At the CPAC Conference in Washington, DC, conservative media star Ann Coulter said this:
I’d say something about [2008 Democratic presidential candidate Former Senator] John Edwards, but if you say ‘f*ggot’ you have to go to rehab.And some people on the Right are defending her right to “free speech” -–read freedom from criticism--or claiming that she didn’t really refer to the former senator using a derogatory epithet for homosexuals. Really.
I wonder what the reaction would be had Ms. Coulter said something like this:
I’d say something about [2008 Democratic presidential candidate Senator] Barack Obama, but if you say ‘n*gger’ you have to go to rehab.Likely, some would the same thing. (Actually, I would find such people refreshing—at least I’d know where they stand and from whom to stay away.)
However, many bloggers on the Right aren’t charmed by this latest deployment of Coulter’s
possible character flaw weapon—notably wielded against GWB back when he nominated Harriet Miers to sit on the Supreme Court.
I waded in Hot Air’s comment section on the subject and got called a “wimp”, told to “cowboy up” and told that I was suggesting that “fascist tactics” be used against Coulter as punishment for her “botched joke.” I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that some on the Right don’t want their icons to be criticized any more than some on the Left do. Nor should I have been surprised that hyperbole and Straw Man tactics were used to get those of us who believe that Ms. Coulter hurts the conservative cause roughly equally to the amount that she helps it to shut up.
We’re all human, after all, and, humanity, thy name is double-standard. Yes, you too.
But when the use of a double-standard is pointed out, to keep defending it is just compounding the error. Okay, sure, some on the Left engage in epithet-throwing also (and worse) and some on the Right argue that this justifies tactics like those of Coulter. I remember making this same sort of argument to my parents when I did something wrong: “but Susie does it too!” In short, it’s a childish argument. Additionally, if the MSM is as Left-skewed as many on the Right believe it is, how will using the same type of tactics help the Right, since, presumably, the MSM will play up comments like Ms. Coulter’s and downplay similar one from those with whom they agree politically?
Coulter screwed up, plain and simple--both morally and strategically.
UPDATE: John Hawkins:
[I]n all likelihood, before Coulter ever went to CPAC, she came up with that line and planned to deliberately spring it this week-end. Why? Because she knew it was a high profile event attended by the presidential candidates and Dick Cheney, which guaranteed that her offensive remark would garner massive publicity for her -- which it did.If that was Coulter's motive, then bully for her. I just hope that garnering publicity at the expense of conservatives was worth it--to her, that is.
UPDATE: From one of Gay Patriot's commenters:
The real scandal is not Ann Coulter - it is the fact that she is LOVED by the conservative base.Also, one wonders whether Coulter would even be famous if she had a different appearance.
Her "faggot" joke was not just a distraction from all the good that was highlighted and represented at the conference. It was the equivalent of a rhetorical fragging--an intentionally-tossed verbal grenade that exploded in her own fellow ideological soldiers' tent.For the good that came from the conference,go to her latest link.