March 05, 2007

An Open Letter to CPAC Sponsors and Organizers Regarding Ann Coulter

Please sign on—via comments, and cross-posting—and spread the word. Enough is enough.

Conservatism treats humans as they are, as moral creatures possessing rational minds and capable of discerning right from wrong. There comes a time when we must speak out in the defense of the conservative movement, and make a stand for political civility. This is one of those times.

Ann Coulter used to serve the movement well. She was telegenic, intelligent, and witty. She was also fearless: saying provocative things to inspire deeper thought 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 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. It may be tolerated on liberal websites, but not at the nation's premier conservative gathering.

The legendary conservative thinker Richard Weaver wrote a book entitled Ideas Have Consequences. Rush Limbaugh has said again and again that "words mean things." 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 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 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?

One of the points of CPAC is the opportunity it gives college students to meet other young conservatives and learn from our leaders. Unlike on their campusesówhere they often feel aloneóat CPAC they know they are part of a vibrant political movement. What example is set when one highlight of the conference is finding out what shocking phrase will emerge from Ann Coulter's mouth? How can we teach young conservatives to fight for their principles with civility and respect when Ann Coulter is allowed to address the conference? Coulter's invective is a sign of weak thinking and unprincipled politicking.

CPAC sponsors, the Age of Ann has passed. We, the undersigned, request that CPAC speaking invitations no longer be extended to Ann Coulter. Her words and attitude simply do too much damage.

Thank you,

UPDATE: The first half-dozen signatures have been added. I'll be adding more as they roll in today (and as my travel schedule permits).

UPDATE, March 6th: Another shipment of signatures just arrived. I'll probably do my final update later in the day today.

UPDATE, 3/6 9:35 a.m. Eastern More names--they just keep rolling in.

Posted by Attila Girl at March 5, 2007 06:01 AM | TrackBack

This is important enough to have roused me from my recent bi-yearly blogging schedule and write down some thoughts on the issue. If conservatism is going to continue to be an ideology of ideas rather than vitriol, we need to be just as outspoken when policing our own as we are with the left.

Posted by: Josh at March 5, 2007 02:33 PM

Sigh. "as we are with the left." Oh, well then, Ann shouldn't lose much sleep in that case. Every day a million Leftist comments unanswered. Heck, you should be jumping down the throat of every idiot that says "Bush lied", including those that just let the remark slide-- like our friends in the media. But I guess that would be like trying to empty the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon.

Note to self: Ann is a big girl and she can fight her own battles.

The Right always polices their own. The Left laughs along with their miscreants. The Left laughs at the Right responding to their phony outrage. Rope-a-dope, rope-a-dope. Note: For the record, as of this date and time, everyone on the Right has already spanked Ann at least once. No one on the Left acknowledges that. Just another bit of history repeating. Maybe I should create a button for right-wing sites saying "I already renounced ANN COULTER"...ASK ME, and I'll do it again!" Or maybe a counter showing the current number of Coulter renounciations by the second.....1,000,000...1,000,167...

Posted by: Darrell at March 5, 2007 03:16 PM

I've always enjoyed Ann Coulter's Constitutional input on various issues - but Ann, leave the humour to Dennis Miller! Everyone makes a stupid remark from time-to-time, but Ann's chronic verbal diarrhea is stinking the joint up.

Playing over at the "think-progress" sandbox, I've seen and heard things that would cause old ladies to faint. You've got to know that it's not the pRUDE in us yearning to scream - such blather does NOTHING to advance conservative credibility.

Posted by: mighty aphrodite at March 5, 2007 03:28 PM

I completely agree!

There is always room for disagreement on the issues. But there is no room for discourse such as this in our ranks.

Please ad The Home of Uncommon Sense to your list of supporters.

Posted by: Craig DeLuz at March 5, 2007 03:53 PM

More proof that Ann really isn't the sharpest knife in the shed...(see video)

Posted by: Minor Ripper at March 5, 2007 04:06 PM

I have to agree with you, Joy. Add me to the list. Posted a link to this post in the only one I have written on the subject.

Posted by: William Teach at March 5, 2007 06:25 PM


Posted by: Desert Cat at March 5, 2007 06:42 PM

When Obama was asked to apologize for statements made
by Geffen, he said he would not apologize for comments
made by someone else. _This_ from a man that most
conservatives refer to as an "empty suit"!

I don't approve of Ann's "faggot" remark, but
I lost some measure of respect for every Republican
candidate that apologized for or otherwise distanced
themselves from her.

Ann is not a candidate. She is not in any position of power.
She is essentially a comedienne.

Each of us can only be responsible for our own behavior.
To the extent that any of us allows our anger to run away
with our own behavior, so that we demand others do our
punishing for us, we are acting like those immature souls
on the left that many of us despise. And we are playing
into the hands of our political opponents, including the
"Drive-by Media".

I am not going to slam CPAC over Coulter.

I suggest everyone get hold of their "feelings" and start
acting like mature conservatives.


Posted by: Bob at March 5, 2007 06:56 PM

No one is suggesting CPAC be "slammed". The petition is asking them not to invite her back in the future. And no one I've seen is apologizing for her remarks, which would be stupid. Her remarks are being condemned. There's a big difference there too. If we can't condemn speech we disagree with without being labelled as "emotional" then how can we ever differ with others? Maybe you should take the time to read what people are actually typing and saying before you go and tell them to get hold of their feelings.

Posted by: Josh at March 5, 2007 10:14 PM

faggots are so easily offended

Posted by: billfry at March 5, 2007 11:21 PM

Ann opens her mouth and acid spews out.
I admired her years ago, but now she is just a cartoon version of her former self.
She is basically destroying any credibility she once had. No one will ever taken her seriously,
so her input in the media is now nullified.
"Get real with it" people, we need a more
dignified spokesman!

Posted by: Carla at March 6, 2007 03:45 AM

Common sense time here.

How many times do you have to put your hand on a hot stove before you wise up and figure out that it's not too smart?

Coulter has, twice now, managed to turn her speaking invitation to CPAC into a three-ring circus. The conference organizers may do as they please, but at this point they would really have to be criminally stupid not to realize that Ms. Coulter is bringing them more negative than positive publicity.

We have freedom of association and freedom of contract in this country for a reason. The good Lord also gave us common sense for a reason.

I find it little short of amazing that after losing a major Congressional election where the American people decided this party was out of touch, people are still arguing that CPAC should once again ignore Coulter's antics. This is just the kind of insularity that convinces people Republicans just don't get it.

Accountability. It's what's for dinner.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 6, 2007 04:06 AM

Ann, leave the humour to Dennis Miller!

Argh, he isn't funny either! Both Ann and Dennis suffer from weak material and abysmally bad delivery.

Where, oh where is the Conservative version of Jon Stewart???

Posted by: Daveg at March 6, 2007 04:44 AM

We will be JUST like the Left Wingers if we continue this PC crap and attack Coulter for a JOKE. Ann is on OUR SIDE

Posted by: Dennis at March 6, 2007 07:36 AM

Your side, Dennis-Baby. She's not on mine.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 6, 2007 07:39 AM


Posted by: TOM at March 6, 2007 12:40 PM

Oh, that's helpful: let's attack her sexuality. For making disparaging remarks about Edwards'.


Posted by: Attila Girl at March 6, 2007 12:46 PM

How about truth, justice and the American way?

That's the side we all should strive to be on. Little
Annie Fannie needs to put a dunce cap on and write on her chalk board one hundred times:

I will behave in a lady like manner.

Gee is there an age limit to charm school enrollees?

Posted by: Carla at March 6, 2007 01:58 PM

How about truth, justice and the American way?

That's the side we all should strive to be on.

Little Annie needs to put a dunce cap on and write on her chalk board one hundred times:

I will behave in a lady like manner.

Gee is there an age limit to charm school enrollees?

Posted by: Carla at March 6, 2007 02:01 PM

Signed (Juliette A. Ochieng).

See also my post.

Posted by: baldilocks at March 6, 2007 02:10 PM

It's a given that Ann Coulter's suggestion that JE is the new f-word was in very poor taste. It's also a given that in any serious war, friendly-fire incidents will inevitably occur. The trick in such situations is to not do the enemy's bidding, and disown the army. And, before you shoot back and say that, "We're only going to throw 'Tugboat Annie' under the bus," you all need to remember that she is just one in a series of Leftist sniper victims, along with, at the very least, William Bennett. The most annoying things about the conservative movement, as I see it, is that its members are just too nice to connect the malificent dots.

Posted by: Mario at March 7, 2007 06:57 AM

Every one of you blog owners who are trying to tar and feather Ann are clearly overwrought with jealousy that she says what she wants, while you don't dare, because youíre riddled with and immobilized by fear of offending liberals.

Instead of growing a spine, you try to bring down Ann. Not possible. Give it up. Donít muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn.

Itís people like you who have prevented the Republican party from ever being successful and victorious over socialism.

Leave Ann alone. She speaks for multi-millions of us. And you donít.

by Patty Nottoli

Posted by: Patty Nottoli at March 7, 2007 02:53 PM

Patty, as an Ann fan myself (as you can see from my comments in all the relevant posts) can't we come up with a better metaphor than "Donít muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn?" I like oxen and all, but hey! And doesn't that mean to pay your workers according to their labor?(An honest day's pay for an honest day's work?)

I dread hitting the "post" button because I fear getting dressed down because of all the English majors lurking about! No, I can't tell you the difference between an analogy, a metonymy, a synecdoche, a simile, an allegory and or a parable. Why do you think the English majors get the big bucks?

Posted by: Darrell at March 7, 2007 09:47 PM

I find all the hand wringing on the right about this issue interesting. Two things come to mind.

First, I think it is obvious that Ann Coulter belongs at CPAC not despite of what she says but because of what she says. I think regardless of whether Ann Coulter is talking about "faggots" "ragheads" or suggesting someone should kill Muslims or Supreme Court Justices -- she is emblematic of the "ideas" coming out of the right these days. She is also the very type of maladjusted person that is likely to be attracted to a CPAC convention and worshipped by those in attendance. I think even Conservatives would agree that CPAC is for college age students who feel like they don't fit in on purportedly liberal campuses. Its to make them feel better about themselves for not fitting in and to find comfort in the arms of the authoritative right. (Incidentally, I don't suppose there were Army or Marine recruiters at the convention? I know these CPAC warriors have other priorities here at home). The crowd cheers Ann Coulter for a reason -- regardless of what she says -- because to many at CPAC, she is their avenging angel. So stop whinning about it and own up to it.

And secondly, and ironically CPAC of course is packed with many tortured latent homosexuals -- the so called "anti-gay gay" Republicans. My guess is that you cant swing a dead cat at a CPAC convention without hitting an up and coming Jeff Gannon, David Drier, Ken Mehlman, Larry Craig, Ted Haggert, Sgt. Sanchez etc. How those tortured souls felt about Ann's comments, I can only guess-- but I suspect they cheered along with everyone else.

Posted by: Mustanen at March 8, 2007 11:42 AM

How dare anyone oppose the Left! Talk about "maladjusted" individuals! One day we'll have re-education camps to put an end to that. Gays that support the Republicans are the worst of all. After all, the Left treated gays so well in the old USSR. How dare Jeff Gannon, David Drier, Ken Mehlman, Larry Craig, Ted Haggert, and Sgt. Sanchez have any concerns OTHER than the Leftist gay agenda! Why it's as bad as those black fellows that become Republicans! How dare they care about issues like these( when the Left has set up such a nice home for their labors on the ol' Dem plantation?

Posted by: Darrell at March 8, 2007 12:45 PM

See, Ann? Leave outing people (even in jest) to the Dems! Do you need a better reason not to do it again?

Posted by: Darrell at March 8, 2007 01:03 PM


Do you really want to play the Stalin card? A little silly dont you think? Do I respond by pointing out what the right did to homosexuals in Nazi Germany? As if either has anything to do with politics here and now.

In any event, I dont fault gay Republicans or Conservatives -- just the hypocritical ones. You have to admit that the GOP would much rather have its homosexuals in the closet? I mean I only have to look as far as this web page to see an attack on Andrew Sullivan -- he outrages the GOP but they cover up for Mark Foley. Go figure.

Posted by: Mustanen at March 8, 2007 01:53 PM

Ann Coulter is irrelevant. As far as I can tell all she wants is lots of attention and the fame & fortune that come with it. I am 100% certain if we all ignore her, she will just go away. As a previous poster said, she has no power to make policy. Doing anything about her is a big waste of time given there are far more serious problems in the world to work out, for example, the actual lack of equal civil rights for gays, and DEATH AND DESTRUCTION in Iraq and Sudan. Stop giving her your energy, stop buying her books, stop watching her shows, stop commenting on anything she says, because the return on your investment is pretty much nil.

Posted by: Squeedle at March 8, 2007 03:05 PM

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 8, 2007 03:36 PM

Of course not Attila Girl-- I am not calling you anything-- I dont know you. You may very well agree with Andrew Sullivan on issues of gay rights. But your party/movement does not. Thas why Ann Coulter can go to a CPAC convention and joke about calling John Edwards a "faggot" and get applause.

And again, you have to admit, the GOP prefers its homosexuals in the closest.

As far as the war against "Islamofacism"-- you lost me.

Posted by: Mustanen at March 8, 2007 04:41 PM

[Hm. Wonder why I can't fix my links on the comment above? Is html out to get me, again?]

1) Andrew Sullivan tends to see gay rights through the filter of gay marriage. I don't think they are the same thing at all. I think civil unions would work fine, though truth be told I don't think government should be in the marriage business: I'd prefer civil unions for everyone.

2) Ann didn't get much applause for that line at all, considering how many people were in that room. As with all comedy, people who are predisposed to laugh often do so.

3) I do not admit that the GOP prefers its homosexuals in the closet. I "admit" that some Republicans are concerned that too much deconstructing of "the family" (whatever that is) can have unforeseen effects, which has certainly occurred (e.g., making single parenthood more respectable has led to an increase in fatherless homes, which has fueled crime in the underclass).

I'll go further: some Republicans are uncomfortable with gays who are "too out" (whatever that is.)

Do you "admit" that it's easier for a gay to come out among Conservatives than it is for a war supporter to come out among media/entertainment people?

4) The allusion to Islamofascism has to do with Jeff Percifield's much-quoted observation that if the Islamic extremists get their way, his fellow gays "will be giving head--and not in a good way."

I could, of course, say the same thing for my fellow feminists who don't, in my opinion, defend Western values--and the emancipation of women--to the degree that I'd like.

The War on Terror--and the struggle against Islamism--is the defining problem of our time, and everything we've gained in terms of gay rights and women's rights will be lost if we fail to preserve the values of classical liberalism.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 8, 2007 06:47 PM

Mustanen, you are not talking with your Leftist friends here that put Hitler in with the Right. Hitler said he was a Socialist(albeit a pure, German, Socialist with origins going back to the 18th and 19th Century--not one of those Marxists or Soviet variants tainted by Jewish influence(paraphrasing his words) )(no brackets allowed by MuNu). Why should I think he was anything other than a Socialist? That's why the American Socialists heaped nothing but praise on Hitler, even when FDR asked them to condemn him. Until, of course, Hitler invaded their beloved Soviet Union. That's when American academics crafted that little lie about Hitler taking over an established Socialist group in Germany to gain power. Even though we now know that Hitler was part of that group since its inception, if not the founder. Nice try. Ditto for Mussolini's(who promised he left his beloved Socialist Party), but proceeded to found a political organization based on ideas from French trade unions. We all know French trade unions are bastions of right-wing thought, don't we? I don't see Capitalism or free-markets anywhere in Hitler's or Mussolini's philosophy. Hitler had a limited free-market with consumer goods to prevent scarcity(his words). There were boards and Party members in all German factories that set prices for military/government goods.

So embrace your own, Mustanen! Claim them! I know you didn't have the advantage of growing up among older, European-born relatives that referred to Hitler as "that little Socialist bastard". Pity you had to get your education from the American Left.

Or TV. Ask and I'll tell you that there is not a single bit of evidence suggesting that J. Edgar Hoover ever was a transvestite. Quote the thruthiness, nevermore!

Posted by: Darrell at March 8, 2007 09:29 PM

It's isn't Mary Hoover's wardrobe I disagree with--it's the methods she used to consolidate her power.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 8, 2007 10:00 PM

The point, as you well know, was certain lies that are presented and accepted as truth. I didn't defend Hoover's policies or methods, and I never liked him. And Hoover spent his life being apolitical, by the way. You have to be when you're there for life. He played games with both Dems and Repubs, and never publicly declared any party affiliation.

And an interesting choice of words, LMA, by the way! I told you that you are a lot like Ann.

Posted by: Darrell at March 9, 2007 10:23 AM

Nice try Darrell. Did you just read some Kagan of something and couldn't wait to regurgitate it?

Try looking up fascism in the dictionary for starters. If you want to hang your hat on labels that's fine. But lets consider what Hitler and Mussolini (and Stalin for that matter) hung their's on -- nationalism (used to manipulate the masses), a strong military (or at least an attempt at one in the case of Italy) and consolidating power around a authoritative figure.

Which political party in this country most resembles the above (assuming politics is on a spectrum)? You know the answer.

As far as your assumptions about my education and purported lack of "older European relatives" -- I think that sort of quip is beneath you -- I know its beneath me.

Posted by: Mustanen at March 9, 2007 11:05 AM


Where are you seeing a "strong military," exactly? I thought that a lot of the complaining about the way the Iraq conflict was handled had to do with us not having sent enough troops, and a sense out there that the attempt to have the military travel lighter (per Rumsfeld's theories) wasn't working . . . ?

And I'm not seeing an "authoritative figure." Are you talking about Bush?--the guy with the Texas accent, the "aw, shucks" attitude, and the penchant for malapropisms?

Help me out, here.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 9, 2007 11:42 AM

Sorry, Mustnen, my knowledge, opinions and beliefs are totally my own. They are based on a lifetime of work, and the acquisition of knowledge. I understand why FDR asked academics to come up with a little "harmless" lie as a counterpoint to the typical man-on-the-street American public opinion which was saying that we should let the Nazis and Soviet Communists kill each other off, and wait to finish off whoever remains. FDR believed the better route was to assist the Soviets in defeating the Nazis for the good of Western civilization. The fact of the matter is that Hitler believed he was a Socialist. You guys did too until he attacked your workers paradise. The Soviet-style Socialists maintain that German Socialism isn't he real deal because it lacks that class warfare element and doesn't fully accept their centrally-planned economy core beliefs. That should sound like splitting hairs to any educated person.

Just what do you think American Conservatives are trying to "conserve" or preserve? The US as founded, based on a revolution against autocratic, non-representational rule. Does that sound anything like fascism or Nazism? During the 70's, when I brought up this matter to a college professor, he answered "The absolute proof that the Nazis weren't Socialists can be seen in that they were FIGHTING true Socialists in the USSR." I said, "But weren't they fighting American and British Capitalists too?" I guess a scowl can count as an answer. I haven't looked for a couple of years, but amazingly Wikipedia used to have a pretty balanced section on all of this that lays out both sets of arguments pretty well. You'll have to search "Nazism," "Fascism," "Hitler" and "Mussolini" and follow the links in each section. If you want to learn, that is.

Your education and what is beneath you is revealed by your words and thoughts. Just like with everyone else. Just like when you left out "born"in my quote about me having had the advantage of having older, European-born relatives that gave me an early heads-up about that little Socialist bastard Hitler. It made me investigate independently when I heard differently in school. You should try that sometime.

Posted by: Darrell at March 9, 2007 01:44 PM


I think you have me confused with some boogeyman you constructed long ago. I don't see you challenging the notion that the conservative movement is fond of hyper nationalism, autocratic rule, and militarism. I can point to a lot of things that Conservatives have sought to "conserve" over the years that shatter your world view -- Jim Crow, the male only franchise, child labor, no health or safety standards etc. The fact is that you may support all those things now -- but at the time it was "Conservatives" who fought change/progress. Your so called movement has been on the wrong side of history on every major issue of importance since this county was born. And it will be again when the history of the gay rights movement is written.

So spare me your nonsense and claims about how much of a free thinker you are because you challenged your college professor in class and don't always believe what you are told or what you read -- what an epiphany. I bet you still cant wait to turn on FOX news when you get back from the comic bookstore you hypocrit. You really are the arch type of the maladjusted CPAC conventioneer that I noted in my first post.

Anyway, its been fun wading into the pool of conservative pseudo intellectualism. My hands are pruny and I think I may have caught a virus -- so its time to go.

Mustanen Out

Posted by: Mustanen at March 9, 2007 02:32 PM

Jim Crow? You mean the Democratic Party's approach to race relations in the midcentury South?

Ah, Mustanen: we are all a monolith to you, aren't we? It's too bad. You seem like a bright guy--just lopsidedly educated.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 9, 2007 02:58 PM

Mustanen is just another graduate of our Leftist education system, chock full of revisionist history. Talk to them long enough and you will "learn" that the Republicans were behind every problem in Western civilization--slavery, the Civil War, you-name-it. Prove them wrong on one point and they ignore you and bring up two more. I've dealt with some in his collective before. He"ll have to give us his official designation(20,000,002 of 60,000,000?)You see how he pays close attention to details. I didn't challenge autocratic rule? How about here: "Just what do you think American Conservatives are trying to "conserve" or preserve? The US as founded, based on a revolution against autocratic, non-representational rule." Duh.

Nope, Mutanen, wrong again. Do I see a theme? No Fox because I take my TV over the air as God intended--no cable. And you know how left-wing those Fox affiliate broadcasts are. No comics, either. Guess all your points are smaller than you anticipated. Bet you hear that a lot, eh? Especially on a date. Why don't you go visit Kos and fill a page or two with "BuShitHitler." You'll be back to normal after that. Maybe normal isn't the right word but you know what I mean.

Posted by: Darrell at March 9, 2007 08:57 PM

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