Monday, March 05, 2007

Grand Plan to Can Ann 

ANN: She can't be all bad. No one is.
JEFF: She comes the closest.
-- Virginia Huston and Robert Mitchum, Out of the Past (1947)

Hats off to our counterparts in the right-wing blogosphere who, according to our distinguished colleague Eric Kleefeld at TPM Cafe, are petitioning the organizers of CPAC to ban homo-hatin' Ann Coulter from all of their future jamborees, even though it would leave the popular rightwing hoedown one popular rightwing ho down:
Ann Coulter used to serve the movement well. She was telegenic [! -- S.], intelligent [!! -- S.], and witty [!!! -- S.]. She was also fearless: saying provocative things to inspire deeper thought [!!!! -- S.] and cutting through the haze of competing information has its uses. But Coulter’s fearlessness has become an addiction to shock value. She draws attention to herself, rather than placing the spotlight on conservative ideas.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2006, Coulter referred to Iranians as “ragheads.” She is one of the most prominent women in the conservative movement; for her to employ such reckless language reinforces the stereotype [
? -- S.] that conservatives are racists.

At CPAC 2007 Coulter decided to turn up the volume by referring to John Edwards, a former U.S. Senator and current Presidential candidate, as a “faggot.” Such offensive language–and the cavalier attitude that lies behind it–is intolerable to us [
!!!!! -- S.]. It may be tolerated on liberal websites [!!!!!! -- S.] but not at the nation’s premier conservative gathering [!!!!!!! -- S.].

The legendary conservative thinker Richard Weaver wrote a book entitled
Ideas Have Consequences. Rush Limbaugh [!!!!!!! -- S.] has said again and again that “words mean things" [!!!!!!!! -- S.]. Both phrases apply to Coulter’s awful remarks.

Coulter’s vicious word choice tells the world she care little about the feelings of a large group that often feels marginalized and despised. Her word choice forces conservatives to waste time defending themselves against charges of homophobia [
!!!!!!!!! -- S.] rather than advancing conservative ideas.

Within a day of Coulter’s remark John Edwards sent out a fundraising email that used Coulter’s words to raise money for his faltering campaign. She is helping those she claims to oppose. How does that advance any of the causes we hold dear?

Denouncing Coulter is not enough. After her “raghead” remark in 2006 she took some heat. Yet she did not grow and learn. We should have been more forceful. This year [
!!!!!!!!!! -- S.] she used a gay slur. What is next? If Senator Barack Obama is the de facto Democratic Presidential nominee next year will Coulter feel free to use a racial slur? How does that help conservatism?
Yes, yes, we know: the highfalutin rhetoric and the tone of Innocence Betrayed both sound, at this late date, faintly moronic, and would certainly have played better had the various signatories gotten around to circulating their petition when Herr Doktor Coulter was diagnosing Al Gore as a "total fag" and Bill Clinton as a "latent homosexual" (possibly the most latent homosexual in living memory). Still, baby steps are better than no steps at all, and as sticklers for diction we cannot but endorse our sorta-colleagues' call for a ban on slur-slingin' Ann -- at least until such time as her targeting systems improve.

SIDEBAR: Although we have certainly had our differences with Ms. Coulter, we do not subscribe to the so-called "politics of personal destruction," and we were frankly appalled by the following screen shot from CNN, now making its way around the web. It would not surprise us to see the network named in a defamation suit by the leggy pundit's reconstructive surgeon:
Just for the record, we are reliably told that in the right light, after a few stiff drinks, it looks remarkably close to the real thing.

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