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Friday, March 02, 2007

Ann Coulter and the "faggot" issue:

Background from Think Progress
Speaking today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter said: “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.” Audience members said “ohhh” and then cheered.


From Hugh Hewitt's place: (Dean Barnett writing)
Idiotic. Disgusting. Stupid. Moronic.

I guess you could say that Ann loves to shock us, but at this point, who’s shocked? She obviously can’t behave well enough to attend a respectable political gathering. It’s not a lack of intelligence. It’s an indifference to self-control and a preening sort of narcissism that compels her to need the spotlight, even if it’s unflattering.

With this in the comments section:

What is her hang up with homosexuality? Previously, Coulter has put "even money" on Sen. Hillary Clinton "coming out of the closet," said Bill Clinton shows "some level of latent homosexuality," and called Vice President Al Gore a "total f*g."
Ed Morrisey (Captain's Quarters):
Coulter Said What?

Ann Coulter is speaking at the moment, and drawing a huge crowd -- with longer lines than those for the Rudy Giuliani. She's definitely one of the stars here at CPAC, and I listened to the audio stream for a bit while she opened her speech. I had to take a phone call, though, and I missed a critical, and infuriating, throw-away line. Michelle Malkin reports (from two chairs down):
"I'd say something about John Edwards, but if you use the word 'faggot', you have to go to rehab."
Yeah, that's just what CPAC needs -- an association with homophobia. Nice work, Ann.

At some point, Republicans will need to get over their issues with homosexuality. Regardless of whether one believes it to be a choice or a hardwired response, it has little impact on anyone but the gay or lesbian person. We can argue that homosexuality doesn't require legal protection, but not when we have our front-line activists referring to them as "faggots" or worse. That indicates a disturbing level of animosity rather than a true desire to allow people the same rights and protections regardless of their lifestyles.
The American Mind
Ann Coulter almost made it through her CPAC speech without looking like a complete buffoon. She wasn’t funny, she rarely is, but she’s an attention whore. Near the end of her speech she said she wouldn’t talk about John Edwards because ” you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’” She’s now on non-speaking terms with any gay and lesbian friends.
Michelle Malkin:
Ann Coulter just finished her riff on Al Gore, tossed out some cute jokes ("You can understand why Hollywood is concerned about global warming. You know what heat does to plastic."), and ended with a cheap one-liner about John Edwards being a "faggot." (Paraphrasing) She said she would refrain from commenting on Edwards because "if you say faggot, you have to go to rehab."

A smattering of laughter.

Not from this corner.

Crickets chirping.
From Coulter's point of view, it was Mission Accomplished. All she wanted was to get the Edwards-faggot idea "out there". Are we now going to have reporters ask Edwards or his staff, how he feels about being called a faggot? The mud sticks.

Of some interest are these posts by Andrew Sullivan. He's beginning to wake up.

1 (emp add)
"I was going to talk about John Edwards but these days, you have to go into rehab if you say the word 'faggot,'" - Ann Coulter, cheered to the rafters at CPAC today. No wonder she and Mickey Kaus get along so well.

When you see her in such a context, you realize that she truly represents the heart and soul of contemporary conservative activism, especially among the young. The standing ovation for Romney was nothing like the eruption of enthusiasm that greeted her. One young conservative male told her he was single and asked for her cell-phone number. Other young Republicans were almost overwhelmed in her presence. "When are you going to get your own show?" one asked, tremulously. Then there's her insistence on Christianism as the central message for Republicans: "There are more people voting on Christian moral values than on tax cuts." This from an unmarried woman who wears dresses that are close to bikinis on the morning news. Hey, it's Democrats who are Godless.

Her endorsement of Romney today - "probably the best candidate" - is a big deal, it seems to me. McCain is a non-starter. He is as loathed as Clinton in these parts. Giuliani is, in her words, "very, very liberal." One of his sins? He opposed the impeachment of Bill Clinton. That's the new standard. She is the new Republicanism. The sooner people recognize this, the better.
2 (emp add)
A reader writes:
I'm confused. Wasn't it Andrew Sullivan who declared Ms. Coulter to be nothing more than a "performance artist" who need not be taken seriously? I believe that, in July 2006, when Ms. Coulter referred to Al Gore as a "total fag," liberal commentators were aghast. But you dimissed her anti-gay hate as "high camp," a mere "vaudeville act." After all, it wasn't as if she used the word, "fag," in a perjorative way - it was just an inside joke, right?

Now comes Mr. Sullivan to declare Coulter the "standard bearer [of] the new Republicanism, one who "truly represents the heart and soul of contemporary conservative activism." Presumably that heart and soul includes hatred of homosexuals.

Well, which is it -- high camp vaudevillian or true face of the conservative movement? And where does that leave you?
It's a fair point. I once called her a "drag queen posing as a fascist." But I didn't mean that as a compliment. My only response to my reader is that seeing her live in front of a young, cheering crowd made me feel a lot less complacent. Being a gay man in a crowd that cheers a woman denigrating someone for being a "faggot" is an educative experience. Seeing college kids line up to worship her tore me up. These kids deserve better. They're young and smart enough to be interested in conservatism - and this is what they are getting? From a stage where two presidential candidates just spoke? I guess I've been a bit of a smug ironist who just got mugged by conservative reality.
Conservatism is dying in America. There are no serious policy issues being debated. It's cruelty and hate that propels the movement now.



7 comments

It takes a lot of balls for a drag queen to call anyone a faggot.

By Anonymous Rockie the Dog, at 3/02/2007 10:09 PM  

Ann Coulter is a fagot component in that a twig like her helps makes up a bundle of sticks. Now where's the fireplace?

By Blogger Shag from Brookline, at 3/03/2007 5:14 AM  

nice work, quiddy. i'm going to riff off that at corrente.

By Blogger chicago dyke, at 3/03/2007 8:11 AM  

Ann Coulter is a troll, pure and simple. As we've said on the Internet, for many years, "do not feed the energy beast." It is pointless to try to argue with the irrational.

By Blogger Laurie Mann, at 3/03/2007 5:35 PM  

laurie mann wrote, Ann Coulter is a troll, pure and simple.

Correct. My impression is that she herself has gay friends.

She's just trolling for the dough.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/04/2007 4:33 AM  

Anonymous, shouldn't that be "she herself had gay friends", or are these friends completely lacking in self-respect?

By Anonymous KCinDC, at 3/04/2007 7:37 AM  

I'm so confused. Calling women who lost their husbands in the Twin Towers "the merry widows of 9/11" in print and on national television not only doesn't get you in trouble with your party and may have increased your chances of getting a paid invitation to the Conservative Ball. However, calling a former Democratic vp candidate a faggot at the Conservative Ball does get you in trouble.

Screwy.

Rueful

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/04/2007 9:33 AM  

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