Saturday, March 03, 2007

CPAC is Shocked--Shocked!--by Ann Coulter's Remarks

Conservatives attending this year's CPAC had no idea what was in store for them when Ann Coulter got up to speak. "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,'" she told the unsuspecting attendees, who were so taken aback by her surprising remarks that some of them exclaimed "Oh!" before they wildly cheered and applauded. Of course, they were just being polite and their response in no way implied that they weren't outraged by her comments. As hundreds of mostly young, college-age fans lined up to buy her books and get them signed, no doubt many of them were troubled by what she said, wondering if this would give people the wrong idea about conservatives.

Who knew that Coulter would say something that would give liberals an excuse to attack conservatives? Conservatives were just as shocked and appalled by her comments as they were last year at CPAC when she called Muslims "ragheads," recommended poisoning Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and responded to a question about her biggest ethical dilemma by lamenting, "One time I had a shot at Clinton. I thought, 'Ann, that's not going to help your career.'" Many distanced themselves from what she said, just as they did at CPAC 2005 when she proposed a "New McCarthyism," explaining that the entire Harvard faculty should be fired for being traitors and that liberal books should be burned. When she speaks at CPAC next year, I wonder what outrageous things she will say, which conservatives will immediately denounce as in no way representing mainstream conservative thought. Certainly, she will give us something to talk about -- and condemn -- as she does every year. As CPAC Director Stacie Rumenap said last year, "For years, Ann's participation in CPAC has been the highlight for thousands of conservative grassroots activists. Her incendiary opinions on issues of the day resonate with our attendees, who always report that the CPAC experience would not be the same without an opportunity to be enlightened by the inimitable Miss Coulter."

Immediately, many shocked conservatives condemned her remarks, surprised that she would say something so intemperate when she is usually so funny. Blue Crab Boulevard is afraid it will cause a "backlash." Dean Barnett said her remarks were "Idiotic. Disgusting. Stupid. Moronic." Jules Crittenden called it "More bomb-throwing from someone who is all schtick." Dan Riehl accused her of "hijacking" the event. Even Red State said she should be "shunned." Next year when Coulter crosses the line again, you can be sure that conservatives will be ready to denounce her. Flopping Aces, who did such a bang-up job proving that Jamil Hussein doesn't exist, or does exist, I'm not sure which, was one of the few conservatives who defended her. Apparently, he didn't get the memo.

Some worry that Coulter's remarks will even affect the presidential race. John Hawkins at Right Wing News said that Coulter "deliberately put the presidential contenders and the other people attending CPAC in a bad light." Unfortunately the person who will suffer the most from what Coulter did is probably Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "Unfairly, ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney faces the biggest burden: he spoke right before Coulter and praised her… not knowing what she planned to say," Hotline said. How could he possibly have known Coulter would call John Edwards a faggot since the only thing she had said before even remotely like it was to call Al Gore a "total fag"? All Spin Zone goes so far as to say Coulter may have "torpedoed" Romney's presidential aspirations.

Michelle Malkin, who is particularly vigilant against incivility in public discourse, also weighed in. "A smattering of laughter," Michelle Malkin said, describing the reaction. "Not from this corner. Crickets chirping." On the tape of Coulter's remarks (available here in full), it's a bit difficult to hear the crickets chirping over all the laughter and cheering, but it's possible the microphones just weren't sensitive enough to pick them up. Last year Malkin also criticized Coulter's use of the word "ragheads." "'Ragheads' is not the word that immediately comes to my mind," she said. "Evildoers. Bloody murderers. Bastards. Yes. "Ragheads?" No."

For Malkin, any unfortunate remark a conservative makes is not reflective at all of conservatism, it merely reflects how hateful liberals are compared with conservatives. After Coulter made her comments about ragheads, she wrote. "The Left side of the blogosphere is working itself up into a lather, calling on conservatives to condemn Ann's remarks. But as I have noted many times, the Right is far more self-critical than the sanctimonious liberals who never say a peep about the routine hatred and poisonous ethnic/racial/religious identity politics exhibited by their own. We don't need your prodding." When Malkin gets hate email it is representative of the dark heart of liberalism, but when Coulter speaks in front of a group of conservatives that several presidential candidates have addressed, she is only speaking for herself. So every time that Coulter or others like her say things that conservatives would never say in public, it gives conservatives another opportunity to show how much better we are than liberals. As conservatives, we can all look forward to what outrageous thing Coulter will say at the next CPAC because it will give us a chance to show that we are not nearly as bad as she is and to accuse liberals of being insufferable hypocrites.

But unlike Malkin and most conservatives, Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters believes that Coulter's remarks and the cheering that followed were actually revealing of something more disturbing and not just an isolated incident by some bad apples, the way Abu Ghraib was. "At some point, Republicans will need to get over their issues with homosexuality," he said, which was almost as shocking as Coulter's statement. "Regardless of whether one believes it to be a choice or a hardwired response, it has little impact on anyone but the gay or lesbian person. We can argue that homosexuality doesn't require legal protection, but not when we have our front-line activists referring to them as "faggots" or worse. That indicates a disturbing level of animosity rather than a true desire to allow people the same rights and protections regardless of their lifestyles."

Of course, every conservative is aghast when Ann Coulter's jokes go wrong. To think they represent anything more than that is really going overboard. It was just a joke, after all, a joke gone horribly wrong perhaps, but not a career-killing joke like the one John Kerry made. Television bookings will probably slow for a while, but I'm sure they will pick up again once this little tempest has died down. Soon we'll be laughing at Coulter's delightful witticisms again--until the next time she says something reprehensible. In fact, just to be prepared ahead of time I'm going to write my piece condemning Coulter's remarks at 2008's CPAC right now so that I can post it as quickly as possible when it happens again next year.

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Carol said...

LOL! You better start writing then because, evidenced by previous behavior, she is sure to "shock" us all again next year!

Unknown said...

personally i smell the flopsweat of desperation coming off annthrax. she's only trying to be even more outrageous than usual, because it's pretty darned evident that michelle malkin is breathing down her neck for the coveted title of "most disgusting bigoted harpy in the gop."

also, thx 4 the link, jon!

James Higham said...

Malkin and Coulter are both unprincipled fruitcakes - wonderful material for the pundit in themselves.

C2H50H said...


Thank you very much for your analysis clarifying poor Ann's joke gone wrong.

As skippy said, the root cause is competition for the top female spot in a male-dominated field. She's got to compete with Pat Robertson, Bob Donohue, Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, a host of others, what's a person to do?

She could rely on her looks, but you know, humans don't often improve as we age (except for the lucky few like Don Rumsfeld.)

I think we'd all better be prepared for the inevitable time when she combines her spiel with a "dance of the seven veils" in order to keep her top spot.

Brando said...

Her book sales must be down.

And somewhere, Ken Mehlman's head exploded.

Anonymous said...


I heard she was working on becoming a stand up comic. I think her first gig involves a show with Michael Richards.
~ pol-grind

Miss Cellania said...

For Coulter, headline grabbing and book selling are priority, and whoever she destroys on the way doesn't seem to matter, whether republican or democrat.

Anonymous said...

Decent conservatives are just shocked -- shocked! -- that a fellow conservative would use such language. We spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars to promote the Bible and to save the sacred institution of marriage for normal Christian people. Then when she utters a despicable word like "faggot" -- I just don't understand it.

But those hateful liberals will use this as an excuse to step up their treasonous attacks on Ann. Brace yourselves for more mean jokes from leftists about Man Coulter, and Ann having an Adam's Apple.

Chuck Butcher said...

I have an adam's apple and I resent the implication that I may share that with Ann.

Joey P said...

Can't we just start ignoring her?

It is only news if this woman one day says something even remotely insightful.

She is not Swift.

BadTux said...

This penguin thanks you, Sir Swift. I was not aware of exactly how... impressive... Ann Coulter's past performance at CPAC was. The Coulter is truly an icon of Republican tolerance and civility!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

benmerc said...

Oh Boy... The circus is coming to town!

Anonymous said...

Jon Swift...Just read your cmments about Ann Coulter at CPAC 2007. You're full of shit.

Anonymous said...

Coulter's remarks might seem somewhat brutal if viewed according to certain traditional standards of civility.

But aren't traditional behavioral standards, (all that right-wing inhibition) based on obsolete, non-evolutionary social paradigms, what the post-modern enlightened of the left are trying to do away with?

And really, how can the brutality of her words compare with what the bug chasers have insistently, and deliberately, done to themselves?

Welcome to the new era.

Try to think of it as bracing ...

Grace Nearing said...

Regretably, there's only so much you can do with genitalia. Coulter's emphasis on the metaphorics of faggotry will tragically inhibit the breadth of her oeuvre. I fear the combination of Premarin and cocaine has irrevocably damaged her inner editor.

benning said...

Amazing how offended some are when a Conservative says something that isn't, shall we say, 'politic'. But when Liberals call Republicans "Nazis", or compare the President to "Hitler" or a "Chimp", then all is well and right with the world.


Ann is fun and insightful. More power to her!

Anonymous said...

The rest of the western, liberal-democratic world considers the American understanding of the terms "conservative" and "liberal" rather odd. Ann Coulter is NOT a conservative in the traditional sense of the term. On the contrary, she's a self-regarding, brittle, doe-in-the-headlights fundamentalist "super-patriot" bigot whose abject stupidity and deplorable judgment only add more credence to the already widely-held view that American politics are much like American local newscasts: really, really dumb and childish. That she's so famous (thankfully only in the USA) and her sophomoric opinions so influential doesn't bode well for American politics. Conservative? Don't make me laugh. You have to be a functioning adult to be one of those. And for God's sake, learn the proper meaning of liberalism! The USA is a Lockean-Liberal nation-state. Arguably, the only such state in existence. Smarten the eff up would ya? Gawd!

Anonymous said...

Benning is totally right! Why, it seems like just yesterday that a high-profile liberal who makes weekly television appearances called Republicans "Nazis" and compared Bush to a "chimp" and to "Hitler" -- all while giving a keynote speech at the most prolific annual Democratic event, which was attended by numerous Presidential contenders. Or maybe it was just some bloggers ... no matter! ... Benning's comparison is spot-on -- obscure liberals making remarks no one reads on the Internet is totally the same thing as Ann Coulter making a speech.

Anonymous said...

" Dobby said... "Benning is totally right!..."

And so, despite Dobby's lame attempt at irony, Benning is.

Howard Dean on Republicans; specifically regarding his competition with the Republicans:
"This is a struggle of good and evil. And we're the good"

Howard Dean on whether Bush is entitled to the consideration one normally grants to a fellow citizen:

"Ungerer accused the Democrats of "tearing down your neighbor" and bashing Bush. "Please tone down the garbage," he told Dean.

Dean, whose temperament has been questioned by his rivals, began by calmly replying: "George Bush is not my neighbor." But when Ungerer tried to interrupt, Dean shouted: "You sit down. You had your say. Now I'm going to have my say."

Howard Dean on his feelings toward Republicans:

"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for ..."

Then of course, there are talk show performers such as the "brilliant" Rosie O'Donnell and Joy Behar.

" O’Donnell: "It is a disgrace. This administration is a disgrace."

[Cheers and applause]

O’Donnell: "It’s not democracy."

Joy Behar: "That’s right. I agree with that. I don't want add fuel to the fire, but I don't know what it’s going to take for people to really wake up and understand that they are liars and they are murderers. ..."

By the way, for our eye rolling friend from soviet canuckistan who seems to have taken Napoleon Dynamite as his role model,("Smarten the eff up would ya? Gawd!"): The terms "classical liberal" or "classical liberalism" have enjoyed currency for some time now. It's just that they usually aren't needed for context. Unless that is, someone wishes to deliberately draw a distinction between the historic ideology of freedom and personal responsibility that once defined political liberalism , and the current babble of suffocating social claims espoused by the modern client class and its managers.

Hope this helps. Gosh!

Anonymous said...

anonymous clearly showed where prominent Democrats, speaking at the most important annual Democratic function, called Bush "Hitler" and a "chimp" and called Republicans "Nazis." Or not.

Anonymous said...

" dobby said ...
anonymous clearly showed where prominent Democrats, speaking at the most important annual Democratic function, called Bush "Hitler" and a "chimp" and called Republicans "Nazis." Or not. "

That may be what dobby said, and what dobby wishes to focus on, but that is not what benning said.

Benning said:
"Amazing how offended some are when a Conservative says something that isn't, shall we say, 'politic'. But when Liberals call Republicans "Nazis", or compare the President to "Hitler" or a "Chimp", then all is well and right with the world.


Ann is fun and insightful. More power to her! "

dobby of course tried to deflect the force of Benning's propositions with dobby's own stipulations.

Well, dobby can rule Howard Dean, or George Soros, or Move On, or Mark Morford out of school if dobby wants to, but it doesn't affect benning's point in the least.

Dobby henceforth should try to separate what dobby is saying from what benning is saying.

That way, dobby wouldn't be so confused about the import of what Anonymous had written.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Referring to oneself in the third person is so -- scholarly! Too bad anonymous missed that section of Logic 101 where one learns that apples and oranges aren't comparable. Now maybe if anonymous was brave enough to post under the name "benning" again, he could defend his own argument -- using facts that actually back up that argument! But who am I kidding?

Anonymous said...

dobby said... 3/12/2007 6:50 AM

Wow! Referring to oneself in the third person is so -- scholarly! Too bad anonymous missed that section of Logic 101 where one learns that apples and oranges aren't comparable. Now maybe if anonymous was brave enough to post under the name "benning" again, he could defend his own argument -- using facts that actually back up that argument! But who am I kidding? "

You are kidding yourself dobby; when first you surmise, and then falsely imply, that I am benning.

I am not benning.

However, the comparability, if not exact equivalence, posited by benning, was demonstrated with the quotes I provided. Are you unaware that Howard Dean is the official spokesman for the Democrat party?

I'll give you this. Assuming that you read my message the day it went up, you lasted four days before lapsing into sarcastic petulance.

That is, four days if we assume you read it the day it went up ...

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