Coulter: Off Message?

Bush Administration

A couple of days ago the righties were congratulating themselves for how mild of speech they are compared to us foul-mouthed lefties, after this fella determined that lefties use dirty words a whole lot more than righties. And then Ann Coulter jumped in with an over-the-top comment about John Edwards being a “faggot” (huh?), and now they are torn between denouncing and defending her.

The funny thing is, a whole lot of them are denouncing her. I do believe some (probably not all) of those denouncing her today are the same people who winked and grinned in the past when Coulter wished death and violence on just about everyone on the planet.

This may mean the Right has had a little bit of a consciousness shift lately. A few short years ago, I clearly remember, many rightie bloggers flung profanity-laced ad hominems with reckless abandon in all directions and didn’t give a thought to the consequences. I’d argue that rightie bloggers used to be at least as randy with the naughty words as lefties are. When I was researching Blogging America (late 2003-early 2004) it struck me that language on most of the rightie blogs I stumbled on was, on the whole, more foul than that of my brothers and sisters of the Left. This was an impression, not a scientific survey, and taken from a random sample of both high- and low-traffic blogs. But I saw what I saw. These days you have to know where to look to find a foul-mouthed rightie blogger. At some point, I postulate, rightie bloggers began to police themselves pretty stringently. So while they still spread hate and ignorance, they do it with cleaner language. (I have more to say about this, but will have to do so at another time.)

Back to Coulter — Editor & Publisher notes that a whole lot of “MSM” reporters who covered Coulter’s CPAC speech didn’t bother to mention the “faggot” remark in their news stories. It became an issue because the Edwards campaign and DNC chairman Howard Dean made a big deal about it. Looks like Our Side is learning. (See also John at AMERICAblog.)

And just to show how sensitive Their Side is getting — Lydia Cornell reports that one of her conservative Christian friends was tossed out of CPAC by one of Ann Coulter’s bodyguards.

Today, the argument is over how loudly Coulter was applauded. Michelle Malkin claims the “faggot” remark was greeted by only “a smattering of laughter.Glenn Greenwald says there was “enthusiastic” applause. There’s a video floating around somewhere. In any event, Andrew Sullivan writes of the CPAC experience,

That’s the base. It’s a party that wants nothing to do with someone like me. All I heard and saw was loathing: loathing of Muslims, of “illegals,” of gays, of liberals, of McCain. The most painful thing for me was the sight of so many young people growing up believing that this is conservatism. I feel like an old-style Democrat in 1968.

Share Button


  1. D.R. Marvel  •  Mar 3, 2007 @3:24 pm

    My esteemed Father, Billy Bryan Marvel, was one of those “old-style Democrats in ’68″…And a delegate to the National Convention in Chicago (with a full vote)…

    No punk like Andrew Sullivan shoud ever be thought of in the same room as my Pop…Let alone compare his feelings with what went on in ’68…

    (This could go long…But not right now – Maha knows what I was up to in ’68)

  2. Bonnie  •  Mar 3, 2007 @3:55 pm

    While Sullivan may not belong in the same room as Mr. Marvel, it truly is quite an admission from someone who used to support these people wholeheartedly.

    I look forward to your commentary on the radical right’s hate and ignorance, Maha.

    I would like to confirm your impression as being the same as mine when I first started perusing the internet blogs. (Could we both be wrong? ;-D) I got my own computer in 2003. I remember being quite struck by the hateful, intolerant, and very foul-mouthed and obscenity-laced language I found at the right wing blogs. Most I never returned to. However, the other impression I had (no scientific survey) was that the blogs I settled on for regular reading had substance to the commentary. They linked to items that backed up statements and were thoughtful with no need for obscenity-laced language. They were what I was used to getting from the MSM, but no longer could find there. But, you don’t need to be foul-mouthed and vulgar to be verbally abusive with the intent to demean and denigrate people who don’t agree with you; and, this is what the radical right, Faux News, and the MSM by repeating all those Republican talking points has done all these years with great success.

  3. Jerri  •  Mar 3, 2007 @4:22 pm

    Coulter gave the dem candidate a gift. The video clip will find its way into an ad right after the convention…or will they save it til…

  4. Swami  •  Mar 3, 2007 @4:52 pm

    I got a kick out of the this fella link. How does his brilliant research and analysis separate the profanities from the context to determine with side of the blogosphere has the foulest mouths? The numbers are irrelevent apart from context. Couldn’t all the profanity cited from the left be a necessary element in an adult discussion about Dick Cheney’s outburst of potty mouth?

  5. Lynne  •  Mar 3, 2007 @5:01 pm

    Hm, Swami. Little Green Footballs – 230? Must have been one day’s count, not six months.

  6. Lynne  •  Mar 3, 2007 @5:04 pm

    You are also correct regarding the context/profanity connection; it makes all the difference in the world.

  7. Minor Ripper  •  Mar 3, 2007 @6:20 pm

    Ann really isn’t the sharpest knife in the shed, either…(see video)

  8. erinyes  •  Mar 3, 2007 @7:14 pm

    Well, I hope she has a “tasty tester” for her desserts, ’cause her kharma has been mauled by her dogma.We reap what we sow….

  9. ken melvin  •  Mar 3, 2007 @8:53 pm

    Character assassination and innuendo have worked so well for so long it will be hard for them to quit. They might not even have a chance without it.

  10. Swami  •  Mar 3, 2007 @10:47 pm

    Oh wow…I just watched Ann Coulter’s “Faggot” video over at Think Progress. I’ve heard put-downs of Ann Coulter before that referenced her having a pronounced Adam’s apple, but I always thought that those put-downs were just a clever way to attack her femininity, and that the put-downs were without any real substance. It seems I was wrong.

  11. Kevin Hayden  •  Mar 4, 2007 @4:11 am

    It was only a year ago when conservatives were preening their chickenhawk feathers about their political dominance while Dems were pecking at each other, trotting out strategy theories, worried they’d never get a campaign right.

    Now it almost appears like a complete reversal. Coulter reappears and gets whack-a-moled, even within her own party because they’re worried about public perceptions.

    I only point this out in hopes that the left will not get complacent nor smug. If we continue to put our principles to work, to put forth pragmatic policies that speak to the larger groups – like workers – without getting ahead of ourselves, AND as importantly, if our elected representatives occasionally take risks to demonstrate leadership instead of followership, we should be able to stay intact and prove a benefit to the country.

    People like Coulter should have been ridiculed into oblivion long ago. She’s not even a worthy enemy compared to the hate speech of guys like Cheney, which has deadly consequence. When Middle Americans grasp that fully, that his are the greater obscenities for cheapening lives so, I will feel my country has been restored to reason. And then, at last, we might work on advancing civilization instead of cowering in fear of ‘them heathens’. Then we might eliminate the legit grievances and make it clear to all that terrorist leaders are televangizing godfathers, not the translators of the divine.

  12. Jonathan Versen  •  Mar 4, 2007 @4:52 am

    Didn’t Coulter say the same thing about Al Gore? Was she spurned by them, either in real life or in her fevered imagination?

    Topic No. 2:As far as the righties toning down their hate speech in the past 3-4 years, I note that a few years ago

    1.hardly anyone read Orcinus,
    2.There was no Media Matters,
    3. And there was no technorati.

    All three help help keep an eye on the varmints, so maybe this has influenced their behavior.

    (If I herebye dub the right-wing portion of the blogosphere the “varmintosphere”, will I get
    1. credit,
    2. lavish praise, or
    3. buckets of money from various foundations? Hey, it can’t hurt to ask.)

  13. Donna  •  Mar 4, 2007 @6:18 am

    Speaking of mouths and their effectiveness, awhile back Malkin did some kind of video in which she was mimicking another person, Malkin showing real ugly with her physical mouth as the camera zoomed in on it at times. It is utterly memorable to me, not because I remember exactly whom she was trashing [I honestly cannot remember her ‘target’], but because I will always associate Malkin with that exposed ugly face and attitude which Malkin allowed to be video-taped.

  14. Undeniable Liberal  •  Mar 4, 2007 @1:13 pm

    The video is here and the reaction seems quite enthusiastic to me, but you be the judge.

  15. marijam  •  Mar 4, 2007 @8:44 pm

    Hummm, I thought she didn’t actually call Edwards a faggot, just said she would but she’d have to go into rehab. She wasn’t even really talking about Edwards or about gays, she was talking about a teen age girl in a school who when teased about being Mormon told her tormenters that they were all just gay. The girl got suspended, but nothing at all happened to the tormenters for teasing her for being Mormon. I’d be the last person to defend her, but I had heard this story earlier, without Ann Coulter being involved in it, so when I heard about what she had said, I knew right away what she was actually referring to.