been at his elbow for eight years and still can't give a speech. If Al can't give a speech, he can't beat W. And the Bushes as caretakers of the Clinton legacy is a chilling thought. And Bill's also mad at Al because the vice president paid tribute Monday to the notorious monogamist Jimmy Carter, who never felt he got the respect from Bill he deserved, and was delighted to go on zillions of TV shows and wag a finger at Bill's ''escapades.''

As for why the vice president's mad at Bill, don't get Al started. Just consider Monday night's goofy W.W.F.-meets-Russell-Crowe moment, when Mr. Clinton had more cameras rigged up to capture every step of his stagey backstage stroll than you can find in the ''Big Brother'' house.

Al's mad at Hillary because she has turned his centrist convention into a liberal campaign rally for herself, even managing to ''accidentally'' maneuver her way onto prime time Monday night (pushing the President's scheduled prime-time paean to Al into Lenoland).

Hillary's mad at Bill. And you really don't want to get her started.

All of this familial angst is not what Al Gore needs. Because his problem is that he's so plodding, so insecure, always searching for the right look and sound, that it is tiring to watch him.

You just know that Mr. Gore, who has grown more stiff lately appearing with Mr. Clinton, left Monroe a nervous wreck. Mr. Clinton, on the other hand, stopped his motorcade on the way out of town at a McDonald's for a crispy chicken sandwich and french fries.

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Post by Werner » Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:02 pm

Let me join the well-wishers to your mother. Health, satisfaction, and more good years!
Werner Isler

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Post by Madame » Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:31 pm

DavidRoss wrote: )Judging from these decontextualized quotes, it seems that it’s Coulter's provocative rhetoric you find objectionable.

If you will re-read what I wrote, I suggested that peoples' reactions to Coulter in this thread are in part due to her hateful and stupid statements over the years, and I offered some examples. They stand on their own, regardless of context.

Do you object to similar hyperbole when used by “liberal” commentators to underscore their points? Did you not see James Carville on my list?

I’ve seen an awful lot of vicious rhetoric maligning Bush in the past couple of years but don’t recall equal "outrage" over that. Not sure what you mean by "equal", but there has been plenty of "outrage"; however I don't see Bush and Coulter as comparable in an analogy.

I personally find Maureen Dowd far more offensive, because she really seems to mean what she says, her vicious remarks are simply nasty and lack Coulter’s wit, she presents unsupported opinion as fact, and because the New York Times provides a platform encouraging the credulously ill-informed to take her seriously, unlike the other “shock jock” entertainers you list. I think I read Maureen Dowd once, but I don't remember what she said, apparently I wasn't encouraged to take her seriously.

You've still failed to address the question I’ve repeatedly asked: whether the substance of Coulter’s accusation is true.

My reply wasn't intended to answer that question, because I haven't followed the Jersey wives activities. Obviously this stuff wasn't in my face. Coulter, on the other hand, shows up everywhere I turn.


After five pages of attacks on Coulter, characterizing her as a “vicious, inhumane, anorexic lowlife bitch,” I’ve yet to see these attackers refute her charges regarding the “Jersey girls.” Sigh.

We’re never going to have the kind of meaningful dialogue that can lead to a national consensus on important issues if we cannot rise above the level of shouting schoolyard taunts at those who see things from a different point of view.

The term "meaningful dialogue" is subjective, and it can deteriorate quickly without reaching the level of shouting taunts. I'm not sure we've ever had national consensus, except maybe after the attack on Pearl Harbor. If we did, politicians would be frustrated.

Despite the noble experiment of public education and the unprecedented access to information offered by radio, television, and the internet, we seem to be getting less civil and more ignorant with each passing day. How sad that we’ve grown so degenerate that folks like Coulter and Dowd represent the level of public discourse in America today.

Laying this on public education and television isn't much higher a level of discourse than what you decry.


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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:43 pm

Thanks, Al for the example. Some of it was very trenchant, but like Madame says, I don't take her seriously as a political commentator. She's a frustrated Jan Stewart in drag, or vice versa.
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Post by jack stowaway » Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:22 pm

From the UK Observer

Lethally blonde
Ann Coulter has made a career out of saying the unthinkable. Last week the bestselling American author caused outrage when she described the widows of 9/11 as 'witches' who revelled in their husbands' deaths. Mixing soundbites with short skirts, this former lawyer has become the most extreme - and popular - polemicist in America. How did that happen?

Gaby Wood
Sunday June 11, 2006

Observer

Ann Coulter has a stalker. She doesn't like to dignify his actions by talking about him, but she'll tell you, if you ask, that he's what the FBI class as the most dangerous kind - John Lennon's assassin was one of these. They're the sort that start out as fans and turn into your worst enemy.

Feelings about Ann Coulter run high and extreme. Often described as 'the Republican Michael Moore', Coulter is possibly even better equipped than Moore to offend people, because, it seems, she is 100 per cent shameless. Actually, make that 99 per cent. 'I've always told my friends,' she says, 'if only I could be a black Jewish homosexual - then we could really have some fun! Then I could say anything!'

Luckily, she is a woman, which puts her in a so-called minority and gives her considerable ammo (literally - she is very much in favour of guns, partly on account of the stalker). James Wolcott described her in Vanity Fair as 'the Paris Hilton of post-modern politics'. Eric Alterman, columnist for the Nation, calls her 'Rush Limbaugh in a miniskirt' (Limbaugh is a popular right-wing talk radio host). Sean Penn has an Ann Coulter action figure on his desk - which he uses to put out his cigarettes. Press a button and the doll speaks: 'Why not go to war for oil? We need oil. What do Hollywood celebrities imagine fuels their private jets? How do they think their cocaine is delivered to them?'

Coulter's weekly column is published in Human Events, once Ronald Reagan's favourite paper. It is read by few outside the conservative heartland, yet she has achieved a notoriety that suggests a far greater circulation. Liberals love to hate her, some conservatives hate her, but every time she writes a book - and Godless, published this week, is her fifth - it's an instant bestseller.

She's a little like Batman, or the Joker. You don't hear from her for a while then suddenly you can't miss her. This is a can't-miss-her moment. On Tuesday she went on the Today Show, NBC's morning programme, defending the passage of Godless that concerns the 11 September widows who lobbied for the creation of the 9/11 commission. She describes them as 'witches' who have cashed in on their husbands' deaths.

On Wednesday she took up the entire front page of the New York Daily News: 'Coulter the Cruel', it blared, next to a picture of Coulter smiling as if she'd just been crowned Miss World. On Thursday Hillary Clinton fought back against what she called a 'vicious, mean-spirited attack'. Perhaps, Clinton suggested, Coulter's book should have been called 'Heartless'. At a public reading in Long Island a town councilman presented Coulter with a letter requesting an apology. Triumphantly, she tore it up. Ah! The book tour had begun.

'This is of course exactly what she wants,' says Joe Klein, who tells me that she inspired a character in his Primary Colors. He adds: 'She's a really cancerous example of the American political disease. You know, there's a whole generation of people in this country who think a serious political discussion is Ann Coulter and Michael Moore yelling at each other. It's driven serious, nuanced conversation out of the market.'

Her effect, however, has to be carefully calibrated - yes, she's a loudmouth right-winger, along the lines of Limbaugh and broadcaster Bill O'Reilly, and far more iconic than both of them. But is she no more than a jester? How dangerous is she?

'She's not dangerous,' Joe Klein clarifies. 'The phenomenon she represents is dangerous'. Alterman agrees: 'The effect is to make racism and other forms of chauvinism acceptable in polite society. You're a killjoy if you take her seriously.'

The night the Twin Towers fell she wrote a now famous column suggesting that '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'. She took a whole lot of people with her. She is, as blog king Mickey Kaus, self-described 'neoliberal' and friend of Coulter, says, 'one of these people who's had the so-called Fox effect, of rallying voters to the polls that nobody thought existed'. Coulter became a pied piper for a certain kind of patriot.

Entire chapters of other people's books (Alterman's, and liberal radio host Al Franken's) have been devoted to pointing out her factual errors. Coulter has written a book taking down Bill Clinton (High Crimes and Misdemeanors); one about the so-called collected lies of the left (Slander); a collection of previously published columns (How to Talk to a Liberal); a volume celebrating the work of Joe McCarthy (Treason). Godless is an expression of her religious views, and takes in the obvious issues: abortion, science, the death penalty ...

Some of Coulter's more charming opinions are that the country would be better off if women couldn't vote, that in December 2001 America should have attacked France, and that the death penalty should be brought back everywhere. She supported apartheid in South Africa, she has gently suggested that Timothy McVeigh should have blown up the New York Times building, she believes that defending the right to abortion is akin to defending slavery. Airlines, she says, should have - and flaunt - a policy of racial profiling: 'You are now free to move about the cabin - Not so fast, Mohammed!'

I am due to meet Ann Coulter for lunch, but there has been some confusion over the location. Her PR emails me to apologise. 'As you might imagine, her schedule is very hectic, and I do not have total control over her until next week,' she writes, effortlessly confirming my suspicion that Coulter is in fact an automaton. Total Control? How does that work? One week, her book publicist; the next, Dick Cheney? I soon learn that this idea is ridiculous. Coulter would never let a moderate like Cheney get his hands on her.

When I arrive at the restaurant, Coulter is sitting down, which is just as well because had I seen at first how tall she was, I might have fainted. Coulter's look is that of someone who has paid close attention to the hairstyles favoured in Stepford, and to the eyeliner worn by the evil android in Metropolis. Her motto might as well be: you can never be too rich, too thin, too blond, too tall, or too rude. She has a mane of expensively blond hair, the crane-limbed body type of a pterodactyl, and a smile that seems entirely un-Machiavellian. Now I understand.

All the interviews I've read involve the interviewer (usually a liberal man) wanting to dislike her and coming away with some excuse for her behaviour, on the grounds that she is actually quite nice in person. And it turns out to be true that she makes everything seem like a joke. She loves to argue, she smiles and laughs with every answer she gives. She's like a puppy waiting to be thrown a ball. Look, she says, I'm just doing this for fun. I'd rather be a married stay-at-home mom, but until that happens, taunting liberals seems like a good way to fill up my day.

After we've ordered our drinks, I ask Coulter whether she thinks she owes her success to a conservative following, or to liberals' need for a bogeyman.

'Oh, that's a good question,' she chuckles. 'One of my favourite liberal friends has laughed about how it's just like clockwork: they attack you, and all it does is give you publicity, and they can't help themselves - they just keep attacking. Liberals hate me because I understand them better than they understand themselves. They pretend not to get the joke.'

As the first plane went into the World Trade Centre, Coulter was in a cab on her way to LaGuardia airport. She was listening to the radio she always carried with her, before i-Pods were invented. 'At first I thought it was some shock jock joke,' she says now, 'but then everyone was pulling the same joke'. When the second plane hit, she leaned forward and told the cab driver the news. He didn't react. He was a Muslim. Coulter was instantly alarmed.

After spending all day in a bar in Queens (the bridges were shut, the subway had stopped, she couldn't get back into Manhattan) she wrote her infamous 9/11 column on her laptop, and hasn't changed her view since. Was that her position before, I wonder?

'No, I never cared about the Muslims,' she says of the people she more frequently refers to as 'ragheads'. 'It seemed like a morass - that's why so many popular jokes are based on peace in the Middle East. I thought, it's a morass, other people are dealing with it, I'll write about Clinton.'

'But you don't think America should intervene on other occasions?'

'No, I wouldn't have intervened in Bosnia, in fact I think it's questionable whether we were on the right side on that. I don't want to be the world's policeman. But when they start flying planes into our skyscrapers, then it's time for a little tough love.'

'Do you feel like your personal involvement led you to those views?'

'No, I don't think it is personal. It's not a personal thing because my city's been hit. Most of the rest of America is more anxious to fight the terrorists than New Yorkers are.'

Coulter thinks conservatives are in a minority in the United States. 'Oh, we definitely are,' she says emphatically, 'in places like the Department of Justice, the CIA, the State Department ...' she pauses for a millisecond. 'I think we probably have the Pentagon.'

What Coulter would like to see is: No Democrats. There would still be a two-party system, but it would be composed of Republicans, and moderate Republicans. 'And then,' she says, 'America would be safe. And I've got to say,' she adds, as she is presented with a plate of beef carpaccio, 'the way the Democrats are going, I think that's not as much of a pipe dream as it seems.'

She couldn't be President herself, she says, because she couldn't 'do the diplomacy thing'. 'Here's Bush going around talking about Islam being a religion of peace - I mean, I know he has to say that, but come on! No. I could not do that. Those words aren't coming out of my mouth.'

In Coulter's ideal world, George Bush would be the leader of the opposition.

I had prepared to meet Ann Coulter with the aim of finding out how on earth any human being could turn out to be so extreme. What was her upbringing? When had she formed these opinions? Why was she so angry? It was only when we were sitting in the restaurant that I realised my approach was all wrong.

I looked up over the starched white tablecloth at the starched white collars of the other patrons. I looked out at Madison Avenue and its innumerable blond shoppers. There was nothing unusual about Ann Coulter. Chances are, if any of these Upper East Siders - neighbours of hers - were as acid-tongued or as unconcerned about decorum as she is, they would be like that too. 'One thing people say to me more than anything else,' she says, 'besides "you're taller than I expected" - is: you say exactly what I'm thinking, and you say the things that no one else will say.'

When I ask who she thinks espouses these views, she shrugs and says, 'you've seen the maps'. As simple as that: wherever the America is conservative-coloured [on the political map], people agree with her. 'She's not so exceptional, and that's the shock,' an acquaintance later tells me, 'People disguise themselves as more sentimental, but what they really feel is probably closer to what she says. It's quite wrong to think [her position] is a redneck phenomenon.'

Coulter was born in 1961 in New York then moved to Connecticut, birthplace of both Colt and Winchester gun manufacturers. Her father was a WASP lawyer who made his name as a union buster, and her 'Southern Belle' mother looked after Ann and her two elder brothers. It was a 'really nice', 'boring', 'happy' family, she says. Every Friday, they would come into the city and go to the Philharmonic. As a family they never talked about personal things. 'It's not necessarily all about politics but when you're with smart people, you're talking about things at a higher level,' Coulter expands, 'You're talking about ideas, telling jokes, it's not: this is what happened to me today.'

'Who looked after your emotional welfare?' I ask.

Coulter laughs out loud - a laugh that means: what will these idiot liberals think of next? 'Wasps aren't into that,' she says. 'In fact, if I ever used the words "emotional welfare", I would be sent to my room without dinner.'

She went to Cornell University, then to law school in Michigan. In 1994 she was hired as a legal adviser to Paula Jones in her sexual harassment case against Bill Clinton. But don't mistake her for a feminist. 'It wasn't feminists who came along and made what Clinton did to Paula Jones illegal,' she says, 'That's been illegal in this country since 1492.'

She wasn't simply acting in Jones's interests, however. Coulter has been quoted as saying that 'we were terrified that Jones would settle. It was contrary to our purpose of bringing down the President.' She got a job working for a Republican senator, and helped to write the country's laws - some of which, she says gleefully, the New York Times is complaining about even now ('I toughened up the provision on removing criminal aliens from the United States').

But there was one thing she wasn't so good at when she was a Senate staffer: 'They did figure out pretty quickly that I should not be the one meeting with constituents.'

Why not?

'I started threatening to mace them.'

'I suppose the question that often comes up is, does she really believe these things or does she say them for effect?' says Mickey Kaus. 'And I've come to think she really believes them. She says the same things in private. They are as sincere as any beliefs any of us have.'

John Cloud, who profiled her for a cover story in Time last year, ended up thinking she was so funny it must be some kind of stand-up routine, that she was like a right-wing Ali G. Coulter tells me that she once went on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Leno came into the green room holding a copy of her book. 'You know,' he said to her, 'I've heard some of these jokes before, but now that I'm reading your book, I see that they kept dropping the punch line - this is very funny.'

That is exactly the sort of response that some of Coulter's opponents think is to blame for her popularity. Eric Alterman was hired at MSNBC with Ann Coulter 10 years ago in what was her first media job. 'I couldn't believe the crap that was coming out of her mouth,' he says. Alterman watched Coulter get fired during a commercial break, after she had mocked a paraplegic Vietnam vet. 'These people think it's all a joke,' Alterman says, 'like the guy who wrote the cover story for Time last year - that 5,000 word love letter - and decided it was all ironic.

'Well, I don't give the mass audience that much credit for irony. She's told an awful lot of lies that are very damaging, and have terrible consequences. There's a kind of daisy chain in the media that's allowed her to reach this level, with Hillary Clinton responding to her comments about 9/11 widows. Hillary Clinton shouldn't have to wipe that stuff off her shoes. The gatekeeper function of the media has entirely disappeared.'

In May 1999 Harpers magazine threw a party at Keith McNally's hip restaurant, Pravda, for Christopher Hitchens's book about Bill Clinton. For that night at least, it was the epicentre of the liberal intelligentsia. Ann Coulter showed up; everyone was appalled. 'But then they were fascinated by her,' one partygoer recalls. 'People fell over themselves wanting to talk to her - especially the older men. It's one of those things: if you're attracted to someone, who cares about politics?'

This, Alterman argues, is Coulter's 'great talent - to make people like her and think there's no consequence to saying we should be committing mass murder in the Middle East.' Coulter's friend Jon Ledecky says; 'As a platonic friend, it's interesting to see intelligent and handsome men transformed into slobbering groupies when they meet her.' Coulter herself tells me that every boyfriend she's had in the past five years has been a fan: 'a total stranger who walked up to me in a bar or in the street.'

I ask why her relationships never last long.

'This reason or that reason,' she says.

'It's not because they're afraid of you?'

'Oh no.'

Currently popular in Washington is a blog with an unprintable title. It takes the form of a fictional sex scene in which the liberal narrator picks Ann Coulter up at the farmer's market in Los Angeles and takes her home. (By the way, Coulter really does have fans in Hollywood. When the creator of 24 - one of her favourite shows - threw a party for her there, promising to introduce her to all the right-wingers, she assumed 'there would be five of us sipping sodas', but when she got there, it was 'a huge party'. Anyway, back to the sex blog.) They get to his place, and turn each other on by fighting over politics.

'With every point I expressed that ran counter to a view she held, she removed one article of clothing,' it reads. 'Soon she sat on my couch naked.' They climax: 'I repeated every Karl Marx quote I could think of until I reached my own "historic inevitability"'.

See what I mean about her appealing to both sides?

Every Sunday, Coulter goes to church. A mega-church. In the middle of Manhattan. The pastor packs it with 600 to 800 people four times a day, she says. Once, she even tried to convert a Muslim boyfriend to Christianity there. I ask Coulter if she's ever had a crisis of faith.

'Only when liberals don't attack me enough,' she says with a smile. 'Then I think: what was the matter with that column? I thought it was good.'

Quotable Coulter

On 9/11

'If Chicago had been hit, I assure you New Yorkers would not have cared. New Yorkers would have been like, "It's tough for them, now let's go back to our Calvin Klein fashion shows. "'

On Muslims

'The question is not, 'Are all Muslims terrorists?' The question is, 'Are all terrorists Muslims?' The answer is yes .'

On her Muslim ex-boyfriend

'The relationship was complicated by his interest in committing jihad. I took away his box cutters. '

To a Vietnam veteran

'People like you caused us to lose the war.'

On Princess Diana

'Her children knew she was sleeping with all these men. That just seems the definition of "not a good mother".'

On women

'America would be a much better country if women did not vote.'

On the French

'A bunch of faggots.'

On her critics

'The more vicious they are, the happier I am.'

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:34 pm

jack stowaway wrote:From the UK Observer

Lethally blonde But there was one thing she wasn't so good at when she was a Senate staffer: 'They did figure out pretty quickly that I should not be the one meeting with constituents.'

Why not?

'I started threatening to mace them.'
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I know I shouldn't but I can't help it! Speaking as a former DoD employee who had to put up with more than my fair share of silly complaints from small businessmen whining that someone in the contracting side had done 'em wrong, on which the junior staffer had slapped an insulting letter to us, and to which we had to respond within 24 hours, her approach sounds like just the ticket to me! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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