July 01, 2007

Queen Ann Ain't David Brock.

Hey, Darrell. I knew you'd weigh in on my latest diatribe against Ann Coulter, just as you knew that I'd write it.

You're aware, of course, that I love Queen Ann's mind—it's the use to which she puts it that troubles me sometimes. And this sort of Jon Stewart-esque business of putting analysis out there, and then hiding behind humor when challenged, is unimpressive.

But she isn't really anti-gay, which is another thing that infuriated me about her using the word "faggot," of course. I've heard her as a guest on Al Rantel's Show on KABC [an L.A. station] enough to know that. And I do believe that she has enough integrity to avoid pulling a Brock-esque political conversion, though I agree with you, D, that she could really clean up financially by doing so.

Speaking of David Brock, the divine Christopher Hitchens is one of perhaps five socialists whom I still respect intellectually—notwithstanding his radical atheism, which I've decided is yet another one of his endearing blind spots. He penned a rather marvelous review of Brock's Blinded by the Right for The Nation five years ago:

Brock masks his deep-seated mendacity from others and (perhaps) from himself by a simple if contemptible device of rhetoric. He switches between passive and active. Thus of one conservative smear-op, he tells us that "I allowed myself to get mixed up" in it. His masochism even permits him to say, at a reactionary award ceremony in far-off St. Louis, at which he somehow found himself, that "I was miserable. Yet this was how I made my living and it was who I had become. The conservatives had bought my brain." And paid well over the odds for it, I should say. Never mind, he always cheers up by letting himself be drawn in to another bad business. And here we get the same paltry narcissism in its opposite form: "I was a full-scale combatant, I had war-wounds to show for it, and I needed the thrill of another round of battle."

He finds it difficult to refer to himself--when he isn't crippled by self-loathing--without using the words "icon" and "poster boy." There are actually very few revelations in the book, unless you are surprised to learn that a cabal of right-wingers tried to frame the Clintons for killing Vince Foster. (Brock now prefers the even more far-out view that Foster was murdered by The Wall Street Journal.) Referring to the anti-Semitism of a famous conservative, he cites what might be a joke in poor taste and says it was "one of her gentler remarks." What, couldn't he have cited a more damning one? There are countless silly mistakes, including the date of Theodore and Barbara Olson's wedding, and many innuendoes, such as the (unsupported) suggestion that it is Richard Mellon Scaife who has committed not one but two murders.

In his coarse attack on Juanita Broaddrick, whose allegation of rape was supported by several contemporaneous witnesses and has not yet been denied by Clinton himself, Brock does not even do the elementary work of stating the case he is trying to rebut. Instead, he inserts a completely gratuitous slander against a decent woman, all of whose independent assertions have survived meticulous fact-checking. The defamation game is still all that this creep knows.

Etiquette requires that I mention a very rude description of myself, concentrating on the grossly physical, which includes the assertion that I am unwashed as well as unkempt. Those who know me will confirm that while I may not be tidy, I am so clean you could eat your dinner off me. Perhaps I did not want to put Mr. Brock to the labor of proving this. At any rate, I am relieved to find I am not his type. However, I forgive him this sophomoric passage because its empty hatred was so obviously feigned after the event, and because it describes me as five years younger than I am.

The reason Hitchens has gotten himself into so much trouble with the extreme Left over the years is that he cannot lie, any more than Brock can tell the truth. Any more than Coulter can preach to anyone but the choir. Memo to Coulter: You get a lot of "amens" that way, but you never win over any souls. I'm sorry if this fact is "distressing" to you.

Despite the ideological divide, I'm as passionate about Hitchens' writing as I am about Mark Steyn's (their website designers?—that's a bit less of an even contest). And yet Ann—despite the impressive research in a few of her books, her towering intellect and her fluency when speaking extempore—continues largely to leave me cold.

Why? Because I'm tired of going to parties and being confronted with the latest outrageous remark she's made, and expected to defend them. Because I'm offended by the cross on her chest in her promotional photo for Godless, because I doubt that the Lord was pleased by that cheap display. Because I prefer my writers to be snipers, rather than point-and-shoot wielders of twelve-gauge scatterguns.

Your mileage may vary. And I rather suspect that it does.

Happy Birthday, Darrell! I compensated for your being early by being late, myself. (And, yes—I am sending you something, since you're my biggest supporter. Just a small token of my appreciation. No, it ain't a picture of me in that Beefeater baseball cap. Though I ought to publish one, for I love it. And it's time to start wearing it, Baby: I've been walking around too much. I'm courting skin cancer.)

Posted by Attila Girl at July 1, 2007 01:14 AM | TrackBack

To be fair, I was early because you asked for it. Late does add that element of surprise. And that's always good for mystery writers. I appreciate your b-day wishes!

Ann does seem to have an amazing ability to make otherwise-sane Lefties start foaming at the mouth. Sometimes that is its own reward, and I suspect she revels in it. I never met a sniper that didn't appreciate the fine work of those that wield shotguns--or artillery or cluster bombs.

Posted by: Darrell at July 1, 2007 07:31 AM

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