With Ann Coulter you should only expect a bad stand-up comedian with a conservative schtick. That's what CPAC attendees got today. My expectations were low, yet she proceded [sic] to go below them. She referred to Muslims as "ragheads."
Sigh. Thanks, Ann. Any other thoughts? Keep them to yourself, will you? Stop doing us "favors." And as is so often the case, thanks, Instapundit, for the point to the site.
Update: Of all the things I've written about since starting this blog, I never dreamed for a minute that I'd get my longest comment thread out of an eye roll at Ann Coulter.
So. Addressing some of you in the comments, beginning with my buddies and high school classmates from long ago, the Kirby brothers: Thom, I've got to get over to your blog to indulge in some cussing! And Gary, yes, I know some might read this post as ammunition; I chose to write it anyway. You're correct, I think, that the Left won't self-police and won't acknowledge self-policing efforts on the Right, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we know is right. In my ever-so-humble opinion, of course.
On to the rest of yez. I am indeed a fiscal conservative and I'm not at all pleased with Federal spending at the moment. However, I don't make the mistake of attributing the "Clinton surplus" to Clinton when he was the beneficiary of the so-called "peace dividend" (which, recall, led to comments like Rumsfeld's infamous but absolutely true "You have to go to war with the army you have," along with outrage from the Left that we ought to have delayed going to war while we built up our military, while our enemies would presumably have been leaning on their guns and trimming their nails, maybe having a smoke) and the dot.com bubble. And I likewise find it utterly clear that in order to have a Federal budget, you have to have a Federal government, which implies a nation, so national defense takes precedence over a balanced budget for me. A more descriptive and accurate statement about my fiscal policy, such as it is, is that I favor fewer and smaller government programs but recognize the fact of certain "natural monopolies," such as an army, without which a nation cannot function well, or at all.
I was and am a classical liberal: a devotee of and believer in the individual, his rights, his responsibilities. The term "liberal" has been long hijacked by some on the Left who act and talk as if they believe it means "dedicated to the premise that 'social' justice, as opposed to justice, ought to be the preeminent goal of society." I favor tolerance (but not preference nor a "right" not to be offended); equality of opportunity (but not efforts to create an impossible level playing field); equality under the law; freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, of assembly; I believe in freedom from unreasonable search and seizure - but also that the word "unreasonable" means something different from "any"; I believe in the right to keep and bear arms and in the responsibility of those who choose to do so to train and protect themselves and those in their household to avoid tragic accidents (and I point out that a pool is much more dangerous, statistically, than a gun); I believe that the Constitution is a "living" document in the sense that its words and ideas should and do continue to direct and inspire Americans, and speak hope and defiance to oppressed people around the world, but not that it's a "living" document in the sense that contextual reinterpretation ought to trump original intent. And finally (for purposes of this discussion), I'm absolutely thrilled that I didn't have to fight my way across the world, learn English laboriously as an adult, and undertake to become a citizen by dint of effort and commitment in order to enjoy the rights, liberties, opportunities, and responsibilities that devolve on American citizens generally. In short, I believe that being born American is the single luckiest thing ever to happen to Americans (beyond being born in the first place).
Does that clear anything up? I'm not a Democrat and have never been a Democrat (all right, I admit I was campaign manager for the "Democratic" candidate in my high school's mock election in 1984 - thanks a lot, Kirbys, for showing up and making me refer to those bygone days so much here) - but there are a whole lot of Democrats out there who, by their words and behavior, can't honestly be called "liberal" in this sense. "You keep saying tha' word; I do no' think it means what you think it means." Ditto "progressive," but I have no particular affinity for the term (I'm not convinced that progress for progress's sake is necessarily good), so I won't muddy the waters by amending my description of myself to include it.
When do I find Ann Coulter funny? When she says something like this:
The Democratic Party has decided to express indignation at the idea that an American citizen who happens to be a member of al Qaeda is not allowed to have a private conversation with Osama bin Laden. If they run on that in 2008, it could be the first time in history a Republican president takes even the District of Columbia.
Andrew Jackson, the father of the Democratic Party, may have had some unpalatable goals, but at least they were big ideas. Wipe out the Indians, kill off the national bank and institute a spoils system. Love him or hate him, he never said, "I'll be announcing my platform sometime early next year." The Whigs were formed in opposition to everything Jackson stood for.
The Republican Party emerged from the Whigs when the Whigs waffled on slavery. (They were "pro-choice" on slavery.) The Republican Party was founded expressly as the anti-slavery party, which to a great extent remains their position today.
Having won that one, today's Republican Party stands for life, limited government and national defense. And today's Democratic Party stands for ... the right of women to have unprotected sex with men they don't especially like. We're the Blacks-Aren't-Property/Don't-Kill-Babies party. They're the Hook-Up party.
I do not find her funny when she refers to Muslims as "ragheads." At moments like those, I find it appalling and inexplicable that she could say such a thing while apparently sharing a number of other principles and beliefs with me, which is pretty much the point of this post. Lindata, by "eliminationist" language do you mean "racist" or something similar? Coulter certainly uses insulting language about liberals frequently, but not generally in this vein; otherwise I wouldn't read her at all. Insult comics have a long and - well, not glorious, but at least storied tradition; racist comics went out with the Polish joke. Ann Coulter again crossed a line that she's crossed on a few occasions in the past (I hated her comments culminating in "now more than ever" about converting all Muslims to Christianity, for instance, while, as a Christian myself, acknowledging that Christianity appears to me to have a much better claim to the term "religion of peace" than Islam, based on both the teachings and the recent behavior of adherents of each), but as an entertainer, not as a spokesman for me.
So. Thanks for the spurious congratulations on "discovering" my "limits." Let me offer my congratulations on your exposure, willy-nilly, to the fact that the Right, while no more monolithic than the Left, is perhaps something different from what you thought it was.