March 04, 2007


. . . has his extensive CPAC coverage in one long post, here. There's a nice little love letter to Ann Coulter at the end of it:

Since insults have become the currency of political discussion, I suppose I can play, too. You will notice that I placed Coulter's name at the very bottom of those listed on the tombstone image above [on the cover of the latest New Individualist]. In retrospect, however, I owe a profound apology to the others named on it. It was a gross presumption to include Coulter, since, after all, the tombstone is supposed to memorialize the ideas of those listed. And Ann Coulter is nothing but a right-wing attention slut whose arguments fall shorter than her hemlines, and are even less interesting.
Posted by Attila Girl at March 4, 2007 09:40 AM | TrackBack

So, what was the insult? Did I miss something?


Posted by: Bob at March 4, 2007 12:59 PM

Yeah, Mr. Bidinotto, her arguments fall short. But always hit the target somehow.

You say "Since insults have become the currency of political discussion..." When? Since Greco-Roman times? Are you first noticing this? Ann's annual speech at CPAC is more an entertainment monologue in the general style of those of Will Rogers, Bob Hope, or Johnny Carson. Only less emphasis on humor, more on politics and modern snark. It is not meant to be a policy briefing for Conservatives, Republicans, or the Administration. It's a chance for people who share her views to laugh--and for people who oppose them to steam. Maybe you could suggest getting that guy who sits at the piano and delivers genuinely non-offensive--and equally unfunny- "political observations" for next year's CPAC. Mark Russell's his name, if you're interested. I didn't find Ann's remark about Edwards funny myself. But I didn't take it for a nanosecond seriously. Or an "accusation." I took it as a commentary on political correctness. And the coming re-education camps for those who stray. I mean "re-hab/counseling" centers.

By the way, Mr. Bidinotto, didn't you support pulling Terri Schiavo's feeding tube? Aren't you an Objectivist? Isn't the most fundamental of Objectivists beliefs the right to life? I seem to recall reading that somewhere. And since her parents were happy to care for her, this wasn't one of your cases for granting an exception due to the "involuntary effort of other human beings" exception, was it? I guess a person could find Michael Schiavo's arguments compelling. Ann Coulter, on the other hand, did not. And she presented a pretty compelling counter-argument of her own. I'm just deciding whose judgment I trust; specifically whether I trust yours.

Posted by: Darrell at March 4, 2007 10:18 PM

Darrell, how would you feel about this if Elizabeth Edwards were your sister? Would the implication that her marriage is a sham--based on no evidence whatsoever--feel innocuous?

It's fine to joke about how forbidden words like "faggot" and "nigger" have become: that could be funny. What's not so funny is applying the term to a straight guy, however silly his politics are.

You didn't like Hackbarth's criticisms, either--yet he's as pro-life as they come.

I'm typing this out with my feet snuggled in the socks you sent me for Christmas, and I'm going to plead with you for a moment: Don't you think it's just possible that Ann Coulter is starting to put her ego ahead of what's best for the conservative movement?

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 5, 2007 03:50 AM

I wrote the perfect little response this morning, one from the heart, one I really liked for a change. And wouldn't you know it, Mu Nu's faithful spam hound ate it. Can't all comments be saved until they are approved by a real person, when you are under attack? When will I ever learn to copy everything right away!

Let's try this again.

Can't all my blog-crushes just get along?

Sigh. . .Well, I do see your point. And I agree more than not. Ann has chosen to play two characters--a serious analyst and researcher and an entertainer. And unfortunately, you can't do the latter without damaging your credibility in the former role. A lot of people commenting on blogs face the same decision, me included, when we use our real names. How many of us would enjoy seeing our quick comments used against us in our real careers? Maybe Ann could wear a hat when she plays the entertainer. Maybe not. Perhaps it's past the point of no return on her choices.

I regard this year's flap as a big kerfuffle. I saw Ann line as a standard throwaway remark from the start--she did not want to include Edwards in her analysis, probably thinking that he's not a real contender, and she said she couldn't comment without using the other-f-word. It gave her a chance to get in a dig about political correctness in the news to boot. I've used that technique myself in public speaking--albeit in a positive sense. (OK, I confess I once said "without saying "WTF") I have a hard time accepting that any of the outrage over Ann Coulter's remark is real. Especially when many bloggers didn't even bother to attend her speech, or even listen to it, to begin with. And most made snarky remarks before she ever uttered a single word. Not to mention the many similar things bloggers have said over the years about intellectual adversaries(if you can call trolls that). Not to mention that they have made nice with their left-leaning counterparts in the MSM and blogosphere when far-more outrageous remarks were directed against the Right. I guess you didn't find her response convincing, either then: “C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.”
Me, I blame Bill Maher. In a friendship I can never understand, she seems to give great weight to his counsel. I wrote her last year that she had crossed the line in way that had seriously damaged her credibility as a serious researcher/analyst. I guess she chose to ignore my advice, if she even read the letter. Pity.

Part of the problem is that Ann Coulter does not see herself as part of the Conservative movement, as so many of us don't. Our beliefs are our own and on most occasions they just happen to coincide with what Conservatives are saying. We don't own a party handbook, if there really is one. Ann is fearless and she's been under constant attack from the time when she didn't use personal invectives in her writing, only facts. Facts that the Left couldn't refute, so they resorted to their usual first-response weapon, the ad hominem attack. It's a shame that she chose to respond in kind, but understandable when you see the effectiveness of that technique on college campuses. Why do you think the Left drags out Margaret Cho, Whoopi Goldberg, and the rest every election cycle? For their political insight? What do the college kids say to your little condemnations of what is said in those hate-fests? I assume it includes the letters "Bu sHit Ler" in various combinations of case, various body parts and orifices, and at least one "suck."

I believe that you and Ann have many similar qualities(which I won't go into now) and perhaps that is why I am drawn to both of you. I don't expect either of you to change. I'm glad that I was a muse for you--my defenses of Ann prompting you to set your keyboard afire in taking the other position. Glad to help if that's the case. I am so vain that I sometimes think the song is about me. I know Ann has made big-league snark her trademark and I don't expect her to change anytime soon. I wish she would hold her remarks for a few days after writing them and see if they still seem so clever then. And ask some one other than Bill Maher for input. I stand by Ann's side as I stood by you when you decided to do your two "n-word" posts in the last year. I know you will say that they're completely different, and maybe they are. But it's still a nice place to stand, in either case.

This comment is completely different from the one that was lost--in a bad way. Sigh...again. The world really is a cold, cruel place. I'll quit while I'm behind.

Posted by: Darrell at March 5, 2007 02:43 PM

I'm not trying to silence Ann, and I'm not saying she's a bad person. I'm just saying that I don't think organizations like the NRA and the ACU should be putting their imprimatur on her speeches.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 5, 2007 05:33 PM

Above, you wrote "how would you feel ...".
From that, I infer that you have some emotional basis in
this kerfuffle. You have alluded to your own feelings by mentioning those of another.

Perhaps I am way off base, but here is how I see it:

You have essentially asked CPAC to fire Coulter.
Then you rationalize by saying it's only because you "don't
think organizations like the NRA and the ACU should be putting their imprimatur on her speeches."

There may well be a proper motive for asking the CPAC
sponsors to drop Coulter (her incivility comes to mind (I did
read the Captain)), but anger is not it. Neither is fear of what
she might say in some hypothetical situation, as described in
the letter.

The ends do not justify the means. Rather, the means become
the end and the motive is seed of the means. The result
cannot rise above your own personal motive.

Perhaps the writer of your letter did intend to coldly state
that Ann was not civil on two occaisions and CPAC sposnsors
should consider that before they offer her a third. If that is the case, the writer failed.


Posted by: Bob at March 5, 2007 08:06 PM

I thought Ann always makes it clear that she is always speaking for herself. Weren't there disclaimers? (In the program or any handouts?)

Posted by: Darrell at March 5, 2007 09:06 PM

CPAC is not, in any sense, Coulter's employer. I'm asking that they cease asking her to come back. I'm not advocating censorship, but rather freedom of association.

If anything, her book roytalties would probably go up.

By invoking Elizabeth Edwards I am not saying that I personally have intense emotional reactions, here; I'm trying to demonstrate how this could come off like more than a joke gone bad--if one had the right perspective.

I'm attempting to throw into stark relief the destructive power of Ann's remark. But the greater destructiveness is to the conservative movement--and that's where my stake comes in.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 6, 2007 04:38 AM

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