That vile woman just doesn’t know when to quit. A lot of mudslinging is tolerated in political banter, but you really have to have some god-awful dirty mud when even your own party denounces you as the bigoted banshee you are. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her most recent foray into stupidity, here’s what she said about Democratic candidate John Edwards during a speech at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference.
“I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards,” Coulter said, “but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.'”
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I mean, come on. There’s PLENTY of acceptably nasty things to say about candidates without sinking to that level. Why, then, would she let such a thing slip? I can almost guarantee you that that was ad libbed, that “that word” wasn’t on her speech sheet. Which is much, much more disturbing than if it was. Why? Well, because it suggests that Coulter, who (unfortunately) people DO listen to, is an actual bigot who thinks and says these things to her friends and colleagues. That calling someone “faggot” is acceptable enough to her–and that she’s gotten enough positive or neutral responses to it—that no red light went up in her mind to use it in a speech in front of hundreds.
Liberals, conservatives, and most any person with a full-functioning cortex has denounced Coulter’s statement as “offensive.” And conservatives would do well to distance themselves, to wash their hands of her. For as one blog put it:
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.
Without nitpicking over whether Coulter was really ever a help to conservatives, its obvious now that she isn’t. An email sent to Coulter from the NY Times garnered this response:
“C’mon, it was a joke. Do you think I would insult gay people by comparing them to John Edwards?”
Illustrating that she completely is missing the point of the outrage. There’s nothing wrong with being gay. If she had called him a homosexual, he likely would have sighed and set the record straight, and that would be that. Coulter would look silly. But she chose to use a slur. A slur has the same connotation to the gay community as the n-word does to blacks: it trivializes someone, reduces you down to a single trait, which somehow, in their eyes, is bad. Its repugnant speech, even in 8th grade locker rooms or frat parties or wherever. But ESPECIALLY in an auditorium filled with educated adults, leaders of our nation. Who instead of booing her, applauded. And perhaps that’s the most disturbing thing of all.