Sunday, July 1, 2007


When Ann Coulter shot John Edwards in the face with the F-word at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year, it was the slur heard ‘round the world. Surprisingly, it didn’t get the results Coulter hoped for. Her latest “joke” (wishing that Edwards was killed by terrorists), didn’t do so well either. Is Coulter losing her evil mojo? Sheldon Alberts, a reporter from the National Post, explains:

Making vengeance pay
WASHINGTON -She has accused 9/11 widows of enjoying their husbands' deaths, mocked Hillary Clinton for having "chubby little legs" and says Democrats--pretty much by definition--are "the Spawn of Satan."

Ann Coulter's acid-tongued attacks have long infuriated U.S. liberals, but the uber-conservative commentator has finally pushed one hot button too many for Elizabeth Edwards.

The wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has embarked on a campaign to silence Ms. Coulter after the bestselling author told ABC's Good Morning America she hoped the White House contender would be killed by terrorist assassins.

"This is not legitimate political speech," Mrs. Edwards fumed yesterday. "This is speech of hatred and meanness, meant to distract us from the issues."

Earlier in the week, she challenged the columnist when she called MSNBC's Hardball program and "politely" demanded the best-selling author stop making personal attacks on her husband and other Democrats.

But Mrs. Edwards has also taken the anti-Coulter effort to another level -- using it to help drum up political donations for her husband's White House bid.

In e-mails and text messages sent to Mr. Edwards' supporters, the campaign distributed video of Ms. Coulter's Good Morning America appearance along with a request for donations to help meet a US$9-million fundraising goal for the second quarter of 2007.

A similar appeal for "Coulter Cash" raised US$300,000 for Mr. Edwards in March after the right-wing commentator called him a "faggot" during a speech to a conservative political action group.

The appeal for money has triggered accusations Mrs. Edwards' showdown was spurred more by political calculation than moral outrage. The deadline for second-quarter donations is tomorrow.

"Whether there is a real personal animosity between Elizabeth Edwards and Ann Coulter --who knows?" says Mark Rozell, a presidential scholar at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. "But they are exploiting the situation and doing it beautifully.

"As far as the core Democratic constituencies, Ann Coulter is one of the most hated people in this country. This has been a very effective way for the Edwards campaign to raise big cash."


Maybe I’m foolishly choosing to see this vulgar episode through rose-colored pragmatism, but I think there’s a dim silver lining to be found in the mushroom cloud Coulter left behind: It’s seeing how scared Coulter and the rest of the Republican Party is of Edwards. Not Obama. Not Clinton. Edwards.

Let’s put the cards on the table, O.K.? I don’t care how politically incorrect it sounds, but I think that once the gaudy fireworks fades and the smoke clears, the Last Democrat Standing is going to be Edwards. Why? Well, because he’s an articulate, charismatic, intelligent, handsome white man, that’s why. Hallucinating about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as viable presidential candidates is a waste of time, money, energy, and oxygen. Regardless of how loudly the pundits and the pollsters pontificate, a sizable percentage of voters are going to vote for the white guy.

To believe otherwise is dangerous.

Why? Because the Republicans will then run a Trojan Horse Candidate in 2008, a handsome, well-spoken "moderate" white guy that the other white guys can feel good about. Romney? He’s not African-American. Giuliani? He’s not female. That’ll be good enough for all the undecided voters, fence-sitters, bigots, and the Republicans hiding in the closet of the Democratic Party. But not for us and the rest of America. Eight years of Bush is too long. Another four years of Bush Lite isn't what this country needs.

Hopefully, it looks like John and Elizabeth Edwards have finally learned that turning the other cheek is a stupid idea, especially in the violent, barbed-wire arena of politics. Good. That's how you win elections.


jkr said...

Mostly I think you're right. (I'm assuming that when you say "then the Republicans will..." you mean "if the Democrats actually nominate Obama or Hillary for President"? It's not clear.) And three cheers for the Edwardses for not doing the polite-Democratic thing, but instead fighting back.

I do have to point out that the report you quote is dishonest on a couple of points: 1) Coulter didn't just hope that Edwards would be killed by terrorists; she also made a "joke" of his dead child--and it was the latter that Elizabeth Edwards specifically felt was beyond the pale, and (as "the mother of that child") asked Coulter to stop making the joke. 2) More importantly, he says that Elizabeth Edwards is trying to "silence" Coulter. While I would welcome Coulter's silence, as I think all decent people of whatever political stripe should, Elizabeth Edwards is not trying to force that silence, but merely asked Coulter to stop making hateful personal attacks and concentrate on politics.

The idea that this means Edwards is in any way compelling Coulter's silence is Coulter's own lie; I am sorry (but not surprised) to see the media picking it up without question.

OK, as has been pointed out on other blogs I read, perhaps Coulter is thus acknowledging that she has nothing to say other than hate speech and would have to shut up entirely if she were to comply with the request. That still doesn't mean that anyone else is forcing her to shut up.