The Shame Of Ann Coulter (Extensive Blog Opinion Roundup UPDATED)

ANn_COulter_Books.JPGHasn’t it come time to finally say it? Commentator Ann Coulter has gone way beyond being a provocative speaker and writer and has evolved into someone who is no longer just a verbal bomb thrower but someone who demeans those who invite her to speak.

What more can you conclude from her latest explosive device– something marking yet another new chapter in the ongoing vulgarization and cheapening of American political debate. Coulter has now dropped the bar down so far there’s a sign that says “WELCOME TO THE SOUTH POLE.”

Think Progress:

Speaking today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter said: “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,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.� Audience members said “ohhh� and then cheered.

We know this site has readers who are left, right and in the middle. So all of you folks read that again (or watch the video at the link) and think about it:

(1) She in effect did call him a “faggot” (a cabbage on the shelf at Stop and Shop would get her drift.). So we are now in an era when if you disagree with a candidate you just call him a “faggot” in a transparently indirect way, rather than outline how you differ from him and why you have better ideas.

(2) The audience (or SOME OF THEM since reports suggest there was NOT universal laughter or happiness over her comments) eventually cheered. So now there is a CHEERING SECTION for this kind of tripe. And it isn’t mere tripe: it’s thinly distanced bigotry, hate talk and, from Edwards’ standpoint, virtual slander.

Question: What is HAPPENING to standards in the United State of America? Do ANY exist any more? Or is it now only about getting attention?

Do those who cheered Coulter’s brand of vilification have any idea what kind of standards these are setting for young people? Presumably, if a young person in a school calls another student a “faggot” now, it’s OK. After all, Coulter got some cheers. (And reports note that she was swamped with admiring young people).

NOTE that NOT ALL in the audience cheered. And many respectable conservatives are very upset with Coulter (see below). And, for good reason. What does her latest say about our political discourse?

–We’ve now sunk to a level where unadulterated name-calling devoid of specific ideas masks as political debate and some people think it’s terrific. Sexual orientation slurs are OK. Are racial and religious slurs that far away? (Don’t ask…)

–Someone can make big bucks and be invited back to prominent forums over and over again if they vilify people that the group opposes.

–A conference that by all accounts was quite substantive, issue-oriented and serious is now partially-soiled by her comments.

–Her comments will likely spark some to mischaracterize the entire event as being epitomized by Coulter. That’s inaccurate (just do a Google search on stories coming out of the event.)

The larger issue is that in our talk-radio, cable talk shows, weblogs, blog comments, the 21st century shows that we’re in the era of shock language. The idea is to throw an audience red meat.

In this case, Coulter didn’t just throw red meat. She hurled the entire cow.

And there is little sign that there is any serious rising up to repudiate this trend or ensure that she doesn’t speak there in the future. With all of the SOLID and THOUGHTFUL conservatives, Coulter took the stage. The bottom line: the people who do it just get bigger and bigger audiences and fatter and fatter bank accounts.

And surely young people are taking note. Why bother to be issue- and solution-oriented and thoughtful when the attention and money is in slurring those with whom you disagree?

Project where we are now to twenty years from now? Can you imagine it?

Or are you already getting sick thinking about it?

PS: This site (after this post) is an Ann Coulter free zone. We won’t give her pronouncements any more attention or coverage. We’ve deleted comments from anti-Semites, anti-Muslim readers and others who left slurs that we didn’t want on this site.

With this comment, Coulter hasn’t only crossed the line. She’s zoomed into another universe.

We’ll just stay here on Earth — and link to and cover those on the right, left and center who are here as well.

HERE’S A CROSS SECTION OF OPINION. And note that many conservatives DO NOT AGREE with Coulter or endorse her comments:

Andrew Sullilvan:

When you see her in such a context, you realize that she truly represents the heart and soul of contemporary conservative activism, especially among the young. The standing ovation for Romney was nothing like the eruption of enthusiasm that greeted her. One young conservative male told her he was single and asked for her cell-phone number. Other young Republicans were almost overwhelmed in her presence. “When are you going to get your own show?” one asked, tremulously. Then there’s her insistence on Christianism as the central message for Republicans: “There are more people voting on Christian moral values than on tax cuts.” This from an unmarried woman who wears dresses that are close to bikinis on the morning news. Hey, it’s Democrats who are Godless

Ed Morrissey :

Yeah, that’s just what CPAC needs — an association with homophobia. Nice work, Ann.

At some point, Republicans will need to get over their issues with homosexuality. 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.

Ann Coulter can be an entertaining and incisive wit. Unfortunately, she can also be a loose cannon, and CPAC might want to consider that the next time around.

A Second Hand Conjecture: “I tend to look at someone like Ann Coulter as a barometer of the country’s general political direction. When she could make wry observations about some of the unfortunate tendencies of liberals (and their fellow travellers) and sell a million books, you knew that the conservatives were in ascendency. When she has to call candidates rude names to get some lukewarm attention, it would seem that the liberals are on the rise.”

Hot Air: “I’m no fan of John Edwards, but that’s just a stupid joke. It’s over the line. The laughter it generated across the room was more than a little annoying. Last year it was “raghead.â€? This year it’s calling John Edwards a “faggot.â€? Two years in a row, Coulter has finished up an otherwise sharp CPAC routine with an obnoxious slur that liberals will fling at conservatives for years to come. Thanks, Ann.”

Chris at My Space: “I couldn’t stand Ann Coulter before this incident, but now I really despise the crazy blonde nutjob. I can’t believe intelligent Republicans and Conservatives uphold her bigoted writings and comments. Some even worship the ground she walks on. Sad….Sad…Sad… If Ann Coulter is the epitome of a culture warrior, well I guess I’d rather be a secular progressive anyday.”

James Joyner (blogging from the conference):

I would note that, an hour after the speech, people are still lined up around the block for autographed copies of her book. Granted, most of them are young kids of college age. Some of them are older than I am.

Somehow, I can’t imagine Ronald Reagan being pleased.

Iowa Progress: “While this may lead to some conspiracy theories that Ann Coulter is trying to secretly build up Edwards at the expense of Obama or Clinton, it’s doubtful that she’s capable of such subtle thought. Frankly, Ann Coulter has a long history of being a crude cancer on our nation’s political discourse. This was merely another opportunity for her to flaunt her poor taste, lack of judgment and thirst for any kind of publicity.”

Jules Crittenden: “More bomb-throwing from someone who is all schtick, focused on seeing how outrageous she can be. Nothing new about that in shock comedy, which is what she’s about. She needed to top the “ragheadsâ€? remark at last year’s CPAC. I’m guessing CPAC got exactly what CPAC wanted from Coulter. All kinds of attention. Why else would they invite her back to a serious political venue?….Anyway, Coulter just proved herself wrong as I’m guessing she isn’t going to rehab. The Left is predictably outraged and indignant, and so is the Right.”

Michelle Malkin was not amused. She live blogs Coulter’s comments and writes:

A smattering of laughter.

Not from this corner.

Crickets chirping.

Matthew Yglesias: “After receiving an introduction from Mitt Romney, Ann Coulter took to the stage at CPAC, called John Edwards a “faggot”, and, later, apparently endorsed the Romney campaign. Why doesn’t this kind of thing ever seem to make media trouble for Republicans. I feel like any progressive even vaguely associated with the hint of impropriety faces massive pressure to “distance” himself, apologize, disavow his friends, etc.”

Blue Crab Boulevard: “Heck, I think Edwards is a political hack and completely unworthy of the office he is seeking. But I’m not about to cross the line Coulter crossed. She’s using a very charged word that was simply not needed and will cause a backlash. It’s a bald-faced provocation, unnecessary and almost certain to backfire. Heck, you can insult politicians more easily, more humorously and better than that.”

Americablog: “Nice. And these are the people who make up the core base of the Republican party. Mitt Romney praised Coulter only moments before her public slur. Will Romney now retract his praise? Oh that’s right, the very pro gay Mitt Romney is “now” anti-gay. I forgot.”

I Wonder:” Today she called John Edwards a “faggot”. What a fine spokesman for the Republican party.”

Matt Stoller: “Anyway, one thing to keep in mind, aside from the conservative uncoolness, is that she called a major Democratic candidate a faggot. Ok, she’s an entertainer, so whatever. But keep in mind that prior to her appearance, most major Republican Presidential candidates appeared on the stage to make appeals to the audience. I wonder if they support Coulter’s statement. Do they think it’s appropriate to call John Edwards a faggot?”

Riehl World View:

Forget about the speech, even if the Left won’t, what Coulter did amounts to the hijacking of an event meant for, evidently, far more serious minded individuals than she. It isn’t about you, Ann. In fact, a great many conservatives couldn’t care less if you breathe, curse, cavort, or simply pose.

Your actions at CPAC did nothing to advance the cause of conservatism in America; they accomplished just the opposite. I hope you’re proud, you insufferable self-indulgent political media equivalent to Anna Nicole. There but for the grace of a few hundred pounds go you, Ann. Eat more. Hell, you can choke on it for all I care.

Glenn Greenwald:

But the single most prestigious political event for conservatives of the year is a place where conservatives go to hear Democrats called faggots, Arabs called ragheads, and Supreme Court justices labeled as deserving of murder — not by anonymous, unidentifiable blog commenters, but by one of their most popular featured speakers.

And after she does that, she is cheered wildly by an adoring conservative movement that has made her bigoted and hate-mongering screeds best-sellers, all while they and their deceitful little allies in the media, such as Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post, write idiot tracts about how terribly upset they are by the affront to decency from HuffPost commenter….

Hotline On Call: “Next, there’ll be calls for Republican candidates to disassociate themselves from Coulter’s remarks. 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.”

Crooks & Liars: “It’s nice to see the conservatives at CPAC embrace and cheer on someone like Coultergeist. She’s really a beacon of responsible conservative commentary, no? Last year it was “ragheads,” this year it’s “faggots.””

The Heretik: “Nobody much notices the base level of Ann Coulter’s speech until the wound ulcerates all over again. So John Edwards is a faggot the same way Al Gore is a total fag. The Right People applaud. The ragheads were not available for comment….What is the sound of one Right Hand clapping as the other hand slips Coulter cash for all the laughs?”

–Dean Bartlett on Hugh Hewitt’s blog:

Idiotic. Disgusting. Stupid. Moronic.

I guess you could say that Ann loves to shock us, but at this point, who’s shocked? She obviously can’t behave well enough to attend a respectable political gathering. It’s not a lack of intelligence. It’s an indifference to self-control and a preening sort of narcissism that compels her to need the spotlight, even if it’s unflattering.

Pandagon:

Where are the Log Cabinettes on this? I see no press release on that web site, sorry to say. The GOP has been filled with professionally closeted gays at the highest levels of the party and this is their problem to solve.

The Republicans simply can’t take themselves off the hook on the matter — they’ve used their toy Coulter as their bigoted id, keeping their hands clean as she says what too many of them feel but dare not say.

skippy: “those foul-mouthed liberals”

Talk Left writes: “She must have a new book coming out she’s trying to promote. It seems to me she is at her most outrageous when trying to make money.” Jeralyn also points to some of the quotes from prominent conservative bloggers that we have above and adds: “And, check out the comments at Pajamas Media. How long before her base starts rolling their eyes at her name, thinking “publicity hound?” Keep it up, Ann.”

Josh Marshall: “John Edwards starts raising “Coulter Cash,” a.k.a. campaign contributions, off of her “faggot” remark at yesterday’s CPAC conference.”

Betsy’s Page:

For me, Ann Coulter jumped the shark a long time ago. She has the capability to be witty and make sharp points, but sacrifices all that by her overuse of invective. I don’t like that sort of approach from liberals, why should it be more acceptable because she is a conservative?

….Geesh, how infantile can you get? It’s not funny. There is no essential wit there – just a demeaning homophobic insult. There are so many ways to ridicule John Edwards and she just displayed her own weakness at biting political commentary by not making a humorous play on any of the real reasons why conservatives dislike Edwards…..

Maybe that sort of juvenile invective goes over big on college campuses but not at a gathering of conservative thinkers and Republican presidential candidates. She has reduced a serious showcase of conservative opinion to the level of schoolyard name-calling. I wouldn’t tolerate such language from my students and I certainly don’t like it from political commentators

Gay Orbit: “Ann Coulter is not indicative of how rational conservatives feel. She is a vile human being. Always has been. Always will be. Thanks to Bryan at Hot Air and Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters for immediately jumping on this and denouncing Coulter. Why she’s invited to conservative gatherings, I’ll never understand.”

–A MUST READ post at the All Spin Zone. Part of it:

With 43 ill-considered words, Coulter once again became the face of the Republican Party, and in the process, probably torpedoed the presidential aspirations of at least one GOP candidate (Mitt Romney). Guilt by association, etc. etc. That’s how radioactive she’s become….

….It’s widely acknowledged that Ann Coulter lives for this kind of publicity. The fact that someone like me is breaking an unwritten personal rule and documenting her atrocities is testament to her drawing power. Controversey is her bread and butter and paycheck, and sells her books. As long as Republican organizers of events like CPAC continue to pay her engagement fee to shock liberals and conservatives alike, she’s gonna do her schtick. And Fox News is going to continue to use her as a voice of the GOP.

Blue Collar Heresy: “This is all I’ll say about Coulter, and I’m glad to see she’s finally getting the fragging she deserves.”

Red State’s Nathan Nelson says it’s time for conservatives to “shun” Coulter. Read the entire post but here are two key paragraphs:

How can we do anything else? How can we condemn John Edwards’ campaign for hiring someone who uses hateful and profane rhetoric and then look the other way when one of our own uses that same kind of rhetoric? Indeed, all of the Republican presidential candidates – and especially those in attendance at CPAC – should denounce Coulter. She should never again be invited to CPAC. She should, for that matter, never again be invited to another conservative or Republican event. She should be totally and utterly shunned by the conservative movement. We don’t need her; if anything, she has become a hindrance and an eyesore, a figure who liberals can point to and say: “Look. That’s why you don’t want to vote Republican.” She can’t possibly be drawing anyone into the conservative movement. If anything, she’s got to be decreasing our numbers….

…..But now all she does is come out on the national stage once every few months, say a few outrageous and indefensible things, and proceed to make the conservative movement look like the horrible ogre that liberals say that it is. Now all she does is say these awful things that increase her celebrity and her book sales but do nothing to further the interests of American conservatism. Yes, it is high time for the conservative movement to move on. Ann Coulter’s got to go. I hope every single one of the Republican presidential candidates disown her, I hope Vice President Cheney disowns her, I hope President Bush disowns her, I hope CPAC disowns her, and I hope every single conservative in America disowns her. The conservative movement will only be the better for it.

Right Wing News’ John Hawkins:

For someone like Ann Coulter, having Howard Dean and the rest of the left attacking her is pure gold and she knows that conservatives who would rip anyone else to shreds for saying what she said, will give her a free pass for stepping over the line because she’s brilliant, beautiful, funny, and courageous.

However, the flip side of Ann grabbing headlines for herself is that she deliberately put the presidential contenders and the other people attending CPAC in a bad light (Left wing talking point: “See, that’s what Republicans really say when they’re together!”) in order to draw attention to herself.

That makes her extremely selfish, especially since this is the second year in a row that she has said something particularly obnoxious and controversial at CPAC. What’s on tap for next year? Will she drop the N-bomb? Will she use the C-word to describe Hillary Clinton? Whatever her plans are, after being burned twice in a row, CPAC shouldn’t invite her back next year.

The American Mind has a roundup and also writes:

Imagine William Buckley using the f-word. It wouldn’t happen. Buckley has more decency and civility and a lot more talent. He would have tossed a barb a Edwards that would have been smart, witty, and funny. Ann Coulter is simply the lousy shock jock of the Right.

She has enough of a following that CPAC doesn’t need her any more. She adds no value to the conservative movement. Let her have her Fox News apperances I hope she’s never invited back to CPAC. We won’t miss her.

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  • http://www.themoderatevoice.com Michael van der Galien

    Let nobody say that Conservatives won’t turn against other (famous) conservatives when those other conservatives say unacceptable things.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/carpeicthus carpeicthus

    Bloggers are savvy; most of them know when something’s truly indefensible, and know that supporting her would be used against them. Many of them were still on her side just recently, and this sort of thing is nothing new for her. But the laughter and applause at that remark shows the true tenor of the crowd.

    I think Coulter exists now only so people think Malkin is admissible in society.

  • http://caffeinesoldier.blogspot.com Gray

    It’s about time Ann Coulter gets sued by one of those she smears regularly. She can’t be reached by reasonal arguments, but an indemnity of, say, ten million dollars would have some impact on her, I guess.

    But the real problem is all those ignorants who think she’s funny and who are applauding her rants. No sense of decency left.

  • Marlowecan

    Ann Coulter is the liberals’ favourite conservative (re: her Time magazine cover). They follow her appearances like geeky fanboys, pointing to every bizarro statement saying: “See, look at those wingnuts…” (see some of Joe’s representative quotes)

    Recall the discussion here this week, about Greenwald’s outrage that people would smear all liberals because of commentors advocating Cheney’s death on left blogs?

    Of course, it is not a smear when Coulter is used to smear all conservatism…as in Greenwald’s take (in Joe’s link) on Coulter representing: “a political movement that, at its very core — not at its fringes — knowingly and continuously embraces the most wretched and obvious bigotry and bloodthirsty authoritarianism.”

    It is interesting to see Greenwald employing the same guilt by association against the entire conservative movement on the basis of the existence of one person, that he denounced as a “smear” when conservatives pointed to the Cheney-hatred evident on liberal blogs.

    I fully believe that Joe’s creation of a “Coulter-free zone” is the only way to go on this.

    Referencing Coulter should be like Godwin’s Law about referencing Hitler/Nazis in debate…her existence contributes nothing to conservatism…or rational debate about anything…and only serves as a brickbat for liberals to bang us over the head.

    Jeez Louise…”faggot”? One of the great things about TMV is the level of debate. Often it is heated…but almost invariably intelligent and knowledgeable.

    Imagine someone replying to a carefully crafted point here with: “Well, I think you’re a faggot…nuff said.”

    Yah, Coulter is definitely contributing to raising the tenor of debate, isn’t she?

  • domajot

    Crazy people like Ann Coulter upset me less than the organizers of events who invite her to speak and the pols like Romney who praise her. They are giving her the status of a legitimate commentator

    Joe G is right. The children are watching and learning, for heaven’s sake.

  • C Stanley

    Joe,
    Thanks for the evenhanded post and roundup. I’m certainly glad to see that most of the prominent conservative bloggers have denounced Coulter for this. When a mainstream, serious organization like CPAC hires someone like Coulter, they are giving legitimacy that is not deserved. It would be like if a Democratic candidate hired a blogger that spews profanity and vitriole to work for his campaign…oh, wait, that did happen, didn’t it? ;-)

    That’s not to say that there’s an exact equivalency between Coulter and Malcotte (Coulter used to be similar to her because she started out being provocative while making actual points but has descended into remarks that aren’t even intelligent or thought-provoking), but the level of debate that each one raises is still on par. When people decide to allow what should come out of their anus to spew forth from their mouth, they have every right to do so. When this is sanctioned by mainstream organizations or candidates though, we have a problem.

  • Cjordan

    Let her represent the CPAC as long as they are foolish enough to invite her. I listened to it and it sounded like the audience was caught off guard and instead of having the good sense to reject her comments they did what was expected of them (clapping and barking like trained seals).

    Let them have her.

  • AustinRoth

    domajot -

    Crazy people like Ann Coulter

    The problem is that she is not remotely crazy, of course. She is in fact highly intelligent, at least in a certain aspect. That she uses that intelligence to crudely throw verbal bombs and ensure her position in the spotlight, at the expense of the reputation of conservatism and Republicans in general, and herself in particular, is distressing. There can be no denying that she is not the right’s Kos, but rather the right’s DU in a single entity.

  • Rudi

    Mitt Romney recieves a ringing endorsement from Ann Coulter. Mitt now hints he enjoys show tunes.

  • http://www.cosmoetica.com cosmoetica

    Clearly the woman is lonely…..

  • http://www.themoderatevoice.com/ Joe Gandelman

    OOPS! A comment above had a laugh line that we would rather keep off this site (we do not want to try and out Ann Coulter Ann Coulter!). We’ve left the comment but just sent the rest of it to be read to The Spirits Of The Internet, versus on this site…

  • http://imusblog.com/ Big Roy

    Personally I’m shocked.

    This is no nobody’s business. Sure, the people in North Carolina have wondered. There have probably been discussions by both democrat and republican strategists. But this is not fair game.

    Mr. Edward’s sexuality shouldn’t matter to anyone but him and his lovely wife. True conservatives don’t want the government or anyone in our bedroom.

    Mind your own business Ms. Coulter.

  • Rugger

    Just remember that throwing insults around is nothing new in American politics. I mean Andrew Jackson’s supporters accused John Q. Adams of being a pimp of the Tsar of Russia, and John Adams’ supporters claimed that if Thomas Jefferson were elected then things such as insecst, adultery, rape, and murder would be legalized, and that he was an Athiest.

  • http://theimpolitic.blogspot.com Libby Spencer

    Marlowecan and C Stanley. Some anonymous nutcase commenters at HuffPo and even Ms. Marcotte are not making millions on speaking engagements, television appearances and hate-mongering books filled with falsehoods. They don’t make the cover of Time magazine. There is no comparison to be made.

    It’s ridiculous to contend she doesn’t represent the face and voice of conservatives when they have promoted her “work” for so long. The right elevated her by excusing her hateful schtick as “comedy.” It’s up to them to take her down. Meanwhile, I’m with Joe. Ignoring her trollish behaviour is the surest way to defang her. Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House also a good post that expands on what steps the conservatives could take to remove this ugly wart from the face of conservatism and cure civil society of her cancerous rhetoric.

  • C Stanley

    The right elevated her by excusing her hateful schtick as “comedy.�

    I agree, and I personally have always felt that this was a mistake by my cohorts. However, as much as I’d like to have that kind of influence, I can’t control the direction to which other people pull the movement.

    Humor sells. When people on the right see people on the left villifying us, it’s appealing to hear someone on ‘our side’ giving it back. That’s human nature even if it isn’t laudable.

    The left is using humor and hyperbole in ways that are every bit as harmful, but I see fewer people on the left who are willing to rout that out. Many, many people (yourself included, if I’m not mistaken) defended Marcotte not only for having the right to say things she says, but also defended her being hired by Edwards. The degree of financial success is irrelevant; what people say matters regardless of whether or not they’re getting rich by saying it, and being put in a position as a legitimate spokesperson for a candidacy or party is a sign that needs to be taken seriously.

  • http://theimpolitic.blogspot.com Libby Spencer

    CStanley – How many people would recognize Amanda Marcotte on the street? How many do you think would recognize Coulter? I’m sorry you simply can’t compare their reach and Amanda was hardly being made the spokesperson for Edwards. She was going to run his blog, not hold press briefings and appear on talking head programs. I remind you the great majority of Americans don’t get their news or views from blogs yet.

  • grognard

    Ann learned a long time ago that the more outrageous she is the more books she will sell. But then again Shaun refers to Bush as a “chicken hawk�, not exactly a complimentary term. “Chickenhawk� might not be in the same league as “faggot� but it is still an insult and we are only talking matter of degree here. I have come to the conclusion that this is all about a level of maturity, reasoned debate should mean you can make a point without the name calling. Note, not that I have been completely innocent of that myself, but I am trying to improve at least with my own level of discourse.

  • kritter

    CS- I think Libby Spencer’s point about the comparison of Coulter and Marcotte is a valid one. Marcotte is not a featured speaker at liberal political conferences, she doesn’t have multiple bestsellers that have garnered sales merely by bashing the right, and she is not featured on cable news shows as a left wing pundit. She is not revered by the left, she is ignored by them. She has no status. Can you say the same about Coulter?? Coulter’s popularity indicates to me that there is an endless appetite on the right for the type of hyperbolic rhetoric that is heard on AM radio, and that is truly pathetic.

  • Paul Silver

    All leaders make a choice whether to pander to hope or to fear; to what we have in common or our differences.

    We have a choice about which leaders will be support.

    Fortunately most of the Presidential front runners appeal to hope and shared dreams.

  • C Stanley

    Kim and Libby,
    I think you are both exaggerating the unimportance of Marcotte, in part because she is only one of many bloggers on the left who use the same type of vitriolic rhetoric.

    But even leaving aside that point, what I’m trying to say is that there has been a tremendous appeal to conservatives of this type of “product” but we’re also now seeing a good bit more backlash to it. Look at the blog roundup that Joe posted; do you deny that most of the respected conservative bloggers have denounced Coulter and want the party and conservative movement to distance themselves from this type of thing? That is what I’m trying to point out; that there’s a growing sense that we have to call out the extremists in our midst and say we aren’t going to tolerate that. I see that happening on the right but I DON’T see a similar movement on the left. If anything, just the opposite, because even moderates have tended to support Marcotte and her ilk. There were an awful lot of people who said “I don’t agree with her but she shouldn’t have been ‘pressured’ to quit.” She was made into the victim in the situation. Well, I don’t agree with that and I wouldn’t agree with anyone who similarly made the argument that we should defend Ann Coulter on the basis of a first amendment argument. She can say whatever she wants but the question is, do we want to associate ourselves with what she’s saying and the answer should be no.

    The money and celebrity issues are completely separate from that. They give some evidence that we still have a long way to go before people like her will be shown the door, but you guys are ignoring the many conservatives who are looking forward to her coming obscurity. I think you are extrapolating from her success and projecting that on the whole party, which is unfair. It’s also, ironically, the same tactic that has been used by Coulter and Limbaugh; talk about how many loonies there are on the other side and that will discredit the whole party. Then you don’t have to actually engage them on the relative merit of their ideas.

  • kritter

    CS- Moderates who didn’t think Marcotte should be forced to quit may have felt that way to preserve the unregulated free-for-all of the blogosphere, where pretty much anything goes. They know that if she is forced to resign, that every word by a blogger who works for any presidential candidate will be scrutinized by the opposite side, and that the candidate will be held to account. Its more of a free speech issue, I think.

    BTW, I personally found what she said repulsive, and was on the fence about whether Edwards should fire her or not.

    Can you back up your assertion that Marcotte does hold a lot of sway with the left? I had never even heard of her before the whole mess, myself. I don’t think there’s a thinking person in America on either side who hasn’t heard of Coulter. Its great that conservatives are coming out against her, but she did get a hugely positive reception at CPAC!

  • Laura

    This is much too lengthy a post on someone as insignificant as ann coulter. She has the mentality of a fifth grader in a schoolyard and should be taken as seriously as one. She is obviously a lonely, pathetic woman screaming for attention, so the best thing to do is ignore her. I remember she once admitted she couldn’t get a date. This is a woman who desperately craves male attention. And as long as she receives this attention and admiration from fawning young men, she will keep behaving in this manner. But to take offense to anything she says only increases her belief in her own power and importance. She WANTS you to be offended by what she says. She WANTS to anger liberals. Stop playing into her hands.

  • Laura

    I know I’m breaking my own rules here by continuing with this topic, but I just have to make a point here about coulter’s homophobia. One can just as easily speculate about coulter’s sexuality given that she is a woman in her forties who’s never been married. Is it possible she is in the closet?

  • C Stanley

    Can you back up your assertion that Marcotte does hold a lot of sway with the left? I had never even heard of her before the whole mess, myself.

    Actually I inferred that she is widely read from Joe’s posts on her. He was making the case that she is a highly respected progressive blogger. I took issue with that, not to doubt what Joe was saying was true, but because I’m disturbed that it probably is true. Joe misunderstood me (I think) and in the comment section came back to reiterate that she is indeed highly respected among progressives. Is that true, I don’t know, but I assume that Joe sees evidence of it because he made the point pretty strongly and repeatedly.

    I don’t think there’s a thinking person in America on either side who hasn’t heard of Coulter. Its great that conservatives are coming out against her, but she did get a hugely positive reception at CPAC!

    I think the hugely positive reception is a gross overstatement. I think people either love her or hate her. I also saw that bloggers who were there were saying that it was mostly college guys who were lining up to get books signed by her (uh, I’m sure that is purely because of her politics). And, they also reported that there was an awkward silence after her comment and then finally people started applauding. That’s a pretty good metaphor for how people on the right generally see her. We can’t help but agree with SOME of what she says and when she first became famous she was making barbed but fairly intelligent comments. Her schtick has become more and more ridiculous as time has gone by, and there are unfortunately plenty of people who eat it up. Some conservatives have been too slow to come to the realization that she’s a loose cannon, but many are at least starting to see it.

    Others feel the way you described people who defended Marcotte: that we shouldn’t have a litmus test to have to denounce people who agree with us on the basis of how they voice their opinions, because that implies a limit to free speech.

  • http://www.themoderatevoice.com/ Holly in Cincinnati

    C Stanley said:

    I see that happening on the right but I DON’T see a similar movement on the left.

    There is a reason why I’m over here blogging at The Moderate Voice. I am self-defined as liberal and center-left. I started blogging on one of the lefty sites, joined TMV and eventually quit blogging at the lefty site altogether about a year ago. I’ve been calling-out the Left for vituperative language and denunciation of moderate Democrats and Republicans for quite some time. I don’t care to be associated with such nasty behavior.

  • http://www.themoderatevoice.com/ Holly in Cincinnati

    I was not familiar with Amanda Marcotte until the Edwards deal came up. Shakes Sis, however, is a friend of mine. Obviously we often disagree, some of which probably has to do with age (I’m much older).

  • http://theimpolitic.blogspot.com Libby Spencer

    I also saw that bloggers who were there were saying that it was mostly college guys who were lining up to get books signed by her (uh, I’m sure that is purely because of her politics).

    CStanley, although it is somthing I’ve noticed myself,
    I’m not sure you’re doing the movement any favors by pointing out that the conference was crawling with Young Republicans who don’t really care about Coulter’s message and are only there because they’re starstruck with her celebrity and would like to boff her.

    I makes them look — what’s that word the neo-cons always use to smear the left — oh yeah, unserious.

  • kritter

    Maybe Coulter is popular with college boys because of her other redeeming qualities- she’s a little old for them, yes? But whether or not the audience agreed with her comment- I think some did, some didn’t, she was one of the chief attractions of the conference and received a very large ovation after her introduction. She’s not popular with all conservatives, and if more of them reject her, it would be a welcome trend, but she is much more visible than Marcotte.
    Someone’s buying all those books, CS- the last one was #1 on Amazon for weeks, and on the NYT’s top ten bestseller list. The Conservative movement would do well to rid itself of its homophobic, anti-environmental, pro-assault weapon image- its dragging down the more thoughtful aspects of the movement.

  • http://www.xnerg.blogspot.com skippy

    lol!

    thx 4 the link, joe! i hope every gets the irony!

  • http://www.xnerg.blogspot.com skippy

    “chickenhawk� might not be in the same league as “faggot� but it is still an insult and we are only talking matter of degree here.

    oh please. one chooses to be a “chickenhawk,” by refusing to join the military and then advocating war. it’s a matter of personal integrity.

    homosexuality is not a choice, according to science. science, you remember that, don’t you?

    as to marcotte “holding sway” over the left side of blogtopia and yes i coined that phrase, i doubt strongly that anybody who blogs is ever influenced by what amanda says or does. we might read her a lot, but just because we like her writings doesn’t doesn’t mean she influences us.

    that would be like saying ann coulter influences a whole group of conservatives…oh, wait…

  • http://CaliBlogger.com CaliBlogger

    I don’t understand why everyone’s so upset about Ann’s reference to Edwards as a bundle of sticks and branches.

    Perhaps it’s a reference to wood-burning’s inimical effect on global warming? But that strikes me as relatively mild, for her anyway.

  • grognard

    Well then, Skippy, Bush, by your own definition, can’t be a chickenhawk since he was in the military. Edwards is married so any insinuation that he is a homosexual also is questionable. I still reject the idea that what the other sides does, or how many people are involved in reading a blog or book, in any way justifies hurling an insult to make a point. Civil discussion is civil discussion regardless of the size of the audience or what the other side did first. You can feel free to call me any name you want, but shame on me if I sink to your level, that‘s true “personal integrity“.

  • http://www.xnerg.blogspot.com skippy

    well then, skippy, bush, by your own definition, can’t be a chickenhawk since he was in the military.

    technically, yes. and thanks for trying to change the subject away from coulter! unfortunately for you, your strawman is dancing so fast, if you find a tin guy and a lion you could put on the wizrd of oz!

  • kritter

    Til the day I die, I will never get the right’s fascination with Coulter (at least some on the right). I hope hate speech isn’t going to be the standard for the new political dialogue—oh for those scintillating debates between Gore Vidal and William F Buckley! The first time I ever saw her on Faux, it was like chalk on the blackboard. I just could not believe that conservatives would ever take her seriously. They need to ditch her if they want to go after moderates or indies in ’08.

  • http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-cjQ4r_Y_cqXPXpxyIWQePYrgXHbB nicrivera

    It’s official. Ann Coulter is not politically insignificant.

    My hunch is that the majority of conservatives stopped taking her seriously long ago.

    Unfortunately, some still do take Coulter seriously. In fact, it’s funny to read Right Wing News’ John Hawkins denounce Coulter given that he cited one of her books in a post he wrote only a couple months ago (he used her writing as “evidence” to bolster his argument in his post entitled In Defense Of The Drug War).

    My advice to liberals: let’s not pretend that Coulter represents the views of mainstream conservatives.

    My advice to conservatives: tell your fellow conservatives to stop citing Coulter.

  • NitrogenNick

    Bravo to the bloggers for denouncing her. But as much as I like the blogosphere, I realize it’s not (yet) a significant part of the political discourse most Americans (even voting Americans) observe. So I’ll save my real applause for when Fox drops her as a commentator. Is this even a realistic possibility?

  • CaseyL

    There can be no comparison between Marcotte and Coulter. Marcotte is angry, and she uses inflammatory rhetoric, about real issues. Moreover, she’s right about the Catholic Church’s history of misogyny, child sexual abuse, and general cruelty; she’s right about cultural sexual exploitation; and she’s right about Bush, and conservatives in general, being hostile towards women.

    Coulter has never been right about anything. She’s historically illiterate, downright ignorant, and resorts to slander, defamation, and making sh*t up. She’s not a “clown,” she’s a professional agitprop peddler.

  • dj

    I also see the Marcotte=Coulter equation as very flawed. Marcotte was not well-known outside of a group of highly politically involved people. If I asked a bunch of my left-leaning — or right-leaning — aquaintances who don’t read poliblogs they wouldn’t know who she was. However, they would all sure as hell know who Coulter is.

    But unfortunately, as long as groups like CPAC invite Coulter to speak at their functions, she’s politically relevant. If everyone would please, please finally ignore her, maybe she’d go away. But as it is, the Republican candidates now get to have it both ways. They get the people who buy her shrill hateful message when she speaks at their events, and then they get to “denounce” what she says in an effort to win over the more moderate, thoughtful people.

    I call for the more thoughtful, moderate people to start holding these groups’ feet to the fire for letting the likes of Coulter speak for them.

  • http://itsthe21stcenturystupid.wordpress.com Jim Satterfield

    What I read of Marcotte I didn’t like all that much. I think points can be made more civilly. It still must be recognized that it is Coulter who has enough of a following among the right to make for bestselling books that are nothing but venal attacks on those who disagree with her and appears on the news network that is the only one conservatives consider to have any accuracy because all the rest are biased liberals.

    In an article on CNN.com

  • http://itsthe21stcenturystupid.wordpress.com Jim Satterfield

    What I read of Marcotte I didn’t like all that much. I think points can be made more civilly. It still must be recognized that it is Coulter who has enough of a following among the right to make for bestselling books that are nothing but venal attacks on those who disagree with her and appears on the news network that is the only one conservatives consider to have any accuracy because all the rest are biased liberals.

    In an article on CNN.com she is quoted as saying

    During a question-and-answer session, Coulter referred back to the issue of gays by alluding to the bid for the Republican presidential nomination being made by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    “I do want to point out one thing that has been driving me crazy with the media — how they keep describing Mitt Romney’s position as being pro-gays, and that’s going to upset the right wingers,” she said. “Well, you know, screw you! I’m not anti-gay. We’re against gay marriage. I don’t want gays to be discriminated against.”

    Really? Then perhaps she and those who she claims don’t want gays to be discriminated against should have read the actual substance of all those “defense of marriage” constitutional amendments they pushed, the majority of which do in fact do far more than simply ban gay marriage.

  • http://itsthe21stcenturystupid.wordpress.com Jim Satterfield

    CS says that it’s all the fault of the left when she claims that the underlying impulse comes from what the left says abou the right.

    When people on the right see people on the left villifying us, it’s appealing to hear someone on ‘our side’ giving it back.

    Might I suggest she scan the bestseller lists for all of the books written by right wing media stars attacking the left. Then look for the same books from the left. Then she might look at publication dates and compare the number of books on the shelves. I’m sick of this claptrap from the right about how it’s really the left that does the majority of the attacking.

  • C Stanley

    Holly,
    Just now revisiting this thread; I’m glad to hear that your decision to join TMV relates to your opinion about the level of discourse by the winger sites.

    Jim,
    I never tried to make the case that “it’s all the left’s fault”. Thanks for once again twisting my words. The fact is that the cycle will continue as long as everyone feels it’s OK because the other guys do it so we have to give it back. I’m calling for the right to stop using that as an excuse, but there are very few on the left who seem willing to see it that way.

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