Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, at birth
Presumably, public debate over current issues is still a vital part of our democracy. Somewhere, maybe in Paul Krugman’s basement, smart people are saying what they actually mean about important aspects of United States culture and governance. On TV, they’re doing something else. Cable news programs are about American politics the way The Program is about football. No one makes this principle more evident than Ann Coulter, who at one time probably believed what she said on television and hoped people would take her seriously. Now she wants us to look at her. Jesus, won’t you please look at Ann Coulter?
You probably already heard about this by now: Coulter went on Hannity and argued, apropos of Herman Cain, that “our blacks are so much better than their blacks.” Props to Schmen for the link.
Yes, Big Trouble In Little China was on TV last night. It's not like I was gonna go right to bed after The Quick and the Dead.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the partisan anger of contemporary politics that we sometimes forget what we all have in common: fear. Why spend hours debating things like whether and how to be afraid of gay people when we all agree that we’re terrified of the Chinese? Fact: Chinese people live all over Asia. Fact: they are readily identifiable via their dextrous hands and constant smoking. Fact: their atonal yowling makes them utterly dependent on US supplies of pop music. And once I get my shirts back, they will have nothing that we truly need. My point is that we can still reverse current trends, which will lead to Chinese nationals riding us around sand tracks for sport, and return China to a manageable position in which they can only poison our children via lead toys. During this time of national crisis, our xenophobic resentment can bring us together. We just have to take a hard look at the Americans we currently have and make them more like the Americans we once did. First, though, we must identify the problem.
Ann Coulter pauses briefly because she thought she heard a strain of music, far away, sung to a little girl who doesn't live here anymore.
During this country’s innocence (Thriller—2008 A.D.,) Ann Coulter could reasonably be called the most unreasonable commentator working. The woman who titled two books about liberals “Treason” and “Godless” could once be relied upon for the most incendiary quotes and the most absurd exaggerations, but the climate of discourse has changed. Coulter, like O’Reilly, finds herself a weak sister in conservatism’s Thanksgiving dinner of nutjobbery, overshadowed by such relentless word-combiners as Glenn Beck and Michele Malkin. Suddenly, she is only middling crazy. Worse, her hyperbolic shtick has become standard not just for conservative commentary but for conservative politics. In a country where Joe Wilson screams that the President is a liar while he is addressing Congress, what is an Ann Coulter, exactly? The answer, at least as suggested by this profile in the New York Times, is “weirdly lonely and sad.”
Ann Coulter, photographed here with Jimmie Walker for some wonderful reason
According to Ben Smith at Politico, conservative website WorldNetDaily has dropped Ann Coulter from its Taking America Back National Conference, out of indignation at her decision to speak at the September convention of gay conservative group GOProud. You should probably know that this event is called Homocon. That and the poster’s insightful assessment of Coulter as “the conservative Judy Garland” suggest that we have finally found the fun wing of the Republican Party, but WND refuses to be amused. As founder Joseph Farrah put it:
Ultimately, as a matter of principle, it would not make sense for us to have Ann speak to a conference about “taking America back” when she clearly does not recognize that the ideals to be espoused there simply do not include the radical and very un-conservative agenda represented by GOProud. The drift of the conservative movement to a brand of materialistic libertarianism is one of the main reasons we planned this conference from the beginning.
All right, but you’re not going to be getting any mimosas. Farrah’s comment is the closest we’ve come in a long time to a direct examination of what it might mean to “take back America”—a phrase that has been falling out of mouths and into microphones with increasing frequency. Somewhere in Farrah’s tangle of adverbs and implications is a clear statement about what “taking America back” means. And when something like that happens, you know that for which it is time: another Close Reading!
"Excuse me, Ms. Coulter, but a large number of seagulls are converging on the park, and we'd appreciate it if you'd put on slacks."
It was only for the duration of one sentence, though. In reference to Michael Steele’s claim that Afghanistan is “a war of Obama’s choosing,” Coulter has declared that “Michael Steele was absolutely right.” She does not mean, of course, that Steele suggested that Obama invaded Afghanistan. That would be absurd. She means that “Afghanistan is Obama’s war and, judging by other recent Democratic ventures in military affairs, isn’t likely to turn out well.”