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.