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.”
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!