Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reading Coulter Out

This post is fairly recent (March), but Ann Coulter has been pretty annoying over the past few months.

In 1957, Whittaker Chambers published a scathing review of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Many people believe that the review read Rand out of the conservative movement.

I have not read Atlas Shrugged (though I do intend to do so), so I cannot declare Chambers right or wrong to write Rand out of mainstream conservatism. However, someone really should do a Chambers on Ann Coulter. She may have been useful at one time, but she has clearly jumped the shark. She is doing more damage to the conservative movement than Ayn Rand could ever have, even in Whittaker Chambers’ worst nightmares.

I confess that I enjoyed Slander, which was a valuable exposé of the leftwing media. Treason was interesting—she presented some interesting facts, and did some good work on the Whittaker Chambers case. Unfortunately, she bought into the bewildering conservative myth that Joe McCarthy was something other than an eccentric, self-destructive idiot. (If you disagree, consider how many Communists he actually found. I believe that the answer is: one).

Furthermore, Coulter, in her choice of title, falls prey to the common fallacy that you can infer subjective intention from objective consequence. For example, since we lost China to the Communists, therefore the President of the United States and the Secretary of State wished China to go to the Communists. (And if it sounds like that is something that William F. Buckley would have written, it is because it is indeed something Buckley wrote). Coulter thinks that if liberal policies produce bad results, then one can conclude that those results were intentional, hence the “treason” accusations. Hopefully, you can see the glaring flaws in this argument.

Still, Treason had some points of merit, and so was not altogether worthless. Godless, although it contained an absurd series of chapters that attacked the well-established theory of evolution, was extremely funny. But recently, Coulter has transformed herself into a conservative version of Howard Stern.

She has had her share of controversial actions over the years. She was fired from National Review after her rather silly “invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity” comment, and has engaged in a one-way feud with the magazine ever since. She often refers to Muslims as “ragheads,” called John Edwards a “faggot,” (seemingly only to cause controversy), and published a bizarre book called "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans" that is simply a collection of sophomoric insults.

Any of those may be forgiven individually, but collectively, they start to make Ann Coulter seem a little deranged. And her hysterical attacks on John McCain seem to support that conclusion

I can sympathize with those conservatives who would not vote for McCain. Most of these people make reasonable, irrefutable criticisms of the Arizona Senator. Coulter’s attacks, however, are ridiculous. It is as if she cannot calm down and make an unruffled, logical attack on someone. Instead, she has to scatter dozens of crazy charges. (I would say McCarthyite charges, but Coulter would probably take it as a compliment).

Coulter has claimed that she would vote for Hillary before she would vote for McCain. She has further declared that Hillary is the most conservative candidate in the race. It is literally impossible to reply to that—it is like arguing with one who believes that 9/11 is an inside job. She is impervious to logic.

Coulter seems addicted to shocking people. Her books have displayed a steady decline in judgment—she has gone from her excellent Slander, to her absurdly titled Treason, to her humorous but empty Godless, to her latest screed, If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans. Her performances during the course of the 2008 campaign seem designed only to scandalize.

Doug Adams speculates that Coulter shocks in order to sell books and get lucrative speaking engagements. Certainly, her antics serve to drive sales, and her speaking engagements are always sold out. I cannot judge Coulter’s motivations, and perhaps she simply enjoys the outraged reaction she gets from the left. But it is clear that to Ann Coulter, the good of conservatism now takes second place.

I don’t have anywhere near the influence necessary to read Coulter out of the conservative movement. But somebody should. She is becoming an embarrassment.


At August 14, 2008 at 8:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Libs whine and moan (an unfortunate common characteristic trait) accusing conservatives of attacking the messenger, and yet don't have an issue with doing the same thing themselves. When conservatives object to the content of a television or radio program we are advised that there is a channel changer and told to just turn the station or the tv/radio off. Libs however, can't follow their own advice. I used to like Ann Coulter and enjoy listening and reading her commentaries but I don't any longer and i don't enjoy the way my one time fellow conservatives have been acting as well.
We have to be united if we are to win this election and Ann Coulter is not helping at all.

At August 14, 2008 at 8:25 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Conservatives don't have a chance at winning this election, we have no candidate to unite around!

At August 14, 2008 at 8:54 AM , Anonymous Throwing Stones said...

so would you rather and the presidency to obama?
That is pretty darn short sighted if you asked me.
You would rather have a Commie ruin our country than to vote for an old, boring, war horse and hero like John McCain?
You may be rolling your eyes and scoffing?
Our country may be in bad shap now
but if we have a guy like Obama in the White House, you ain't seen nothing yet.
And as far as your adored Senator Obama – he is a total waste of human skin with no real principles, no agenda (other than airy fairy talking points – and meaningless ones at that), no common sense about people and an utter lack of judgment in choosing pastors, friends, advisors and – yes, I’ll say it – wives!

You guys are missing the point. McCain is not a commie or a muslim, Obama is.

At August 14, 2008 at 9:26 AM , Blogger Beth said...

You are free to vote for whomever you wish, for what ever reason you wish, I simply take exception to anyone who says conservatives need to unite around someone they don't believe in.

At August 14, 2008 at 11:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

take whatever exception you wish to, but I also take exception to people that are so blind they can not see even with 20/20 vision.
Your problem with John McCain will only bring this country to Socialism.
I wish the American people would get educated before it is too late. Obama has the most Leftist voting record of any member of the Senate. What should that tell you? It tells you if Obama gets elected with the most liberal congress of all times to support him his Leftist agenda will get passed. That means you will soon be living in the Peoples Republic of America.

If they taught you any real world history in school at all you should know that where-ever Communist socialism was tried it was a failure. Now why would you want to destroy a system that has been working and has made the most prosperous nation on earth for a system that has proved that it cannot work? If the young people and the naive in this country do not soon get educated on the facts about Obama they will be living America’s worse nightmare.

A nice smile and positive talking does not make for sound ideas and sound governmental polices. Find out where your black Messiah plans to take this country before you help destroy your own nation. We know why the socialist elite want to destroy America. They want a “workers paradise” with themselves in charge of the peons, but why do you want to destroy America by voting in socialism?

Here is just a small sample of what will happen under Obama:

A national depression or run away inflation

More abortion

Mass taxation and give away programs that takes from those that produce and gives to those who do nothing,

Gun control laws that will put everyone under the control of government and criminals

Hate speech laws that will not even allow Christians to proselytize

Brainwashing of your children in all schools

Thought police

A Nanny State that will control every aspect of your life and your children’s lives

Huge carbon taxes to fund the world government

If Obama stays on course it will bring civil insurrections and the break up of the Union. Mark my words! I told you beforehand.
Now you were saying what about John Mccain?

At August 14, 2008 at 11:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a dumb comment to make,
Beth, I've been reading some of your posts and with all due respect I have to say that It's people like you that will have Barack Obama elected.
You can't see the forest thru the trees. You can't see the bigger picture.
Looks like you might have a case of listening to too many moonbats.
The American people, conversely, will have earned the idiot title. ... This country isn't going to elect John McCain as its president and that's a shame, I'm not going to rehash everything I alredy said.

At August 14, 2008 at 1:12 PM , Blogger Beth said...

With John McCain, the appeaser at the helm and a Democratic Congress, I see very little hope of any conservative agenda getting done. So what's the difference? The difference is that the people will see the error once and for all of going with the Democrats, but if they take liberal lite McCain we are just prolonging this inevitable revelation.

I can see the forest just fine, thank you very much.

At August 14, 2008 at 1:27 PM , Blogger Beth said...

Anyway, Throwing Stones, if you are so smart, I would really like you to map out how conservatives electing moderate candidates ever gets us on the road to conservatism, Could you do that for me? If you can, I could be convinced to vote for McCain.

At August 14, 2008 at 2:30 PM , Anonymous Throwing Stones said...

There is NO road to conservatism any longer.
No you CAN NOT see the forest thru the trees, the conservative movement is dead.
Your first hint should have been from seeing the miserable trunout they received in the primaries.
The best they had fell like a house of playing cards.
The best you are going to get is a John McCain. That is just the way it is. Face it or not, it's John or Barack and thats the kind of choice you are going to get in the years to come as well.
The conservative party as you and I knew it is over.
It's a new world, join it or get the Obama's of the world.
Even Hillary couldn't make it.

At August 14, 2008 at 2:56 PM , Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

not too many role models lately eh?

At August 14, 2008 at 8:12 PM , Blogger Beth said...

So Mr. T. Stones, you want me to give up on principles that are based on liberty and freedom?

No thanks, I can't give in, sorry.

At August 15, 2008 at 4:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth said...
"So Mr. T. Stones, you want me to give up on principles that are based on liberty and freedom?

No thanks, I can't give in, sorry."

Did I say that?
Or did you?

I can't remember saying anything of the kind.
I didn't and don't care how or who you vote for, I'm talking for myself.
As for me, I will not sit back and watch Obama win this thing and not say anything about it.
As for you, you can do whatever you pleae to. No one here, is twisting yout arm, certainly not me.

You can just sit back and watch Obama win, and then come back here and tell us ALL about YOUR "principles, and liberty and freedom"...If your allowed to.

At August 15, 2008 at 5:56 AM , Anonymous A Redneck From The North said...

Obama and Clinton are on a campaign to do a complete make-over of this country in all things social, economical, culture, and values. They want install and instutionalize a concept of socialism that is so restrictive that y'all couldn't even think conservative thoughts without being sent to "re-education" camp. McCain won't/can't do this.

So go y'all ahead and sit out the next election -- but y'all and everybody else better think this thru real carefully before y'all turn over the country to people like Clinton or Obama. Or both.

At August 15, 2008 at 12:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this bickering is Bull Sh*t
In case you're living under a rock somewhere you know that we have a real tough election coming up shortly I don't give a damn if you're republican conservative, Independent or Liberal or Democrat just as long as you go into the polls with an informed mind. If you're going to vote for someone just because of their gender or color or whether they're the better looking candidate stay the f*ck out of the polls you moron. You don’t even deserve to vote. Get the F*ck out of this country and go back to the sh+t hole you came from. But if you have any education at all, even if it’s so limited that you can just about read a newspaper Vote the issues. Vote for the candidate who best represents your interests and ideals.
Or if you prefer to say vote for the lesser of two evils. Like I hear people say. Then do that!
The republican Presidential race is locked down but some Ron Paul supporters still show their support. In my opinion why bother? The democratic primary is definitely one where you have the choice of the lesser two evils. Do you want the lying bitch who will raise taxes or the guy who can't salute the flag and will raise taxes? Tough choice.
Here's the truth about McCain He is not a real conservative. He is not even a republican. He's a RINO, yeah i know it , but so what!. His values and beliefs represent me much more that Obambi’s do, that’s for f*cken sure. - you can't convince me otherwise. But Obamba is going to win unless the conservatives decide to get their act together and promote their candidates . Also the liberal voters will buy into his bullsh*t.
On the Conservative/Republican level we had several strong candidates with a machine behind them: Romni the poster boy of the Right, Thompson (the FredHead's choice )and the conservative poster boy, and Guliani, the America's Mayor who was the front runner from the get-go. The voters spoke all across the country and ALL of the once front runners are now history. The voters were not impressed with any of them The party leaders are proven to be out of touch with the voters. Instead of wanting Romni or Guliani as our candidate the voters pushed the two second tier candidates to the forefront: Huckabee and McCain. Neither had a machine but got a lot of momentum when they realized that the machine can be broken. Obviously the voters didn't like who the party wanted us to choose. The voters spoke up and John McCain was the candidate Neither of the conservative candidates had any steam at all. the conservative movement is dead. RIP
I for one am voting for McCain and will continue to stand behind my reasons for supporting him.

At August 17, 2008 at 4:13 AM , Anonymous Throwing Stones said...

Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh says is appalling. Those people are completely irrelevant and contribute nothing of substance to the national discourse. They make their living not out of honest work but by mouthing outrageous statements to arouse controversy. If people would give their stupid meanderings the lack of attention they deserve they they would deservedly disappear into nothingness.
Ann makes big bucks making stuff up and just spewing vomit everywhere about anything that will sell her wares. For the life of me I can't believe anyone would waste any money on that moron and her garbage. Why does anybody care what this bizarre bimbo has to say about anything anyway? She has made millions just peddling hate

At August 17, 2008 at 2:06 PM , Blogger Beth said...

Mr Stones, you said conservatism is dead, and as it is the principles I believe in, I am not going to give up those principles. As long as it lives in me (and I know I am not the only one) it still lives.

At August 18, 2008 at 3:43 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES, I say conservatism is dead,isn't it obvious?
The modern Republican Party is made up of what we might call "ex-conservatives," meaning both that they are extremists (while still considering themselves "conservatives") they have loft the what YOU call "principles"...
they treat true conservatism as though it were an ex-girlfriend or an ex-wife that they no longer want to be part of..
There isn't a single Conservative that I know of that is happy with the movement as it is today. That's why they were wiped out so bady in the primaries.
Although it's hard for us to get beyond the political posturing, get beyond it we must. It's time to move on and smell the coffee.

There is an old adage that states something along the lines that "If one argues with a fool long enough, soon, an objective observer cannot tell which is the fool."
Because, you know, the rest of us are just pretending to be conservative. Coulter, Malkin, Levin, Rush, Hannity, Hewitt, the Corner (save for Jonah Goldberg), Rick Santorum and the others with McCain Derangement Syndrome are the real Deciders, and they’ve apparently decided “true” conservatism is shrill, intolerant of differences of opinion, amoral, unhinged, hypocritical, hyper-emotional, selfish, laughably dishonest, full of contempt for “compassion,” and all the other perjoratives heaped upon conservatives by the Left. And these are the “voices” of conservatism to the public–and ironically, the same people who write books about the Left being insane.
Even though McCain isn’t the ideal conservative and is wrong, even unacceptably so, on some things by our standards, he’s right on many more. (And as Reagan famously said, the person who agrees with me 80% of the time is not my enemy.) If he can bring in swing voters, he’s effectively moved the center rightward. He’s not polarizing among the general public, he knows how to speak to independents and centrists, and could very well change public opinion on certain issues, just as he had that effect with regard to the Rumsfeld strategy in the war. And it worked. We may not like his illegal immigration strategy, but it’s better than anything we’ll get with Hillobama and a Democratic Congress, and frankly, it’s not so different from what we’d get from most of the other GOP contenders, rhetoric aside. President McCain would absolutely have a more conservative solution to the illegal immigration problem than any Democrat.

A final, but important note, before someone says, “you’re a RINO” or whatever. I am a conservative. I am pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, fiercely patriotic, for a strong military, a national security hawk, for the Patriot Act and the war (including keeping Gitmo operational), for less gubmint intrusion in business, for low (flat!) taxes and less spending, against judicial activism, for law and order (which includes immigration enforcement, but not just for the southern border!), and I believe in “traditional” Judeo-Christian values, to include being vehemently anti-racist and having compassion for those less fortunate. I also believe in pragmatism and in “drawing more flies with honey than vinegar.” I’m not going to say “that’s what conservatism is”–I don’t pretentiously claim to be the arbiter of such things, as some do–but one would frankly be stupid as the AnnCoulters or the Rush Limbaugh's.
Ann Coulter and people like her are just plain nuts. And I'm glad conservatives are finally realizing she is harmful to the conservative cause. i take no comfort in that because I’m on the left. She just needs to go.
And, Hannity is a real idiot–that show is like listening to Dumb and Dumber.

At issue here is the quality of leadership: WHO BEST DEFINES THE IDEOLOGY. To whom shall the banner of Republican conservatism go? Few so far were able to convince voters they were worthy: well-known hardline conservatives like Duncan Hunter got almost no support; Fred Thompson was what you called Old Guard conservatism, but was himself slow to rise to the challenge; Giuliani was a Cult of Personality doomed to collapse on itself. That’s left Ron Paul (too extreme at the end of the conservative spectrum); Huckabee (a social conservative, but fiscal liberal and someone the GOP establishment just can’t respect); Romney (in truth the most competent candidate, but also the most slippery and least trustworthy); and McCain (perhaps best described as Old Guard hybrid of Goldwater and Reagan ideology, but also too willing to compromise on issues that conservatives would prefer to keep inviolate).

This is why Reagan’s name keeps popping up: there’s this underlying wish fulfillment to have a known quantity come back to lead the conservative cause once more. Which is so sad and so wrong: don’t wish for the leaders you’ve had, find the leaders of today you need. Of the ones left in the race, the one we need is McCain: qualified, experienced, knowledgeable of foreign affairs and military matters, and yes someone willing and able to work with Democrats. And that my friend is not so bad.

The modern Republican Party is made up of what we might call "ex-conservatives," meaning both that they are extremists (while still considering themselves "conservatives")

At August 18, 2008 at 6:56 AM , Blogger Beth said...

I don't think candidates like Hunter, Tancredo and Thompson were given a fair shake from the beginning in getting their message out. At the debates Tancredo and Hunter got little exposure. Thompson just didn't excite. That doesn't mean the principles they spoke of are dead, they just need someone charismatic to get out the message.

And if you think the current leadership in the GOP is conservative, I hate to tell you that just isn't the case. And the Republicans lost in the mid-term elections because they are not conservative enough! McCain is going to find himself on the losing end because the GOP leadership thinks they can snub conservatives, but they will be very sorry they took conservatives for granted.

At August 18, 2008 at 7:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At August 18, 2008 at 8:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if I necessarily agree with your conclusion, but I do agree with the substance of your argument.
But don' t tell me that you are blaming McCain for the mid term elections? Why not blame Bush?
And I NEVER said that the current leadership in the GOP is conservative, what I said was that I thought McCain was conservative enough for today. A real strong conservative would not stand a chance to win in today's atmosphere.
John McCain is probably the only Republican who could win the presidency in a year when almost any Democrat should beat almost any Republican. Voters prefer Democrats to Republicans by 15 per cent.

Thus, he appeals to those voters who like a "maverick".

Fortunately, many Republicans are annoyed with someone like Clinton who apparently loves sticking his finger in the air and going wherever the wind tell him to go..... They may not vote for a Democrat, like Obama and will vote for McCain .
You have every right to cast your vote for whomever floats your boat, but to infer that McCain somehow is responsible for the mid term election is just silly and NOT true.
Let me say that I feel that John McCain will win the elction. He is a true war hero, pro-life, and has proven he can work with the opposition. BO on the other hand is a radical Leftist, anti-American at heart (birds of a feather like Wright, Ayers, Pfleger), and has a thin resume. He is a pretender who will be exposed by November if our media will do its job and ask tough questions.
I know how you feel but I think you are missing the BIG picture here.
Have a good day.

At August 18, 2008 at 9:35 AM , Blogger Beth said...

For the record, I did not blame McCain for the midterm loses, you correctly mention Bush as being more at fault for that.

If Obama keeps faltering in debates like he did Saturday, you might be right about McCain winning afterall.

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