Monday, March 05, 2007

TPM: Time for a New Counter Coulter

We have all heard or read about the latest from Ann Coulter. No need for a recap. In the rush to characterize this incident as proof that the conservative movement has become a mockery of its professed principles, some have missed the real significance a gaffe that actually does deserve attention.

There are legitimate concerns about the lunacy that makes Coulter classify her slur of choice only as a schoolyard taunt for weaklings, but the real problem this indicates is the reason why Coulter has a career. As somebody who makes her living by making some people snicker and everybody else wretch, she is an emblem of the intellectual void that has grown in the political sphere.

Coulter, with her Ivy league credentials and her authoritative diction, would have all viewers believe that she knows a lot about a lot of things. Clearly she does know enough to know what sells, but as this incident at CPAC has shown, sometimes, in fact many times (because this is no anomaly) she has nothing of critical value or any insight to provide. She herself acknowledged that without her childish indictment she had nothing to say about Senator Edwards. The lack of substance, awkwardly masked by bigoted humor, is the real story.

I cannot say whether some conservatives, or Bush allies in particular, are more likely than their political opponents to substitute invective for meaningful commentary, but I think it is clear that it is a prominent tactic. It is not a new phenomenon, as any scholar of history can tell you, but its prominence in out political discourse is disturbing nonetheless.

Coulter has no secret whatsoever of the fact that she uses hyperbole as a matter of course to get attention for her always (not sure if that is hyperbolic or not) biased vituperations. Its part of a well crafted formula.

"You want to be careful not to become just a blowhard."---Washington Post 10/16/98

Perhaps Coulter has a bad memory, like her ideological brother Scooter Libby. Obviously she has had too much on her plate to remember that sage nugget. Or perhaps she was misquoted.


At 9:40 AM, Blogger Exile said...


RMN: The Campos-Coulter Complex

See, it is not just conservatives, but professionals making concerted efforts to enrich themselves by cheapening civil discourse.


Post a Comment

<< Home